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MFA in Writing Resources

Your resource center for all things residency and more. Here you'll find guidelines, forms, graduation resources, links to Crossett Library, travel and planning resources, and much more.



Program Guidelines

Updated 5/2024

The Bennington Writing Seminars (BWS) was founded in January 1994 by the poet Liam Rector, working with Bennington College and with a faculty of writer/teachers. In 2024 the Writing Seminars celebrated its 30th Anniversary.

Bennington College has long been a home to the practitioner/teacher and to writers including W.H. Auden, Ben Belitt, Kenneth Burke, Hortense Calisher, Nicholas Delbanco, John Gardner, Edward Hoagland, Stanley Kunitz, Bernard Malamud, Mary Oliver, Theodore Roethke, and Andrea Dworkin, among others.

In the winter of 1996, the Writing Seminars graduated its first class, conferring the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing and Literature to twenty students. The poet Donald Hall was the program’s first graduation speaker and continued to be engaged with the Writing Seminars until his death in 2018. Faculty who conduct workshops at Bennington during residency act as mentors to students during periods of correspondence in the months between each residency. At Bennington, we place as great an emphasis upon reading as we do upon writing—seeing the two, for the writer, as part of the same intertwining process.

The low-residency format is especially well-suited to the study of writing. The residencies that begin each term are, in effect, intense symposia, punctuated with periods of solitude, in tutorial correspondence with mentors. The Seminars offer concentrations in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as a dual-genre option to study across disciplines.

In keeping with Bennington's progressive tradition, the course of study in the Seminars is generated largely by the student. Students confer closely with their faculty members to form their own reading lists, and submit original work—fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—for critique at regular intervals throughout the term. The tutorial development of student work is at the heart of the Seminars, as it is at the heart of Bennington College and its other programs in drama, dance, music, the visual arts, and in the humanities, languages, and sciences.

The Seminars maintain a maximum student-to-faculty ratio of five to one in order to provide individual attention to each student.

The Low-Residency Format

The low-residency format is a response of the literary sensibility to the realities of modern life. It offers considerable freedom to the student, but the student must be self-disciplined and self-reliant.
During the correspondence period, students are expected to devote at least 25 hours each week to their writing and reading.

Once accepted into the Seminars in a particular genre (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or in the dual-genre), the student is committed to five residency periods (inclusive of their graduate residency) and four correspondence terms. Students who elect and have been approved for the dual-genre option, commit to six residencies and five correspondence terms. Over the course of the correspondence terms, each student will have four (five for dual-genre students) different teachers. We believe strongly that intense exposure to different sensibilities is, in the long run, one of the bounties of the Seminars.

The final term is more or less devoted to completing the required thesis: a portfolio of stories or a novel, or a combination of the two, for the fiction writer; a collection of a nonfiction work for the nonfiction writer; a manuscript of poems for the poet; or a mixed-genre portfolio, for students who have completed a dual-genre option, that reflects the course of study. Along with their thesis, and in order to fulfill their graduation requirements, students will also submit a revised critical essay (of approximately 15 pages which is finalized in their third term) and give a reading from their work during their final graduate residency.

The MFA is awarded upon completion of the thesis and final critical paper, both of which should have been generated while the student was enrolled in the program.


Sixteen credits are conferred per term, upon successful completion of all required work, and 64 credits are required for the MFA degree, 80 for the dual-genre option.

The Seminars are designed, over four terms and five residencies, to develop a steady engagement with the processes of composition of new work, revision, reading, and critical thinking. The Seminars aim, by stages, to prepare students to bring their work to readers and to the public through a final thesis, a final critical essay, and a final reading of a student’s original work.

Summary Of Requirements By Term

First Term & Second Term (and Third Term for Dual-Genre Students)
  • Ongoing original work, including revisions
  • 20 to 30 books read
  • 8 critical responses to readings
  • 10-page essay based on readings
  • 4 or 5 packet exchanges (depending on the term) with their teacher, at regular intervals
Third Term (Fourth Term for Dual-Genre Students)
  • Ongoing original work, including revisions
  • 20 to 30 books read
  • 8 critical responses to readings
  • 15-page critical essay based on readings
  • 4 or 5 packet exchanges with teacher, at regular intervals
Fourth Term (Fifth Term for Dual-Genre Students)
  • Ongoing original work directed towards completion of a thesis
  • Minimum of 10 books read
  • 4 critical responses to readings
  • 4 or 5 packet exchanges with teacher, at regular intervals
  • Submission of a thesis to final term teacher and to a second reader
  • Submission of a thesis and critical paper to Crossett Library
  • Preparation of a formal 20-minute reading of one's work to be given at the final residency

Students must attend two 10-day residency periods each year, one in January and one in June, plus a final graduate residency to mark the completion of the course of study. Dual-genre students will have one additional residency prior to their graduate residency (for a total of six). These are high-energy and high-demand sessions and we require full participation. Students must attend and participate in all scheduled workshops with their teachers and peers.

The residencies are meant to be a retreat from the routines and affiliations of daily life. Students must arrive the first day of the residency and leave no earlier than after the final scheduled academic event of the residency, being in residence the entire 10 days and planning travel arrangements and other commitments to ensure no break in the 10-day concentration.

Reasonable academic accommodations are available to students to help students meet the expectations of the program and are available to any student who qualifies for such accomodation. Once enrolled, students can request accommodations with the college’s Director of Student Accessibility Services. This process considers reasonable accommodations that reduce documented barriers to academic progress, support access, and do not pose an undue burden on, or fundamentally alter the program or program expectations.

During Residency, Students Can Expect:

  • To have work discussed in workshop sessions with other students in the same genre or, occasionally, to participate in a mixed-genre workshop. Students will send their work in advance of the workshop, as directed by our mailings, so that they will have ample time to read and fully comment on one another’s work prior to coming to each residency.
  • To confer privately with the new teacher. The purpose of the one-on-one meeting is to discuss the term's creative work, to develop a reading list, and to explain the format of the critical component of the work. The student is expected to read between 20 and 30 books each term for the first three terms (four terms for dual-genre students), a minimum of 10 books in the last term, and students should arrive at each residency with a first draft of their upcoming term's reading list, to be discussed with their teacher as a part of the contract for that term's work.
  • To meet with their teacher from the previous correspondence term, to talk about that term's work, and consider the connection to the work going forward.
  • To attend the lectures, lasses, and other academic opportunities presented and taught by visiting writers and faculty.
  • To attend the nightly readings of visiting writers and faculty.
  • To take advantage of informal opportunities for exchanges throughout the entire residency period.
  • The visiting-writer and faculty lectures are a crucial part of the educational mission of the residency, creating a community of learning for students and faculty alike. Unlike workshops and lasses that are primarily centered on matters of craft, visiting-writer and faculty lectures are meant to model the writer at work as they think about literature.

