Fully Funded PhD Programs in Creative Writing

Apr 13, 2021
Florida State University fully funds their PhD in creative writing students

Last updated February 1, 2022

As part of my series on How to Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list of universities that offer full funding for a PhD in Creative Writing. PhDs in Creative Writing can lead to a career as a university teacher, professional writer, and more.

Fully funded PhD programs in Creative Writing are those that offer a financial aid package for full-time students that provides full-tuition remission in addition to an annual stipend or salary for the duration of the program, which is usually 3-6 years. Full funding usually comes in the form of an assistantship, with the expectation that students will teach or complete research in their field of study. Not all Creative Writing PhD programs offer full funding to their doctoral students, which is why I recommend researching the financial aid offerings of all the potential PhD programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to listing fully funded PhD and Fully Funded Master’s programs, the ProFellow database also spotlights external funding opportunities for graduate school, including fellowships for dissertation research, fieldwork, language study, and summer work experiences.

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University of Cincinnati, PhD in Creative Writing (Cincinnati, OH): Every Ph.D. student has the opportunity to teach creative writing, with many also teaching literature classes. Most students are funded by teaching, with two or three at a time funded by editorial work at The Cincinnati Review, and others funded in their dissertation year by college- or university-level fellowships. 

Florida State University, PhD in Creative Writing (Tallahassee, FL): The majority of students in the Graduate English Program receive support in the form of a teaching assistantship. Ph.D. students receive a four-year assistantship but are eligible to apply for a fifth year contingent on satisfactory progress. Teaching assistants are provided with a stipend, a tuition waiver, and a health insurance subsidy. For 2020-21, the stipend amounts were $16,200 for PhDs. The FSU Graduate School offers several fellowships and awards.

University of Houston, PhD in Creative Writing and Literature (Houston, Texas): Through the Department of English the Creative Writing Program offers teaching assistantships to Ph.D. students. Ph.D. students can receive a teaching assistantship for 5 years. Starting salary for a PhDs is $20,104/9 months. As part of the assistantship, students are awarded either a Graduate Tuition Fellowship, which remits tuition, or a Creative Writing Program Fellowship, which covers the cost of tuition and the University will pay up to 50% of the costs of medical insurance.

University of Illinois, PhD in Creative Writing (Chicago, IL): Accepted doctoral students are normally awarded six years of departmental funding via a teaching assistantship. The Graduate College and the Department both offer a number of fellowships and awards in varying amounts for graduate students. Limited amounts of travel funding are available through the Department and the Graduate College.

University of Nebraska, PhD in Creative Writing (Lincoln, NE): Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an M.A. or M.F.A. are eligible for up to 5 years of funding as Teaching Assistants. The TA stipend was $17,640.00 plus tuition remission and health insurance. The stipend for Research Assistants is $13.155.00 plus tuition remission. Each year the English Department awards several fellowships to graduate students.

University of New Brunswick, PhD in Creative Writing (Fredericton, Saint John): PhD students at UNB are eligible to compete for $19,420 of assistantship funding per year for four years (2019-2020), providing academic progress is satisfactory.

University of Southern California, PhD in Creative Writing and Literature (Los Angeles, CA): Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing and Literature receive financial support and assistance in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships, which include full tuition remission, year-round health and dental benefits, and a stipend at the current rate.

Texas Tech University, PhD in Creative Writing (Lubbock, TX): When students apply to the onsite PhD program, they are automatically considered for funding. The funding for incoming students consists of a teaching position with a competitive stipend—guaranteed $20K/year for four years with opportunities to apply for a fifth year of funding—and significant tuition and fee waivers.

Ulster University, PhD in Creative Writing
(Northern Ireland): The University is proud to be able to regularly offer scholarship awards to support PhD study for applicants from across the globe.  These scholarships generally pay full tuition fees and provide a tax-free maintenance grant of over £15,000 per year.

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