The Writing Program admits nine students across the genres each year, all of whom will receive full funding for three years of study. The sources of this support are as follows: 

Teaching Assistantships 

 All students admitted to the program will receive Teaching Assistantships for two or three years. All Teaching Assistantships include salary, medical benefits, and tuition remission. 

Pitt’s English Department is well-known for its excellent teacher preparation, which is an asset to students who seek careers in teaching after graduation.  English Department TAs teach 1 course per semester, typically a course with 24 students or fewer.  For teaching this course, work defined as requiring approximately 20 hours per week, full tuition scholarships and medical benefits are provided, and TAs are paid a salary.  TAs who are making satisfactory progress as students and teachers will have their appointments renewed for an additional two years. After the second year, TAs generally teach advanced composition and introductory creative writing classes. 

K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships 

MFA applicants will be considered for K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships, which are designed to help the university recruit and retain underrepresented minority graduate and professional students, and ultimately enhance their presence in the professorate. These fellowships provide distinguished minority graduate students with individual mentoring and a first-year stipend independent of teaching responsibilities. The value gets adjusted each year, but the fellowship carries full tuition remission, medical benefits, and a stipend that pays at the same rate as a William S. Dietrich Fellowship. Recipients will not be required to teach during their first year and will then shift to TA-appointment status and responsibility during years two and three.  In addition, Irvis fellows receive $250 for books to use at the Book Center.  The Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences has been awarding Irvis Fellowships to MFA students since 2008, and the department has been invited to nominate an entering MFA student for an Irvis Fellowship every year beginning in fall 2014.  

Travel and Research Funding

Upon successful application, the Department of English provides Research and Development funds to support travel for MFAs undertaking research for their thesis manuscript and other professional activities. Contact the English Department’s Graduate Administrator at for further information and how to apply for Research and Development funds.

Contact info for interested students: English Graduate Administrator at