In the Writing Seminars, we recognize the inter-relatedness of all literary genres. A fiction writer could never graduate from the Writing Seminars without a grasp of poetry, and no poet can escape the demands and beauties of good prose. The tension between the line and the sentence is a music by which we live, study, and write.

Nearly every night of the residency period, faculty and guests will read from their works. The evening readings are a time for the whole Writing Seminars community to come together; lectures, readings, and classes offered during the residency are crucial features of the program, and should be attended by all students. Students may also organize a reading series of their own, in which every student is encouraged to participate.

There are also various discussions and panels organized on subjects of pressing interest to all serious writers: publication, reviewing, employment, diversity, agenting, the general business of writing and publishing, etc., which can be crucial for a writer’s professional and artistic development.

Some Useful Definitions:

  • Lectures typically take place in Tishman Lecture Hall for the whole BWS community. These are (almost always) a written text delivered on a literary, life-of-letters, or craft subject. They last about an hour, and are followed by a half-hour for questions and discussion.
  • Classes take place (usually) in the Symposium Room of CAPA, and are for students only (faculty do not attend). Some are literature seminars with reading to be done in advance. Others have been more craft-focused or generative. Handouts—or pre-assigned texts—are usual. These are also 90 minutes with ample time for questions.
  • Ask Me Anything Q&A sessions, usually delivered in the Symposium Room of CAPA, provide opportunities for students to ask faculty members directly about their writing careers, book publishing, craft, or any other topic relevant to the BWS course of study.  
  • Readings are held in Tishman. Faculty, fellows, and guests read from their work each night of the residency, except Tuesday (Dark Night), when no sessions are offered; and the second Saturday, when commencement and the graduate reception are held.  
  • Life of Letters are live interviews usually with the Commencement speaker and/or other distinguished guests. These are held in Tishman and the interviews are conducted by faculty members or staff.
  • Professional Development Seminars are held in the Symposium Room in CAPA and are interactive sessions led by publishing professionals who offer insider advice.

The Correspondence Exchanges Throughout Each Term

The Writing Seminars has two terms of slightly uneven length. During the shorter winter term beginning in January, students are required to complete four packets of work, though individual teachers may schedule and request five. In the longer summer term, beginning in June, students are required to complete five packets of work.

The packets will consist of written responses to readings and a predetermined amount of work in the genre as decided between the student and teacher during their one-on-one meeting. Teachers have great flexibility in determining the proportions of new work, revision, and critical writing within each packet; deadlines and due dates are set in conversation between teachers and students. The teacher should always be the student’s first point of contact in clarifying these matters.

Punctuality between students and teachers in exchanging packets is essential to the nature of the low-residency educational process. Teachers will announce at each residency the deadlines for receiving packets from their students, and teachers should have their responses to packets in student hands no later than 10 days after those deadlines unless they communicate otherwise directly to the student. Teachers have the flexibility to set their schedule and syllabus with each student. For instance, some teachers indicate 10 business days for their responses. The teacher and student should be in direct and collegial conversation throughout their time together. Most teachers will request to use email as the primary method of exchange of work, and we require that all students and faculty correspond via their Bennington College email account.

The responses by teachers will be thorough, taking up detailed matters, writing style, the inner logic of the sequence, etc., and larger perspectives. However, students should expect each teacher to work differently within a fixed framework of expectations and requirements for each term.

Teachers will only write midterm evaluations if they are concerned about a student's progress. Midterm evaluations are not made part of the student's transcript, but are used to assess strengths and address any problems.

This is a low-residency program—for teachers as well as students—and we continue to find our  model of one correspondence exchange per month for either four or five months to be an ideal one for the teaching of writing. While more frequent contact is generally discouraged, there are always contingencies, and teachers and students are free to make arrangements that are mutually acceptable.

By the same token, students are encouraged to interact with each other throughout the term. We encourage students to create communities—real and virtual—that will outlast their two years in the Seminars.

Our teachers expect to read only work-in-progress, work of the present. Past work, through substantive revision with a teacher, can become work of the present. Only work done in or revised while in the Seminars can be included in the final graduate thesis and critical paper. Reading of other past work is left to the discretion of each teacher.

After the correspondence period the student and the teacher have a final meeting at the following residency. This is the time for both to reflect upon the collaboration, take care of any unfinished business, and consult about the transition and the upcoming project work.

Dual Genre Guidelines

The dual-genre option is a five-term program of study reserved for students who are judged advanced enough in two genres to produce a satisfactory thesis that includes work from both genres. Students will study three terms in the major genre and two terms in the minor genre. Dual-genre students are not required to produce more writing or submit more packets per term than single-genre students.

To be considered for a dual-genre degree, applicants must apply in two different genres. If the applicant’s manuscripts are accepted in both genres, the applicant will study three terms in the major genre (the one they applied in primarily) and two terms in the minor genre, successfully completing 80 graduate-credit hours over five terms.

Dual-genre students will work with three different teachers in the major genre and two different teachers in the minor genre and will attend a total of six residencies. The sequence of study will be: terms 1 and 2, major genre; terms 3 and 4, minor genre; term 5, major genre.

Students who do not initially apply in more than one genre may apply to study in a second genre by or before their second term. Application deadlines are September 1 for the upcoming winter term, and March 1 for the upcoming summer term. The decision to approve or deny students into this option will be made by the Executive Director, Director, and the Faculty Admissions Readers.

Any changes over the course of the dual-genre student’s study, including, in particular, any change in the designation of major and minor genres, must be made by March 1 or Sept. 1 prior to the student’s second term. Such changes must be approved  the Executive Director and Director and assigned scholarships may be adjusted accordingly.Dual-genre students may not submit work in more than one genre per term, with one exception: in the student’s final term, the student must submit for the teacher’s approval a creative thesis that contains work in both major and minor genres. A faculty second reader will also evaluate the work of the entire thesis.

Page requirement for dual-genre theses: three-fifths of the thesis must be dedicated to the major genre and two-fifths must be dedicated to the minor genre. A dual-genre thesis consisting of both prose and poetry, where prose is the major genre, would be 125–150 total pages, of which 40–50 pages would be poetry.

Section I

Rules and Policies

Please note: The following rules and policies and all other provisions of these guidelines supersede any previous guidelines. By enrolling in the Writing Seminars, students automatically accept the rules and policies and acknowledge the right of the Writing Seminars to impose penalties and to take disciplinary action.

After each residency, residency evaluations will be sent to students, along with course evaluations at the end of each term. The Writing Seminars offers the following assessments: Pass, Marginal Pass, Fail, Incomplete, Withdrawal. No partial credit can be given for the term's work. Credit will not be awarded if the student has not completed the term's work to the teacher's satisfaction. There are no letter grades, unless specifically requested. No partial credit can be given for the term's work. Credit will not be awarded if the student has not completed the term's work to the teacher's satisfaction.


A student has sufficiently completed graduate level work for the term.

Marginal Pass

A student’s material is of insufficient quality, quantity, unacceptably late. The student consistently struggled to complete graduate level work.


