Audit option


The program offers an audit option for serious writers who desire an in-depth experience of writing instruction but who are not seeking an MFA degree. Auditors join enrolled students for a full ten-day residency session—in either summer or winter—attending the interdisciplinary morning seminars and participating in the afternoon workshop in their genre.

The audit option was important to the program’s Founding Director Irene McKinney at the program’s inception as part of her vision for supporting a diverse community of writers. In our ongoing commitment to that vision, we continue to offer instruction to those seeking continuing education without the need for a degree. At the same time, we aim to vigilantly maintain the atmosphere of rigor essential to a thriving graduate program in creative writing; thus, prospective auditors are required to submit an application to the Admission Committee. Auditors are accepted on a basis of writing aptitude and on the potential for mutual benefit for both auditors and the community of enrolled students. For more information on applying to audit, please review the Admission Requirements.

To further ensure this studious atmosphere and a rich experience for all residency attendees, we allow only full-participation auditing. Although auditors do not receive credit toward a degree, they are required by good-faith contract to prepare for and participate in all morning seminars and afternoon workshops with the seriousness of a graduate student. Along with students, auditors submit a workshop sample and receive seminar assignments and peer workshop samples one month in advance of a residency and are expected to complete all reading assignments; for workshops, auditors receive instruction on workshop critique and are expected to read and comment on other participants’ work and attend every workshop session. All materials are distributed electronically through email, so auditors will need adequate online access to download and print documents. For further details on residency classes, read more about the low-residency model.

The cost to audit is $400 per class, and there are two classes per residency for a total of $800. If granted permission to audit, auditors must submit a $200 deposit, which is applicable to the $800 auditor fee, to secure their place in the residency. Meals and lodging are available to auditors at the student rate. Visit the fees page for more information about costs. Graduates of the program may also request to return to audit residencies (the same fees apply). Auditors may also apply for the Ireland Residency. The audit option is limited to summer and winter and Ireland residency sessions only, with modified requirements for Ireland; correspondence semesters are reserved for enrolled students.