What is a Low Residency MFA Degree Program?

Low Residency

A low residency degree program is a form of education where the students don’t have to live on or near the college campus. For example, if you attend a low residency program at Island Park College, you don’t have to reside in Island Park to attend the program. You can go through grad school in your hometown, or virtually anywhere in the world.

Many low residency programs have a short residency requirement, which means you must visit the campus or meet together with a cohort of fellow students for a period of time each semester. A typical residency is a week to several weeks in length. Requirements vary per program.

Most low residency degree programs employ distance learning, which is done through technology such as websites, ebooks, and video courses.

Other low residency programs use self-directed or experiential based learning, which means students design and carry out their own course of action with guidance and approval from the college or university. For example: rather than a student taking a standardized class on non-profit administration, the student might instead work at a non-profit—or even develop their own non-profit—while getting college credit for doing so.

Low residency degree programs are a good fit for creative students who are independent, self-directed learners. Non-traditional students (meaning that they’re older individuals with established personal and professional lives) can particularly benefit in a low residency program.

Anyone of any age who is interested in low residency education can have life-changing educational experiences with this form of education.

Next: The Pros and Cons of Alternative, Self-Directed, and Low Residency MFA Programs