A student did not sufficiently complete graduate level work for the term. Failure of a term results in dismissal from the program.


An Incomplete may be considered when extenuating circumstances such as illness or death in the family arise. In such a case, the teacher may, at their discretion, recommend an Incomplete for the term, if material is of insufficient quality, quantity, unacceptably late, or simply not finished. All Incompletes will be reviewed by the Executive Director, and the Director, in consultation with the teacher who will make the final decision to confer the Incomplete and will also define a written plan for completion of work. If work is not completed by the date specified in the plan, the student will be denied credit for the term and will receive a failing grade.

Students who have received a Marginal Pass for the term or are carrying an Incomplete or are on Academic Probation are no longer considered in Good Academic Standing and will be allowed only one subsequent term to get back in good standing.

Leave of Absence

Students may request one, one-term, planned Leave of Absence (LOA) during their two years in the program. The student must notify the administration of their leave request by March 1 (summer) or September 1 (winter). A LOA is a one-term academic pause. Students must notify the administration of their intent to return by March 1 (summer) or September 1 (winter.) Students will not receive correspondence from the school during their leave, nor do they attend classes, workshops, or the residency. Students may take only one leave of absence during their time in the program.

Requests for leaves of absence must be received via this form by these deadlines: March 1 for the summer term and September 1 for the winter term. No exceptions will be made.

If a student decides for any reason to take a leave of absence after the listed deadline, they may finish the term but will be considered withdrawn at the end of the term, and will be required to reapply to the Seminars with the same status as other applicants seeking admission for the term to which they are reapplying.


In cases of emergency, severe illness, death in the family, etc., a student may need to withdraw from the Seminars either in the middle of a term or at completion of a term. The first step is to discuss their situation with the Director.

If a student withdraws from the Seminars during the correspondence term, a letter of withdrawal (an email) must be submitted to with a copy to the Executive Director and Director. In cases of medical emergency, a doctor's note may be provided with the request for withdrawal. Students in good academic standing at the time of the withdrawal are encouraged to reapply.

Note: A student who withdraws from the Seminars any time before degree completion will be assessed fees according to the schedule in effect and published by the Business Office at the time of withdrawal. If they have been awarded a scholarship, they will forfeit that award. (See “Withdrawal” and “Refund” sections.)


A student who has withdrawn from the Seminars, but was in good academic standing, may reapply during one of the admission periods: deadlines March 1 and September 1. Their application will be considered for admission along with all other applicants. There is no guarantee of readmission or renewal of any awarded scholarship.

Teacher Selection

First-term students will be paired with their teacher by the program administration. In subsequent terms, after midterm but before the residency, students are asked to submit a request to work with faculty for the next term via a ranked list. The aim of our program is to have students work with a different teacher each term. While we work hard to consider a student’s choices, and to grant their first choice at least once during their time here, we make no guarantees.  We may need to assign a teacher outside the scope of those a student has selected or, in very rare cases, a student may repeat a term with a teacher. We ask for understanding and acceptance if that happens. Lastly, students SHOULD NOT lobby the administration or teachers for preference. Students are assigned to faculty by the program administration; it is important to note that faculty do not choose the students they work with, nor are they consulted during the selection process. The program administration assigns faculty for first-term students.

Students cannot change teachers once the teacher assignment has been made.

Thesis Guidelines

The final term is the "thesis term,” a period of concentrated focus during which the student, in consultation with the final term teacher, completes the thesis required for graduation. For fiction writers, this is a collection of stories or a novel, or a combination of the two, 100-120 pages; for nonfiction writers, a manuscript of either a collection of essays or a single topic book, 100-120 pages; and for poets a manuscript of poems, 48-64 pages. For dual-genre students, three-fifths of the thesis must be dedicated to the major genre and two-fifths must be dedicated to the minor genre, 120-150 pages of prose for nonfiction and fiction; 40-50 pages of poetry.

Any exceptions to the length requirements must be approved in advance by the teacher. The decision of the teacher is final. Due dates, established by the Seminars, will be strictly observed. A mixed-genre portfolio, dictated by the student's course of study—work done by dual-genre students, of course—will be allowed.
A final panel (consisting of the final term teacher and a second reader) will be established for each student, for approval of the thesis manuscript. The final-term teacher will act as the student’s primary thesis advisor and first reader.

The second reader’s responsibility is to approve (pass or fail) and write an evaluation of the thesis, which will be made a part of the student’s final record; second readers do not meet and confer with students about their thesis and are chosen by the program administration. Second readers are not obligated to read beyond the maximum number of thesis pages required for graduation, even if a student’s teacher has approved the submission of a longer manuscript. Students receive short written second-reader feedback after their final residency.

The panel will submit its recommendation for approval to the Executive Director of the Seminars and the Director. The final course credit and graduation eligibility cannot be established until the thesis manuscript has been received and approved.

In addition to the copies submitted to the final-term teacher and second reader, each student will submit one copy of the thesis and one copy of their critical paper for archival purposes to Bennington College’s Crossett Library, during the first five days of the final residency.

Critical Writing Guidelines

See separate critical writing guidelines below.

Academic Progress & Academic Standing

Academic progress in the Bennington Writing Seminars is both quantitative and qualitative. Every student’s academic progress is evaluated each term. As a result, students earn a level of academic standing: Good Standing, Academic Probation, or Dismissal.

All students are considered full time. The number of credits earned per academic term is 16. Each term is deemed completed when all work has been received and accepted by a faculty member. A total of 64 credits is needed to fulfill the degree; 80 credits are required for the dual-genre option.

Once the teacher has written the final narrative evaluation of the term's work and deems the work satisfactory, the credits are conferred. No partial credit can be awarded for an incomplete term.
All students are given access to Populi, the college’s academic records platform, and are expected to check their Populi account for their grades and evaluations after each term. Questions on how to use the system can be addressed to Carly Rudzinski, Registrar’s Office,

The narrative evaluations become part of the student's transcript. For transcript purposes, these evaluations serve as a short portrait of student accomplishments.

The final narrative evaluation includes a qualitative judgment of Pass, comparable to (A-C); Marginal Pass, comparable to (D); or Fail, comparable to (F). To remain in Good Standing, a student should receive a Pass each term. A student who receives a Fail will receive no credit and faces dismissal from the program. Only one Marginal Pass is allowed during the four terms of the program (five terms for the dual-genre option). A student who receives a Marginal Pass for a term will be put on Academic Probation in the coming term. If a student receives a second Marginal Pass, they will be dismissed from the program.

When requested by an individual student, a letter grade will also be conferred. Such a request must be made in writing before each term begins and be approved by the Director. You may request letter grades via this “Letter Grade Request” form by December 1 for Winter (January) term and by May 1 for Summer (June) term. Under no circumstances will letter grades be reversed once conferred or conferred retroactively once a student has graduated from the Seminars.

