Apply to the MFA Program

Applications are accepted once a year in the Spring semester for admission to the following Fall semester. For Fall 2017 admission, the deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MFA Program requires:

• A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the undergraduate major. (International students must score well above the university’s minimum on the TOEFL.)

• University application and required materials.

• Program application and required materials.

Applying for admission to the MFA Program is a two-part process. Applicants must apply to BOTH the Division of Graduate Studies at Fresno State and also to the MFA Program in Creative Writing. (International applicants should contact the office of International Student Services and Programs for additional guidelines and support.)

Though the Division of Graduate Studies lists April 1 as the deadline for applications, the MFA Program sets its application deadline as March 1, 2017. Students applying must have BOTH applications, as well as supporting materials, completed and postmarked by March 1, 2017.

Please note: As of Fall 2007, GRE scores are not required for admission. And as of Fall 2009, the program’s foreign language requirement has been dropped. 

How to Apply

1. University application — Apply online to the Division of Graduate Studies at Fresno State through the CSUMentor website. There is a nonrefundable $55 application fee. All applicants must pay the application fee; there are no application fee waivers for CSU post-baccalaureate applicants.

For supporting materials, you must submit your official college transcripts (and TOEFL scores, if you are an international applicant) directly to the university for admissions review. Transcripts must be received in sealed envelopes directly from the institution from which you will or have graduated.

For domestic applicants, mail your transcripts to:
California State University, Fresno
Attn: Graduate Admissions
5150 N. Maple Ave., M/S JA57
Fresno, CA 93740

For international applicants, mail your transcripts to:
California State University, Fresno
Attn: International Admissions
5150 N. Maple Ave., M/S JA56
Fresno, CA 93740

2. Program application — Download and complete the MFA Program Application form (pdf, 216kb). The form should be mailed directly to the program, along with the following supporting materials:

• A brief personal statement (one or two pages) that discusses your interest, background, and goals in creative writing.

• A copy of your college transcripts for MFA faculty review.

• A writing sample of your creative work (up to 10 poems or 25 pages of prose) to be evaluated by the creative writing committee. Prose submissions may be a continuous selection from a book-length work, such as a novel, or a collection of multiple short stories or essays. Screenplays and scripts are not accepted, as these forms are not within the primary scope of the program. Please send clean, easy-to-read copies of your work.

• Three letters of recommendation from teachers, editors, or others familiar with your writing and academic skills, as well as your potential to contribute to the program’s environment. If sent together with your other application materials, these letters must be sealed and signed by the recommender across the envelope's flap. Recommenders may also send their letters directly to the department, attention MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Mail your program application materials to:
Fresno State, Department of English
MFA Program in Creative Writing
5245 North Backer Ave., M/S PB98
Fresno, CA 93740

3. Financial Aid application — In addition, students are strongly encouraged to fill out a general Scholarship Application for California State University, Fresno, as well as a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that the deadline for these applications is different (read: earlier) than the program application. See our MFA Program financial assistance page and also our English Department scholarships page for more details and support.