How to Apply


When to Apply

  • Applications are accepted for fall quarter only. 
  • Applications for Fall 2024 entry will open around October 1, 2023. The deadline to apply with fellowship consideration will be January 5, 2024. There is no benefit in applying early, as the faculty will not begin review of applications until after January 5.
  • If you are submitting your application close to the deadline, please be sure to notify your recommenders well in advance so that they may have their letters ready to submit immediately. Review of applications will begin very shortly after the deadline, and while missing letters of recommendation will not disqualify your application, it may put it at a disadvantage.

How to Apply

To apply for our program, complete the Graduate Division Application.

You must submit: 

  • A writing sample
    You must demonstrate significant professional skill in the genre to which you are applying. Your writing sample should consist of one of the following:
    • 10-15 pages of poetry
    • A maximum of 25 pages of nonfiction
    • A maximum of 20 pages or 5000 words of fiction
    • The first act or a maximum of 25 pages of a screenplay or play

Include your writing sample in the Additional Information section at the bottom of the Statement of Purpose/Personal History Statement page in your Graduate Division application.

  • Transcripts

    Transcripts demonstrating a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution, and transcripts from all other colleges attended. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to the "Additional Information" section at the bottom of the Statement of Purpose/Personal History Statement page in the Graduate Division website's application form.

    If admitted, official transcripts will be required from all colleges attended.

  • Three letters of recommendation
    These letters should be provided by instructors or professional contacts who can speak to your ability to succeed in a rigorous graduate program. When you submit your application, your recommenders will receive an email containing a link to upload their letter. Please give them advance notice so that their letters arrive on time and do not delay the review of your application.
  • A personal history statement 
    Use the personal history statement to tell us about who you are. Use it to give us a sense of where you come from and what has shaped you, particularly as a writer.
  • A statement of purpose and project proposal 
    In contrast to the personal history statement's look to the past, the statement of purpose is a look to the future. Tell us why you want to study in our MFA program and what you hope to accomplish with a graduate degree in creative writing. You should write it specifically for this application (it cannot be a copied and pasted resume). 

    Include your project proposal in your statement of purpose, either within the body of the statement or as a separate section. The project proposal should be a brief description of a full-length book, screenplay or play that you anticipate working on if you are accepted into our program. 
  • CV
    A brief outline of your educational and professional history
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores 
    If you are an international student and your degree is not from a university where the primary language of instruction is English, you must submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores. More admission information for international students can be found here.
  • The GRE is not required

Fee Waivers

The Graduate Division waives a limited number of application fees for applicants who are experiencing financial distress. Graduate Division typically issues all of its waivers one to two months after applications open in October, so interested applicants should submit a request as early as possible in the application period. Learn how to request a fee waiver

The CWPA program is unable to offer fee waivers.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Getting Accepted
Your Writing Sample
Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation 
Your Personal History Statement and Project Proposal

Visit the UCR Graduate Division for more information about admission.

Questions? Contact us.