A student may be given an Incomplete instead of a grade when extenuating circumstances arise, such as illness or death in the family. In such a case, the teacher may, at their discretion, recommend an Incomplete for the term. All Incompletes will be reviewed by the Director, who will make the final decision to confer the Incomplete and will also define a written plan for completion of work. If work is not satisfactorily completed by the date specified in the plan, the student will not receive credit for the term, will have to repeat the term, or may be dismissed from the Seminars.

Extensions on Incompletes are not granted.

Causes for dismissal include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to attend workshops
  • Late receipt of packets
  • Incomplete or insufficient work
  • Unsatisfactory work
  • Plagiarism
  • Dishonesty
  • Failure to comply with the Guidelines
  • Behavior that endangers the health, safety, well-being, or overall community of the Seminars

The Executive Director and the Director shall determine whether to dismiss a student and will render their decision in writing to the student. The student may appeal the decision of the Director within one week, in writing, to the Provost of the College. The decision of the Provost  is final in all cases.

Graduation Ceremony

At the end of each residency, there will be a graduation ceremony held on campus. Graduating students participate in the ceremony during their graduate-term residency. Students are encouraged to invite family members and friends to celebrate.


The faculty lead workshops during the two 10-day residencies in January and June, advise students about their courses of study, correspond with students during the terms between residencies, give public readings of their work, and, on occasion, offer lectures and classes.

Visiting writers conduct classes, lectures, and discussions of literature that take place within the 10-day residencies, and give public readings of their work during each residency.

In addition to the faculty, the administration of the Writing Seminars is taken up by the Executive Director, the Director, the Director of Special Projects, and the Program Coordinator. The Executive Director is responsible for the vision and direction of the Seminars, and for the hiring of faculty and guests. The Director is responsible for implementation of the academic program of the Seminars on a daily basis, including the residency, and serves as advisor to all students. The Program Coordinator is in year-round residence at Bennington College, and responsible for communications and business between the Seminars and the College.

Bennington College is governed by its Board of Trustees, who bear legal and fiduciary responsibility for the institution; by the President of the College, who serves at the pleasure of the Trustees; by the Provost; by the Executive Director of the Seminars, who consults with the College concerning Seminars Guidelines, and is responsible for faculty hiring, evaluation, and dismissal; by the Directors, and by the Program Coordinator. Each has a specific role to play, with specific responsibilities.

Within what we have to offer, there is great freedom for students to fashion their own courses of study. The Seminars cannot function as a democracy, but within its hierarchy we plan to maximize the greatest freedom and responsibility possible for its administrators, teachers, students, and staff.

The composition of the faculty varies from term to term while also maintaining basic continuity according to the needs of the administration and the program. The visiting writers generally change from residency to residency, although some visiting writers may return.

The faculty meets regularly at the beginning of each residency.

Nuts and Bolts


Students may begin their studies in the Seminars during either of the 10-day residency sessions in January or June. Admission is limited and competitive.

Students are admitted to the Seminars primarily on the strength of the original manuscript(s) and the essay submitted with the application. Each manuscript is judged according to its literary merit, its promise, and its indication of a student's readiness to study writing and literature at the graduate level.

Although we encourage students to write broadly in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction and criticism, students will be accepted to work in one primary genre, unless they apply for the dual-genre degree option. With the exception of the dual-genre option, students stay in their chosen genre of focus. The manuscript(s) submitted with the application should be in the genre(s) in which the student intends to concentrate.

Applicants should also provide a two- to three-page essay on their reading life and their literary influences.

Students who are applying to the Seminars will often have completed some graduate work or attained graduate degrees in various fields; the Seminars may consider accepting the transfer of up to one semester’s worth of credits earned at an accredited creative writing program that awards MA, MFA, or PhD degree. Please see the transfer credit policy.

Normally a bachelor's degree is required to gain admission, but this requirement can be waived if the admissions readers in consultation with the administration deems the quality of the application warrants such an exception.

In making admissions decisions, in addition to the original manuscript(s) and the essay, we will give weight to previous education and life experience. We look to see that a prospective student has the ability to work independently, successfully utilize the low-residency format, and benefit from direct criticism within the collaborative nature of the residency periods. Our aim is to help guide students who are very self-motivated and who have already made their compact with the world of writing and reading.                               

Official transcripts from previous schools attended must also be submitted, along with recommendations from three people familiar with the student's writing and capacity to sustain study independently and collaboratively.

A $75 nonrefundable application fee ($100 for dual-genre applicants) is required. This fee cannot be waived.

Financial aid is available in the form of student loans. These funds must be applied for within the deadlines outlined on the application form. We invite interested applicants to call and discuss these matters in detail.

Application Deadlines

Currently September 1 for the next Winter term, beginning with the January residency; and March 1 for the next Summer term, beginning with the June residency.

Students who accept enrollment must make the matriculation deposit (described below) by the specified deadline to be considered fully enrolled.

Fees and Billing

A required, nonrefundable matriculation deposit of $500 is due upon acceptance into the Seminars. This deposit is nonrefundable and holds the student’s placement in the Seminars. The full amount of the deposit will be applied to the student’s first-term tuition.

The Seminars fee for the first four terms (five for the dual-genre option) includes tuition, room and board, and is billed prior to the beginning of each term. In addition, students are billed for their “graduate residency fee” prior to the fifth (or sixth, in the case of dual-genre students) and final residency. All fees, including the final residency fee, are due and payable as stated on the bills for each term. Payments not received by the Business Office by the due date will be assessed late payment penalties.

Students who have not paid in full all amounts due and payable to the College, or whose loans are not guaranteed before the first day of classes of the upcoming term and who have not requested and received written authorization from the Business Office, will not be allowed to enroll in the residency, attend workshops, or to occupy or use campus facilities. Such action will not constitute release of the student or the other responsible party from his or her financial obligation to the College.

Financial Aid

The primary responsibility for financing an education belongs to the student. Financial aid is available in the form of student loans. To begin the application process, those students who are applying for financial aid fill out and return the financial aid application form at the time they apply to the Seminars. The Financial Aid Office requires the following: the Bennington College Financial Aid Application, a copy of the most recent federal income tax return, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and financial aid transcripts. The student must complete the financial aid process by the deadline determined by the Financial Aid Office and in any event before the start of the residency.


Scholarships are awarded at varying amounts to students on the basis of merit and need and with input from the admissions readers, the Executive Director and the Director. There is no application process and all admitted students are considered for scholarships (though not all are awarded.) Scholarship monies are awarded upon admission to Bennington and spread across the terms in which a student is enrolled.

All scholarship monies derive from the generosity of Bennington Writing Seminars alumni who give in order that future writers can receive the gift of time, craft, and camaraderie that is a Bennington trademark.


Requests for withdrawal from the College for any reason must be submitted in writing to and to the Director. The effective date of withdrawal is the date on which this written notice is received. The enrollment fee is forfeit in the event of a withdrawal.

