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


MFA in Creative Writing

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.
  • Unofficial copies of transcript(s) from previous domestic institution(s) attended (uploaded via online application).
  • Goals Statement (uploaded via online application). 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.
  • Resume or CV (uploaded via online application).
  • The names and email addresses (via the online application) of the two faculty members or individuals with first-hand knowledge of academic capabilities who will be submitting the required letters of recommendation. The recommendations should be academic, rather than professional or personal. Please follow instructions on the online application for submitting this information.

Please Note: Submit your online application after uploading all of the requirements above. After your application is submitted and reviewed, you will receive instructions on how to submit the following required item:

  • Portfolio of original work (uploaded online).  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:

NOTE: 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. If you prefer to have Mason evaluate your international transcripts, you should apply 45 days before the posted deadline date.

  • provide proof of English proficiency: either TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English. Please refer to the university’s English Proficiency Standards
  • submit your official transcripts in a sealed envelope directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions either via postal mail or in-person to:

George Mason University
Office of Graduate Admissions
4400 University Drive, MSN 4C8
245 Johnson Center
Fairfax, VA  22030

For questions regarding the application process, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at or (703) 993-9700.

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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