The MFA Teaching Fellowship is a prestigious two-year appointment that provides students with experience in teaching college writing.

Applicants can apply for the Teaching Fellowship when they apply for admission to the MFA Program. The Teaching Fellowship is a selective appointment with one fellow selected from each genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction and Poetry. 

The Teaching Fellowship prepares fellows to teach composition at the college level. Teaching Fellows spend the fall semester of their first year as interns in an undergraduate composition course.  They are mentored by an experienced compostion professor. After successful completion of the internship, each fellow is then able to teach his or her own composition course as a Lecturer in the fall semester of their second year.

The Fellowship pays a stipend of $5000 in the first year and approximately $5000 in the second year. This award does not include a tuition waiver. Teaching Fellows are eligible for merit-based scholarships as well.

Applicants with relevant experience - including high school teaching or ESL instruction - are encouraged to apply.  For information on applying, please contact Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services, Candace Eros Diaz at or 925.631.4762

Hear from past MFA Teaching Fellows:

"Getting to teach at St. Mary's was such an important and fulfilling experience, both as a teacher and as a writer. When I say "getting to," I mean it--by the time I graduated, I felt like the teaching fellowship was something I was lucky to have done. The fellowship allowed me terrific mentoring opportunities, the experience of planning and teaching my own course, and the chance to work with truly wonderful students."--Jill Kolongowski (Creative Nonfiction, MFA '14)

"Teaching at St. Mary's has helped me gain valuable experience working with an energetic group of students who are committed to learning (even when class starts at 8 AM!).  While I have taught at both the high school and college levels, I've picked up some great ideas and classroom methods from my mentor teacher along with the other Composition faculty members here!"--Maria Judnick (Creative Nonfiction, MFA '13)

"I was eager to teach, but there were so many things I didn't know about how a class really operated. My teaching fellowship gave me the opportunity to be mentored by a professor before I took the leap. Heading into my very first class, I knew I had learned the skills required to truly serve my students."--Mary Paynter Sherwin (Poetry, MFA '13)

"Working at St. Mary's as a Teaching Fellow turned out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my entire MFA experience. I was nervous, at first, about teaching a class, but I had a great mentor who helped me become more confident about leading classroom discussions, and who helped me select readings, prepare syllabi, and organize course materials -- all things that remain useful to me now, as a college instructor."--Lain Hart (Fiction, MFA '12)

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