Students receiving federal aid will have refunds calculated in accordance with federal refund policy. Details are available from the Financial Aid Office.

Refund Policy

A student who is not receiving federal financial aid who withdraws from the Seminars at any time, from the first day of the term before its completion, will be assessed fees according to the schedule published by the Business Office in effect at the time of withdrawal.
All terms begin with the on-campus residency. Should a student withdraw for any reason after the term has begun, the calculation of tuition, room, and board will be revised for the term based on the following guidelines:

  • Withdrawal on or during the first 5 days of the term. A student withdrawing on or during the first through the fifth calendar day of the term will be charged 25% of the full term charges;
  • Withdrawal before the 11th day of the term. A student withdrawing on or during the sixth day through the 10th day of the term will be charged 50% of the full term charges;
  • Withdrawal before the 15th day of the term. A student withdrawing on or during the 11th day through the 14th day of the term will be charged 75% of the full term charges;
  • After the 14th day. Students will be charged 100% of the full term charges beginning on the15th day of the term.

Students receiving federal aid will have refunds calculated in accordance with the federal refund policy in effect at the time of withdrawal. Details are available from the Financial Aid Office.


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“Buckley Amendment”) of 1974 guidelines are followed. Student academic records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar. Faculty and Administrators may review student records as needed. Students may review their own records.

Transcripts are maintained by the Registrar’s Office and may be requested by students by filling out this form. There is no charge for transcripts. Transcripts contain the teachers’ final evaluations. No student will be permitted to receive or to direct delivery of an academic transcript to another institution, agency, or individual until all of the student’s financial obligations to the College have been met.

Section II

Bennington College Policies And Procedures

See the Human Resources college-wide employment policies (linked below where appropriate) for the most up-to-date information.

Campus Resources

Crossett Library, the media center, and the post office will keep regular hours, to be announced before each residency. Sports equipment may be requested through the Meyer Recreation Barn Fitness Center, and the fitness center may be used only when a monitor is on duty.


Writing Seminars students live in single rooms in student houses. Housing is all-gender with shared bathrooms. Bed linens, blankets, pillows, and towels are provided. It is the policy of the College that children and families not be housed in any campus residence hall.


Meals are provided by the College in the Commons dining hall. There are various dietary options available at all meals. There is no reimbursement for meals not taken.

Smoking Policy

Weapons Policy


Students may park properly registered automobiles in designated lots. Vehicle registration information will be taken at registration.

Motor Vehicle Regulations

All vehicle and traffic laws promulgated by the State of Vermont are effective on the Bennington College campus as elsewhere in the state. Vehicles in operation must be licensed, registered, insured, equipped, and otherwise legal to operate.

All motor vehicle accidents that occur on campus must be reported promptly to Security. Motorists are reminded that leaving the scene of an accident or failure by a motorist to file a Report of a Motor Vehicle Accident form (available at Security) is a violation of Vermont law.

Security has the responsibility for enforcing motor vehicle rules and regulations. Anyone violating motor vehicle regulations may be prohibited from driving on campus. The College has the authority to ban vehicles from campus.


Fire lanes must be kept clear at all times. Cars parked in fire lanes are subject to towing.

Vehicles must be parked only in areas to which they are assigned. (See Parking Rules and Regulations available at Registration.)

Speed Limits

No vehicle shall be operated at a speed above the posted speed on the speed limit signs.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is prohibited. The College defines reckless driving as driving that endangers people, property, or animals. Examples of reckless driving include, but are not limited to, drunk driving, driving at an excessive rate of speed, failure to yield to pedestrians, and driving across lawns.

Animals on Campus

Fire Regulations

The use or possession of candles or incense in any campus building is strictly prohibited. Halogen lamps with bulbs that exceed 300 watts are prohibited in student houses and faculty and staff offices.
Hallways and all areas of egress in student houses must be kept clear at all times. MFA Students are not permitted to use the fireplaces in dorms or other buildings during the residency.

It is strongly suggested that students use power strips in their rooms. Three-way plugs may not be used anywhere in student houses.

Gatherings in student-house living rooms must not exceed the Vermont Fire Code. The maximum number is 80.
Gatherings in student rooms must not exceed the Vermont Fire Code. The maximum number of students in a room is 8, including the occupant of the room.

Bonfires are prohibited without the approval of the Director of Campus Safety. Approval for a bonfire is subject to the safety and environmental conditions as determined by the North Bennington Fire Department and/or the College.





Safety Devices

All student houses are equipped with fire extinguishers, and all the houses have smoke detectors and sprinkler systems in the common areas as well as in all student rooms that are linked to a located-annunciator panel in the Security Booth. Tampering with fire safety apparatus is a serious offense. Vermont law states that “a person who willfully or knowingly tampers with, interferes with, or impairs any public fire apparatus, wire, or associated equipment (including fire extinguishers) shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000 or both.” Students who tamper with such equipment will be subject to College and/or state sanctions, which may include fines, suspension, or expulsion.

Writing Seminars Regulations Regarding Alcohol and Parties

Only persons of legal drinking age under Vermont state law (21 years of age) may consume alcoholic beverages on College property. The use of a false ID or falsifying one’s ID is a violation of College policies and state laws.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available at every function where alcoholic beverages are available.

Publicity and posters for College functions may not mention alcohol or imply that it will be available. Publicity and posters are not permitted for private parties that promote or mention alcohol or imply that it will be available.

Admittance to events at which alcohol is served is limited to the College community and invited guests.

With the exception of parties attended by fewer than 8 people (the number in compliance with the fire code) held in individual rooms, alcoholic beverages may not be served at any event on College property except under the auspices of the College’s catering permit through the Director of Food Services, who will determine if Vermont alcohol and beverage control regulations can be enforced.

Kegs of beer or beer balls are prohibited from College residences.
Consumption of alcoholic beverages out-of-doors or possession of an open container of alcoholic beverages out-of-doors on the Bennington campus is prohibited except at registered outdoor parties, which can only be sponsored by the College’s catering service.

Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited. Alcohol may not be sold directly or indirectly at parties held in individual student rooms.

Summary of Vermont State Laws on Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

Check the Vermont Department of Health web site for the most up-to-date legal guidelines.

A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing cocaine, heroin, LSD, or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic, or hallucinogenic drug may be imprisoned for up to one year and/or fined up to $2,000. For selling cocaine or heroin, a person may be imprisoned for up to five years and/or fined up to $100,000; for selling any other depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, a person may be imprisoned for up to five years and/or fined up to $25,000; for selling LSD or other hallucinogenic drug, a person may be imprisoned for up to five years and/or fined up to $25,000.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Consensual Relationships

Because of their potential to damage the bonds of mutual trust and responsibility upon which the Bennington community depends, sexual or dating relationships between faculty and students, as well as between staff and students, are prohibited at all times and in all circumstances except those described immediately below, even if the relationship is consensual and regardless of the age of the student.                                                       

Recent Bennington College graduates who are hired in a staff role and who have an existing dating or sexual relationship with a current student may be exempted from this policy if they have no supervisory or functional staff role with the student and where the College, in its sole discretion, determines that such is not a conflict of interest or in conflict with the best interests of the student; however, they must inform both Human Resources and their hiring manager of the existing relationship before they are hired. Failure to abide by this policy will result in discipline of the faculty or staff member, up to and including dismissal from employment at the College.

