The summer residencies usually take place in August on Goucher's scenic campus in north Baltimore. They are approximately two weeks in length and include writing workshops, seminars, panel discussions, craft lectures, faculty and student readings, and the development of a contract of work for the upcoming semester. The contract includes a reading list, a correspondence method for packet exchanges, and a description of writing projects.  The final summer residency is approximately five days in length and includes commencement.

The summer residencies offer MFA candidates the chance to interact with distinguished writers, as well as with representatives of the publishing community. Recent guest writers and editors have included Ted Conover, John McPhee, Adam Hochschild, Michael Paterniti, Nan and Gay Talese, Phillip Lopate, Vanessa Mobley of The Crown Broadway Editorial Group, and agent Betsy Lerner.

The spring semester begins with a weekend mini-residency in late January. The students arrive on Goucher's Baltimore campus on Friday afternoon for a weekend of writing workshops and one-on-one conferences.