The two-year Master of Arts in Writing and Oral Traditions program is for anyone interested in:

  • Learning how stories influence the way we think, feel, act and behave.
  • Exploring the creative process and their own creativity.
  • Understanding the power and application of narrative storytelling.
  • Being part of a motivated and close-knit learning community.
  • Melding self-directed learning with invigorating classroom learning.
  • Publishing or otherwise bringing their stories to life.

Meeting just 1-2 weekends a month (Friday 5-9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), students in this groundbreaking program work with best-selling authors, award-winning oral storytellers, recognized playwrights, acclaimed literary critics and renowned scholars to examine the historical, cultural, sociological, anthropological, psychological and mythological foundations of storytelling. The origins of language, our society's evolution from an oral to written culture, and how stories--both from the ancient past and modern day--help us connect, understand, transform and survive are among the many topics tackled.

Rigorous cohort-based explorations of fiction, non-fiction and other forms of writing allow students to discover and explore their interests, while mentoring, independent study lets them immerse themselves in their area of choice. Recognizing that successful writers need both independent creative space and a welcoming, supportive environment, the program provides a carefully monitored balance of autonomy and community, with each participant's creative goals always part of the mix.

At The Graduate Institute, we realize, respect and celebrate that each writer has a unique voice and view of the world.

Thus, throughout the program, you'll be encouraged to develop your own individual writing voice and style, as well as consider the impact a narrative can have on both author and audience. For all projects, you'll be mentored through each stage of the often-challenging creation and revision process.

Whether your goal is to become a confident, engaging oral storyteller, or to write a book or screenplay, the MA in Writing and Oral Traditions program will provide time-tested methods for bringing stories to life through the spoken and written word.


Course content in the Master of Arts Degree in Writing and Oral Traditions is delivered via four unique learning modules, each of which culminates with a retreat. Classes meet one weekend per month (Friday from 5 to 9 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm) and for one full week (Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm) in each of two summers. The degree is completed in 24 months.

  • Module 1: Orality Informs the Writer
  • Module 2: The Uniqueness of Voice
  • Module 3: Cultural Sources for Writing
  • Module 4: The Inner Life of Publishing
Program taught in:
The Graduate Institute

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Last updated May 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
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2 years
15,943 USD
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