Critical Writing Guidelines

We believe that critical writing—defined, for the purposes of the Writing Seminars, as analytical prose about literature, and sometimes about other art forms—is an integral part not only of a writer’s education, but of their ongoing literary practice. We read to become better writers, we write to become better readers—the two activities are always in conversation; criticism provides the opportunity to turn this inner conversation into a work of literature, an essay written with intelligence and insight, but also with style and voice, those same elusive qualities we pursue and refine in our creative work. In fact, we believe that critical writing can be as “creative” as fiction or poetry in its deployment of precise and intentional language. Critical writing is creative writing, or should be, which is part of why we place such an emphasis on it in the Writing Seminars.

Writing Seminars students submit critical pieces throughout each term in the form of Annotations, which are short, energetic responses to books read; and in three essay-length papers submitted at the end of the first three terms. These pieces constitute opportunities to respond to exemplary writers, tease apart aspects of writerly technique, embrace or reject literary stances, and reach the kinds of understandings about writing that can only come through writing itself. They also provide practice in the argumentative essay, an essential tool in literature and life, and a template for many other literary structures. The practice of critical writing also invites students to find new uses for their literary voice: critical writing should be made of the same materials as creative work: well-wrought prose with a strong sense of authority and even personality. The critical practice strengthens the creative one, and vice versa.

Students’ annotations and essays can and should take many forms, some of which are detailed below, a mix, for the annotations, of informal responses, mini-essays, imitations, and close readings. The longer essays delve deeply into matters of technique, content, and style; they are extended opportunities for discovery and definition.

The Writing Seminars critical writing curriculum is designed to help students:

  1. Develop the skills necessary for the writing of effective argumentative essays, including close reading, textual analysis, the effective use of quotations and information from primary and secondary sources, and the development and support of a clear and provable thesis;
  2. Become intimately familiar with the work of a number of writers and to keep deepening that familiarity by revisiting some of those writers to reconsider impressions and analyses;
  3. Read literary works as writers in order to understand how various technical aspects of writing function and how they might be applied to the student’s own creative writing;
  4. Practice the writing of clear prose that could be understood by a general interest reader.

Through the writing of Annotations and three 10- to 15-page essays over the course of the MFA in Writing, students will develop complementary critical and creative writing skills.

Aspects of the Argumentative Essay

Bennington MFA students write argumentative essays, no matter the format, tone, or structure chosen, nor whether they envision a specialized audience or a general interest reader. The goal is to make a claim and convince the reader that it is correct. So, each essay will have a clear thesis statement (the claim), which will be located early in the piece, in the first few paragraphs, in which the writer will set up the stakes and situation of the argument before getting into the main body of the piece, the supporting evidence. This will be material—quotations, and paraphrased and summarized passages—drawn from various sources, works by and about the author under consideration. Most of the piece will consist of examples and arguments about how those examples support your thesis. Countless structures are possible, but most argumentative essays, no matter how unconventional, utilize these elements.


A separate Annotations Guide, with questions and ideas to use as starting points, as well as sample annotations, is made available to all Writing Seminars students.

The Essay Sequence

Students will turn in an essay in the last packet of each of the first three terms. The essay sequence is broadly structured as follows (essays questions and prompts are made available to all students, along with a library of sample essays):

First term, On Technique (10 pages): Students will focus on a single aspect of writerly technique as exemplified in a particular work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry read that term.

Second Term, Author Focused (10 pages): Students begin to delve into the work of a single author, identifying and making an argument about that writer’s literary technique, subject matter, and influence.

Third Term, Single Author, In-Depth Investigation (15 pages): For the final essay, which is written and submitted in the third term and resubmitted with the final creative thesis in the final term, may look in greater depth at the same author as the previous essay, or at another author. Students will examine this writer across several books and in conversation with secondary sources, such as contemporary reviews and scholarship.


Student Resources

General Residency Notes


Please refer to our Info for Residency Participants page for the most recent updates regarding protocols. See below for pre-arrival testing information.

Our Campus

Prior to your arrival, take some time to download the campus map, and familiarize yourself with the surrounding Bennington area. You can also take a virtual campus tour.

Our Offices

The Writing Seminars Office is located on the second floor of Cricket Hill/Literature House (#1 on the campus map).

Housing and Meals

Housing, including restrooms, is all-gender in single dorm rooms in the Bennington College residence halls. Bed linens for the Twin-XL beds, blankets, pillows, and towels are provided. It is the policy of the College that children and families not be housed in any campus residence hall. College policy for the MFA in Writing program stipulates no overnight guests. There are also no pets allowed. Once your room is assigned, it cannot be changed. See additional information under "Planning for Residency" below.

We will try to house you by class, but cannot guarantee it. Please do not lobby for housing.

Take a look around at the various residential housing (these virtual tours are conducted by undergraduates). Writing Seminars students are typically housed in the Barnes Houses, Woo Houses, and Colonial Houses.


Three meals per day (except on arrival and departure days) are provided by the College in the Commons Dining Hall (#14 on the campus map). There are various dietary options available at all meals. There is no reimbursement for meals not taken.

Campus food staff can accommodate all food allergies and dietary needs. They prepare vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options regularly. Please let them know directly when you arrive for your first meal if you have any outstanding needs.


  • Registration: 10:30am-5:00pm, in Commons Lounge — If you will be arriving before 10:30am, we cannot issue keys, so please be patient until registration opens; if you will be arriving after 5:00pm, you can pick up your packet and room key at Campus Safety (a small red building on the left at the main entrance to campus, #12 on the campus map). Note: Light fare and beverages will be available at registration.
  • In order to receive your room key, and ID if you are new, you must have paid your tuition in full.
  • Parking: Please do not park on the street in front of the residence halls, except to unpack. Please park only in designated student "SP" areas identified on the campus map and do not park on the grass. Parking maps will be available at registration. Violators will be towed.
  • Dinner: 5:30–7:00pm
  • Faculty Readings: 7:00pm, in Tishman Lecture Hall
  • All-MFA Reception: 8:00pm, in Roz’s Cafe/Commons

Departure Day

Sunday is a travel day. There are no workshops or academic events on that day. All Writing Seminars community members must be checked out of their dorms by no later than 1:00pm and keys returned to Cricket Hill by no later than 2:00pm, please.

Note: There are no overnight accommodations for faculty and students before Thursday and on the final Sunday night of each residency. There are also no accommodations at any time for pets. Overnight guests are not allowed in the residence halls, nor are babies and children.

