Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Department of English

Apply to the MFA Program

Applications are accepted once a year in the Spring semester for admission to the following Fall semester. For Fall 2022 admission, the deadline to apply is March 1, 2022.

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.

Steps to Apply

Applying for admission to the MFA Program is a three-part process.

Applicants must apply to BOTH the Fresno State Graduate Admissions office and also to the MFA Program in Creative Writing. We also strongly recommend applying for financial aid and scholarships.

Apply online to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies at Fresno State through the Cal State Apply website. There is a nonrefundable $70 application fee. All applicants must pay the application fee; there are no application fee waivers for CSU post-baccalaureate applicants.

Download Cal State Apply's graduate application guide for more.

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., JA57
Fresno, CA 93740

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

NOTE: If your undergraduate bachelor's degree is from Fresno State, you do not need to submit an official Fresno State transcript to Graduate Admissions. (Transcripts from other institutions are still needed.)

The program application will be submitted online in the "Quadrant 4" section of your Cal State Apply application. You will answer several additional questions in Quadrant 4, and then you will be asked to upload the following:

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

• A copy of your unofficial college transcripts for MFA faculty review (all in one document).

• 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.

Letters of Recommendation

Also in Quadrant 4, you will be prompted to enter the names and email addresses of three recommenders, for your letters of support. We will not accept letters of support directly from the applicant; they must be uploaded online by your recommenders.

Your recommenders can be teachers, editors, or others familiar with your writing and academic skills, as well as your potential to contribute to the program’s environment. Letters are considered confidential.

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.

Please note: Though the Division of Research Graduate Studies lists April 1 as the university's deadline for applications to many programs, the MFA Program sets its application deadline earlier as March 1, 2022. Students applying must have both parts of their applications, as well as supporting materials, completed by March 1, 2022.

Also note: GRE scores are not required for admission.

International applicants should contact the office of International Student Services and Programs for additional guidelines and support.