College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Application Requirements

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.

Applicants to the MFA in creative writing must submit

  • Completed Application for Graduate Study (online).
  • Nonrefundable application fee.
  • Virginia In-State Tuition Rates Application if claiming entitlement to these rates.
  • One official transcript from all previous institutions attended. Transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Admissions Office or, if an official electronic transcript, to Mason’s official email address for transcript receipt. Official Transcripts.
  • Goals Statement. The goals statement should be 750-1000 words and address professional and academic plans. A well-structured goals statement should also explain the applicant's interest in the program, relate the program to the applicant's career and academic plans, discuss research interests, and highlight information that may be useful to the admissions committee.
  • Two letters of recommendation. The recommendations should be academic, rather than professional or personal. Requests for letters are submitted as part of the online application process.  
  • Portfolio of original work.  Portfolio requirements vary according to genre. Read the information below carefully.
    • Fiction portfolios should consist of at least two complete short stories, or novel/novella excerpts numbering no more than 50 pages in length. Please include more than one work in order to represent the breadth of your abilities. Work should be single-sided and double-spaced. An author’s note to explain excerpts or chapter selections from novels/novellas is appreciated by the admissions committee. 
    • Nonfiction portfolios should consist of at least two complete essays or the equivalent totaling no more than 50 pages.  A nonfiction portfolio may contain longer essays, biographies or autobiographies, but applicants should submit more than one work. Nonfiction portfolios should be single-sided and double-spaced.
    • Poetry portfolios should include up to 10 pages of poems and a table of contents. Applicants in poetry are welcome to submit long poems or shorter poems up to the requested 10 pages. Poetry portfolios should be single-sided and include no more than one poem per page with adequate margins and a readable font. The applicant's name should appear on every page and pages should be numbered and referenced in the table of contents.
  • Writing Sample.  1000-word nonfiction writing sample, preferably literary analysis.  The writing sample is optional, however is required of applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship. Read More >> 

Applicants with international academic credentials should apply 30 days before the program deadline and must also provide:

  • Proof of English proficiency: either TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English. Please refer to the university’s English Proficiency Standards.
  • Degree certificates, diplomas, or additional transcript documentation as outlined in the university’s International Transcript Submission Guidelines
  • Applicants may supply an official international transcript evaluation from an independent evaluation agency approved by NACES or AACRAO. The WES-ICAP evaluation service includes verified academic credentials as part of the evaluation package.

Application Deadlines

Fall: January 02

Applications are accepted for fall semester only.

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