How to Get Here (Travel and Shuttle)


The Office of Student Life, Campus Safety, and Bennington Writing Seminars have contracted with Green Mountain Express (GMX) to provide shuttle service to/from our Bennington, Vermont campus and the Albany, New York transportation hubs listed below on the first day of residency and on the last day. Reservations must be made in advance — the deadline is MAY 15, 2024. You MUST reserve a spot by this date in order to ride the shuttle. The GMX shuttle is white and green with “The Green Mountain Express” logo—it will pick up and drop off at the following locations: Albany International Airport, Albany-Rensselaer train station, and Albany Bus Terminal.

While there is no charge for the shuttle, if your plans change, we ask you to please notify Campus Safety (; 802-447-4250) so that others can be accommodated, the shuttle doesn't wait unnecessarily, and so Bennington Writing Seminars is not charged for non-riders.

Shuttle Schedules

The schedules for June 6 (arrival) and June 16 (departure) are listed below and on the reservation form. TO MAKE A RESERVATION, USE THIS RESERVATION FORM. Shuttles will fill up quickly, so please reserve your spot(s) in advance of the MAY 15 deadline, if possible.

Thursday, June 6, 2024
Departs from Albany to Bennington College

Shuttle #1

  • Departs bus terminal 9:55 am
  • Departs train station 10:20 am
  • Departs airport 11:00 am
  • Arrives campus Noon

Shuttle #2

  • Departs bus terminal 12:55 pm
  • Departs train station 1:20 pm
  • Departs airport 2:00 pm
  • Arrives campus 3:00 pm

Shuttle #3

  • Departs bus terminal 3:55 pm
  • Departs train station 4:20 pm
  • Departs airport 5:00 pm
  • Arrives campus 6:00 pm

Shuttle #4

  • Departs bus terminal 6:55 pm
  • Departs train station 7:20 pm
  • Departs airport 8:00 pm
  • Arrives campus 9:00 pm
Sunday, June 16, 2024
Departs from Bennington College to Albany

Shuttle #1

  • Departs campus 7:15 am
  • Arrives airport 8:15 am
  • Arrives bus terminal 8:40 am
  • Arrives train station 9:05 am

Shuttle #2

  • Departs campus 9:15 am
  • Arrives airport 10:15 am
  • Arrives bus terminal 10:40 am
  • Arrives train station 11:05 am

Shuttle #3

  • Departs campus 11:15 am
  • Arrives airport 12:15 pm
  • Arrives bus terminal 12:40 pm
  • Arrives train station 1:05 pm

Shuttle #4

  • Departs campus 1:15 pm
  • Arrives airport 2:15 pm
  • Arrives bus terminal 2:40 pm
  • Arrives train station 3:05 pm
Reserve Your Shuttle by MAY 15.


If your plans change unexpectedly or you experience travel delays, please notify Campus Safety by phone (802-447-4250) as soon in advance as you can. If your call is not immediately answered, please leave a detailed message with a callback number. Contacting Campus Safety ensures that the shuttle does not wait unnecessarily, and Campus Safety can provide information on other transportation options (which you can also find below). Non-shuttle travel arrangements and expenses are your responsibility.

In the event of a shuttle delay or cancellation due to inclement weather, passengers will be notified at the cellphone number provided by you (the passenger) on the registration form two hours prior to the scheduled pickup time. Bennington College is not responsible for missed trains, buses, or planes due to shuttle delays.

If you have any questions, please contact Campus Safety (; 802-447-4250).

Coordinating your own ride

If you need or prefer to coordinate a ride yourself, OR if you are coming in early or late and need a way to get to Bennington, please contact:

  • AJ Transportation, 802-442-7129
  • BG Stewart, 802-688-7420,
  • Big John’s Transportation (John Masker), 518-522-2205
  • KT Transportation, 518-728-5030
  • Reliable Transportation LLC (Thomas Carieri), 802-236-7205,
  • UBER/LYFT: More reliable FROM Albany TO Bennington, than the other way
  • Upstate Green Cab, 518-956-0332
  • Yellow Cab, 518-434-2222

The cost of a one-way trip from Albany is typically around $100, excluding gratuity (check details when you call). Carpooling with others in the program—splitting the cost two or more ways—sometimes works out, so we recommend reaching out to your cohort/friends. Confirm the cost of the trip when you make the reservation.

Bus Lines

Planning for Residency


COVID-19 Information

The College requires MFA in Writing participants to be up to date on COVID vaccination (primary series + booster, if eligible) to attend the residency. We ask that you test negative for COVID prior to arriving on campus. If you are COVID positive, please follow all CDC guidelines. The CDC no longer requires a five-day isolation period, but the updated Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends mandatory masking and to stay away from others until you are at least 24 hours fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medication).

If COVID cases rise during the residency, we may require masking in all spaces for everyone’s safety. Please bring enough KN95 masks and home tests to cover your time at the residency.

If you wish to request an exemption from the vaccination based on a medical contraindication or religious reason, email Health Services at and your request will be reviewed. We also highly recommend you get a flu shot (during flu season) before coming to campus.

Please bookmark our Info for Residency Participants page and check back regularly for updates as this policy may be revisited and revised. Please direct all questions regarding COVID to the College’s COVID Task Force at


All rooms are single occupancy, with shared all-gender restrooms, and are modestly furnished with a Twin-XL bed, pillow, dresser, desk, lamp, and chair, plus sheets, blankets, pillows, and two (rather small) towels. That's it. The rooms are basic, nothing fuzzy or fancy.

Each house has a living room and a kitchen with stove, sink, refrigerator, microwave oven, but not many cooking utensils, as meals are provided in the Dining Hall.

We will try to house you by class, but cannot guarantee it. Please do not lobby us for special housing. Before the residency begins, we will ask if you have any housing needs due to a documented medical condition. We will then assign rooms accordingly.

It is the policy of the College that children and families not be housed in any campus residence hall. College policy stipulates no overnight guests. There are also no pets allowed. Once your room is assigned, it cannot be changed.

Take a look around at the various residential housing (these tours are conducted by undergraduates). Writing Seminars students are typically housed in Barnes Houses, Woo Houses, and Colonial Houses.

We expect you will live together amicably and work out the issues of communal living. All houses are "quiet" houses after 11:00pm. That said, many students like to hang out in the common areas after that time, so please be generous to each other. There is no smoking allowed in any of the houses.


Washers and dryers are located in all residential houses, and are free of charge.

