We offer our MFA in a new format designed for working adults. However, the program will continue to be grounded in what makes it work so well.

Writers and artists working in wide-ranging genres and forms will continue to be in conversation with one another in classes, workshops, and arts events, while also engaging across disciplines in a culture of inquiry that helps students to further develop and better articulate their work.

An innovative, interdisciplinary degree

  • The MFA is a 39-unit, two-year program in five continuous semesters, including a required summer semester between the first and second years. 
  • Its unique hybrid format includes both on-campus and online learning and is ideal for working adults. Students will participate in six-day intensives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area twice a year, then continue the learning experience online for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Throughout the program, students will have individualized sessions with faculty advisers and local art mentors of their choosing. 
  • Students can earn degree credits by opting for a summer intensive in the United Kingdom, Germany, or an international location of their choosing. We have partnerships with the Kingston Writing School program and the University of Chichester (UK).

Designed for artists and practitioners

We provide a supportive learning environment for

  • Students who want individual and small-group support to write a book, produce a performance, develop a body of visual or interdisciplinary work, or simply hone their skills in a challenging, supportive setting.
  • Students who are writing and art teachers and therapists who want to develop their own practice as writers, artists, or performers, and to learn the tools for bringing these practices into their professional work.
  • Students who are interested in arts activism and working collaboratively with artists and communities. 
  • Students who make work that doesn't fit neatly into a discipline or genre or that combines—or stretches the boundaries of—more than one form.
  • Students who want to create more meaningful lives through disciplined creative and self inquiry in a community of art-makers.

Professional development

Our accomplished Bay Area faculty, along with local mentors and visiting artists from around the world, all of whom are working arts professionals, will provide one-on-one support to help students to expand their creative range and prepare for their next steps as an art professionals.

Students will participate in interdisciplinary workshops and rigorous coursework where they will learn more about contexts that inform their art. They will also gain a global arts perspective through classes and our summer intensive overseas option.

Questions about admissions or the MFA Program?

Admissions Counselor:
Danielle Niakaros
(415) 575-6291

Experience the program from a MFA student's perspective

"Aliens Brought Me to the MFA Program"—CrossCurrents: The CIIS Blog

Experience the program through our inter-arts journal, Mission at Tenth

Want to hear more? Meet current students and faculty? Subscribe to our MFA Events mailing list!

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