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Financial Aid

The Creative Writing Program works hard to provide financial support to all of its students.

Last year. the average financial package for incoming MFA students was more than $85,000 over 3 years, includling tuition remission. The average financial package for incoming PhD students was more than $144,00 over 5 years, including tuition remission. 

Teaching Assistantships

Through the Department of English, the Creative Writing Program (CWP) is pleased to be able to offer teaching assistantships to qualified applicants admitted to its MFA and PhD programs. 

The English Department offers employment stipends for graduate assistantships. These generally require 20 hours per week of work supporting faculty instruction. For students who are not Texas residents, these assistantships provide eligibility for a waiver of the non-resident portion of program tuition. 

According to UH employment rules, graduate assistants are classified as student employees. Student employees may work 50 percent FTE or less during the regular academic session and up to 100 percent FTE during break periods (i.e., between academic semesters, summers and holidays). More details can be found here. 

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). 

For MFA students the teaching load is 2/2 the first two years (which includes year 1 facilitation) and 2/1 the final year. Salary for MFAs is $17,935.89 for 9 months. For CWP PhDs the teaching load is 2/2 the first four years (which includes year 1 facilitation) and 2/0 or 0/0 the final year. Salary for PhDs is $20,104.89 for 9 months. 

All first-year teaching assistants in the Department of English will facilitate rather than teach courses. In this context, facilitate means that the TAs manage designated Blackboard forums in which the TAs interact regularly and asynchronously with undergraduate students. Facilitators do not grade the students’ writing in Blackboard forums, but guide and support the students, offering strategic feedback. 

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.  

Fellowships

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.