What to Bring

  • Vaccinations: Before you arrive, ensure you're up to date on vaccines, including the flu vaccine, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
  • COVID-19 Protocols: Be sure to check the current guidelines. All those in attendance at the on-campus residency must be vaccinated/boosted. Refer all questions about COVID policy to and not to the Bennington Writing Seminars office.
  • Ticks & Lyme Disease: In June especially, we recommend bringing an EPA recommended tick repellent. We are in an area known for Lyme ticks and encourage you to check yourself for ticks throughout residency. For information about Lyme, please consult this primer.
  • Type of clothing: Informal and varied. Most people opt for comfort. Some like to dress up for the graduation ceremony and reception, some don't. It's your choice.
  • Recreation: Walking shoes, hiking boots, yoga mats, tennis rackets, softball or baseball gloves, Frisbee, swimsuits (if you like to swim in a cold lake or town pool), snowshoes (during winter residency). The Office of Student Life Office and Meyer Recreation Barn usually have some equipment for tennis, basketball, volleyball, and softball, among other things.
  • Miscellany: To help assure your creature-comfort needs are met, you might want to consider bringing a fan in the summer, a surge protector-combo-extension cord, an extra lamp, an alarm clock, a bathrobe, slippers, a coffee mug, and ground coffee, waffle (egg-crate) mattress cover, etc. Simple toiletries are provided by the College (tiny bars of soap, white flat sheets, a blanket, and very small towels), but you might want to bring your own if you don't like basic institutional issue. Note: Extension cords without built-in surge protection are not allowed in student housing. Candles and incense are also not allowed in the student houses. The College cannot store your supplies or bedding between residencies.

Health Services

Participants have access to community resources if healthcare is needed.

In the event of a medical emergency: Dial 767 (“SOS”) from any campus phone to reach the Emergency Dispatcher (do not dial 911) or call the Campus Safety Dispatcher at 802-447-4250 (program this into your phone)

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
100 Hospital Drive, Bennington, VT 05201

Open seven days a week, ExpressCare at
Southwestern Vermont Medical Center offers care for minor illnesses and injuries.

140 Hospital Drive, Suite #111
Bennington, VT 05201

Insurance: Virtually all health insurance provides coverage for emergencies, but may involve some out-of-pocket expense to you. Coverage may be more limited for non-emergency care, depending on your policy. If you are unsure, call the customer service number on your insurance card, explain what services you think you need, and ask what your policy covers. Also ask for a list of “in-network” healthcare providers in this area.

Respect and Privacy

All residency activities, including classes, lectures, readings, etc., are for enrolled Bennington Writing Seminars students, faculty, staff, and volunteers only. Evening faculty and guest readings are open to the public and will also be live-streamed.

  • Do not share any content, links, students lists, residency schedules or other information with any outside parties
  • Do not copy, remove, or modify any electronic files or share Zoom links or recordings
  • Failure to adhere to these rules will result in dismissal


The ATM is located in the north corridor of the Barn and available between 7:00am and midnight.

Library and Bookstore

  • The Crossett Library will be open every day throughout the residency (hours will be posted on The HUB). The staff is very helpful. Faculty books are prominently displayed during the residency as are graduating student theses and critical papers which are bound and displayed by the class themselves.
  • The Bennington College Bookstore will have Writing Seminars faculty books, any course books faculty recommend, and a good selection of alumni work. You can contact 802-440-4361 for information. Hours will be posted on The HUB.

Computer Lab

The computers are located on the third floor in Commons for student use 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Card ID: The Bennington Card

The Bennington Card is the official identification card of Bennington College. It is issued to all members of the College community and is required for identification, access to meals, printing, residential houses, and other essential campus services. It also offers a convenient prepaid spending account for making cashless purchases around campus. The spending account enables you to add funds online to the Bennington Card for purchases with no added costs. Account balances roll over from term-to-term and year-to-year and can be refunded when a student leaves the College.

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to create your Bennington ID card in order to gain access to housing and meals. Sign in with your Bennington credentials and upload your headshot here. IT will print your ID cards and you will receive them in your registration packet. Note: Temporary ID cards will be issued for alumni guests and visiting writers.

If you lose your ID or if your ID does not work, visit the Help Desk first floor of Commons near the Lounge (#14 on the campus map). You can also reach them at 802-440-4476 during residency business hours (see The HUB for hours of operation), or by email at If it’s after hours and you need access to your room, call Campus Safety’s non-emergency number. Dial x0 from any campus phone or 802-447-4250.


Bennington College sits on 470 acres of rolling meadows and woods, very lovely to walk, and not at all hard to look at. The Meyer Recreation Barn, located below Crossett Library next to Buildings and Grounds, offers a fully equipped exercise facility, including free weights, weight machines, cardiovascular equipment, and a climbing wall. Note: Shoes with black soles are not allowed in the aerobics room (they are fine elsewhere—weight room and cardiovascular area). Hours will be posted on The HUB.

Mail and Packages

The Post Office/Package Department, for packages/parcels, is located in Buildings & Grounds. Office hours for both are Monday-Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm. Daily (weekdays) incoming deliveries occur from USPS, UPS, and FedEx Ground, as well as from DHL and FedEx Express. Package and mail notifications will be sent via email to your email account, and must be picked up by you rather than being delivered to you. If you need the contents of the package you are sending to yourself on arrival day, please plan accordingly so it arrives on campus a day or two ahead of time and make sure you have arrived before 4:00pm on arrival day to pick it up. Outgoing mail and shipments (with prepaid labels) can be sent out from the Post Office/Package Department. If a label is needed, the Post Office can be of assistance.

You may ship things to yourself ahead of residency—clearly label with your own name and "Writing Seminars" on the address. The address is Bennington College, One College Drive, Bennington, VT 05201. Note: If you will shipping items back out at the end of the residency, please be aware that the shipping department needs to have your package by 3:45pm on the last Friday; they can offer other shipping suggestions for Saturday and Sunday, if needed.

For further Post Office assistance, please reach out to Tracy at and


Meals will be served on the second floor of Commons. Meat, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes are offered at most meals. While there is a strong commitment to dietary needs, the kitchen may not be able to accommodate your exact special diet. Please advise dining services if you have any dietary restrictions/allergies and make it a point to talk with the dining services director after you arrive.

Smoking policy

In accordance with Vermont State law, the College is required to provide employees, students, and visitors with clearly stated guidelines on when and where they may smoke. The state policy restricts smoking in all places of public access. The policy has been formulated in recognition of the Surgeon General’s conclusion that: smoking is injurious to health; and involuntary (or second-hand) smoking is a cause of disease in nonsmokers The College has designated its administrative, academic, and other public buildings smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted inside any of these buildings nor within 30 feet of entryways and exits of all buildings. Smoking is not allowed in any faculty or guest rooms or residences.

Vending machine

A vending machine is located in the Upcaf stairwell.

Information Technology

Contact the HelpDesk with any questions or visit their webpage.

On-Campus Locations and Resources

Social Media: Connect, Comment, Share

Stay up to date on all things Bennington Writing Seminars by connecting with us via social media:

Questions? We can help

Writing Seminars Staff

Mark Wunderlich
Executive Director

Megan Culhane Galbraith, MFA '15

Craig Morgan Teicher
Director of Special Projects

Cathy Gee Graney
Program Coordinator

Mollie Hawkins, MFA '23
Social Media Manager

General email:

General information