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

Concentrations

MFA in Creative Writing

Become a Mason Graduate Student

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

CHSS Graduate Admissions is self-managed. You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions FAQs page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.

Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application:

Step 2: Upon submission and payment of the online application, you will receive an email confirming application submission and instructions for uploading any supplementary materials required to complete the admission process. You will also be assigned a Mason identification number—called a G number—that will be key to all University communications. You can find this number through your self-service center.

Step 3: Check your application status. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your self-service center, so it is best to log in periodically to stay on top of your application.

Additional Requirements for

International Applicants

Students applying for graduate study must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education, which is verified from official transcripts, by the time they enroll at Mason. They should also have earned a GPA equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4-point scale.

Unofficial documents may be considered for admissions purposes only. Applicants may upload copies of their transcript with their application. Transcript must include a version in the original language as well as in English, and should contain a copy of the graduation certificate/diploma to verify the conferral date. Transcript evaluations can be made from unofficial documents.

For student who prefer to submit official transcripts instead, they can be mailed directly to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 4C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

Please review the guidelines for international transcript submission.

*Note: For admitted students needing an F-1 or J-1 visa, the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of International Services and Programs must have an official transcript on file before visa paperwork can be completed. These can be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions after receipt of a decision of admission to the above address.

Transcript Evaluations

A transcript evaluation is also required for all international transcripts. Evaluations must be completed by an accredited agency approved by NACES or AACRAO, or you may submit your transcript for evaluation by George Mason’s International Credential Evaluation office. If you choose to use Mason’s service, please expect 6-8 weeks for processing.

For more information, visit the International Application Hints section of the Admissions Website.

Proof of English Proficiency

Students who were educated outside of the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand must submit qualifying TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English exam results. All examinations require advance registration and it could take several weeks to receive your results. It is important to register for these examinations early.

Minimum scores required for each exam:

  • TOEFL: 88 points, minimum of 20 points in each section
  • IELTS: 6.5 total band score
  • Pearson: minimum score of 59

Visa Information

Please submit the following documents as part of your I-20 application:

If you already hold an F-1 or J-1 visa, please provide a copy of your I-20 form and your passport ID photo as part of your application. For questions regarding the I-20 application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions or the Office of International Programs and Services.

*Note: For admitted students needing an F-1 or J-1 visa, the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of International Services and Programs must have an official transcript on file before visa paperwork can be completed. These can be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions after receipt of an admitted decision to the above address.


Non-Degree Admissions

You have the option to take graduate courses in non-degree status. To apply, you must complete an online application for your intended start term and include transcripts as well as a resume. You will also be required to indicate on the application which courses you plan to take for approval during the application review process. Credits earned in non-degree status may potentially transfer to a degree program at a later date so long as it meets the program requirements and the program director approves the transfer. For information on transfer credit policies, please refer to the University Catalog.

Restricted Courses

The following courses are unavailable to non-degree students:

  • Anthropology: ANTH 535, ANTH 536, ANTH 650.
  • Communication: COMM 600, COMM 650. Permission of the instructor is required for 700-level courses.
  • Cultural Studies: Graduate-level Cultural Studies courses are unavailable to non-degree students.
  • Economics: Graduate-level courses are available to non-degree students only with the approval of the course instructor.
  • English: Graduate-level Creative Writing courses require the permission of either the program director or the instructor of a specific course. Samples of original creative work will be required before such permission is granted.
  • Psychology: Graduate course enrollment in Psychology for non-degree students is welcome, but must be approved by the instructor in advance. This is likely appropriate for numerous 500- and 600-level courses (and only a few at the 700-level or above), as long as the student has the required prerequisites or equivalent. The following (clinical assessment and intervention) courses are unavailable to non-degree students: Psyc 709, 710, 722, 750, 751,790, 810, 811, 816, 822, 823, 831, 832, 851, 860, 862, 881, 883, 885, 888.

Non-degree students are ineligible to take 800-level courses in any CHSS program.

CHSS non-degree enrollment is available for the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. The deadline to apply as a CHSS non-degree student is the last day to add classes for the relevant semester. Please refer to the Office of the University Registrar calendar for dates.

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample
2

Additional Information

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.

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 >> 

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: January 02

Applications are accepted for fall semester only. All applicants are strongly advised to submit all supporting documents by the program's posted deadline date.  Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis.

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