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Financial Aid

The Creative Writing Programs works hard to provide financial support to all of its students. Last year 14 of our 16 incoming students received teaching assistantships—$15,000/year (MFA) and $17,169/year for (PhD). All 16 entering students received either a Graduate Tuition Fellowship or Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Fellowship to remit and/or cover the cost of tuition. In addition, 15 students received Inprint fellowships for $10,000, and 7 students received UH Presidential or Provost Fellowships for $4,000.

The average financial package for incoming MFA students was $76,792 over 3 years.

The average financial package for incoming PhD students was $132,661 over 5 years.

Teaching Assistantships

Through the Department of English the Creative Writing Program offers teaching assistantships to both MFA and PhD students. MFA students can receive a teaching assistantship for 3 years (6 long semesters); PhD students can receive a teaching assistantship for 5 years (10 long semesters). The teaching load is 1/2 the first year and then 2/2 the following years. Starting salary for MFAs is $15,000/9 months and for PhDs $17,169/9 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. The tuition remission/coverage is guaranteed for all 3 years of the MFA teaching assistantship and for the full 5 years of the PhD teaching assistantship.

In addition, as part of the assistantship, the University of Houston will pay up to 50% of the costs of medical insurance. The final dollar amount for medical insurance for which a student would be responsible varies and is dependent on the coverage the student elects, and whether the student includes dependents under the coverage.

We make a serious effort to locate a teaching assistantship for all who apply and seek such an assistantship. 


Students in the Creative Writing Program have a number of fellowships available to them. For example, Inprint, a Houston literary arts nonprofit, provides fellowships to students admitted to the graduate creative writing program, and sponsors an annual student competition that awards 3 fellowships of $10,000 (one in fiction, one in poetry, and one for literary community service), 1 fellowship of $5,000 (nonfiction), and 4 fellowships of $2,500 (two in fiction, and two in poetry). In addition, the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English can nominate incoming students with exceptional records for UH Presidential Fellowships, and there are a limited number of Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Fellowships and African American Creative Writing Fellowships, among others. Smaller fellowships to cover costs associated with conferences and residency are also provided at the Director’s discretion, based on the availability of funds.

For comprehensive fellowship/scholarship information, please see our fellowship guidelines overview.