California College of the Arts

California, United States

Residential program

San Francisco is a global center for writing in both traditional and innovative forms -- and the gestation point for established and emergent technologies that impact, challenge, and nourish writers. The MFA Writing Program is home to ten full-time faculty who design classes that leverage the Bay Area as a place -- some recent classes and course work include analog personal publication creation with the Risograph machine, "street haunting" with the iPad Pro, and podcasting with a KQED producer.

The program is grounded in the craft of writing with an emphasis on the disposition and gaze of seminal practitioners across genres and the arts. Students dip into Surrealism, Bay Area literary movements like the Beats, and read at and create 'zines with the CCA Wattis Institute.

CCA’s San Francisco campus is located in the city's robust design district -- an innovation corridor a short bike ride from the Mission District, home to bookstores, coffee shops, and a vibrant cultural scene.

We leverage our location and connections with leading writers to create courses, jobs, and events for our students. We partner with key local leaders to add relevance to our studios.

Surrounded by world-class museums and cultural centers, leading writers, and amazing resources, you study in the core of a vibrant, inspiring environment.

Past visiting faculty and guests include such visionaries as

Akhil Sharma

Tracy K. Smith

Julie Lythcott-Hains

Dana Johnson

Matt Klam

Adam Johnson

Marlon James

Contact Information

1111 8th Street
MFA Program in Writing
San Francisco
California, United States
Phone: 415-810-5454


Undergraduate Program Director

Aimee Phan
Writing & Literature
5212 Broadway
California, United States

Our Writing and Literature Program places you in a dynamic and interdisciplinary community of literary artists. Whether your focus is poetry, fiction, editorial, comics, or graduate studies, you’ll infuse your writing with creativity and experimentation. With focused, individualized attention and a vigorous, thought-provoking curriculum, you’ll learn to develop your writing into publishable works of art.

Type of Program: Studio/Research
Genres: Fiction, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Unit of Measure: Hours

Graduate Program Director

Leslie Roberts
1111 8th Street
MFA in Creative Writing Program
San Francisco
California, United States
Phone: 4158105454

The MFA in Writing takes full advantage of situating a writing program in an art school. It is for poets, short-story writers, novelists, and creative nonfiction writers who desire the challenge of writing within a creative environment. It is also for writers interested in the large, evolving field of text and image: book art, video or film art, multimedia art. The program affirms both traditional and innovative practice, both personal exploration and collaboration. Drawing on the resources of CCA and the San Francisco Bay Area, the program offers a flexible yet rigorous course of study designed to support the unique path of each writer.

The program hosts a Friday Seminar at which invited guests - writers, editors, publishers, performers - meet in an intimate setting with students. MFA students publish Eleven Eleven (1111), a literary arts journal, as well as OMG!Lit, a student-run online site to showcase student work. Small Press Traffic (SPT), which promotes literary readings, talks, workshops, and conferences in the Bay Area, is located at CCA.

Type of Program: Studio/Research
Largest Class Size: 30
Smallest Class Size: 15
Genres: Fiction, Criticism & Theory, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Duration of Study: 2 years
Unit of Measure: Hours
Workshop: 12
Literature: 12
Thesis: 3
Total Units for Degree: 48
Other Requirements: Each student writes a book-length manuscript.
Application Deadline Fall: 01/05/2014
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Writing Sample, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation


Joseph Lease

The Body Ghost

Broken World


Aimee Phan

We Should Never Meet: Stories

The Reeducation of Cherry Truong

Faith Adiele

Meeting Faith

Tom Barbash

Stay Up With Me

The Last Good Chance

Dodie Bellamy

The Letters of Mina Harker

Pink Steam

Kevin Killian

Argento Series

Impossible Princess


Eric Olson

The Procession of Mollusks

Donna De la Perriere

Saint Erasure

True Crime

Tonya Foster

Author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court

Jasmin Darznik

Author of Song of a Captive Bird, The Good Daughter

Leslie Carol Roberts

Author of The Entire Earth and Sky; Here Is Where I Walk


Eleven Eleven

Art Practical

Charif Shanahan

Tracy K. Smith US Poet Laureate

Matthew Klam

Molly Prentiss

Andrew S. Nicholson

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Antonya Nelson

Dana Johnson

Akhil Sharma

Julia Scott

Marlon James

Will Alexander

Mary Gaitskill

Andrew Sean Greer

Eileen Myles

Anne Carson

Dave Eggers

Daniel Handler

Paul Harding

Keorapetse Kgositsile

Paul Muldoon

Achy Obejas

Cheryl Strayed

Daniel Alarcón

Adam Haslett

Lisa Robertson

Tuesdays in the Garden (