Application Checklist

Priority Deadline: December 10
Final Deadline: January 31
  • The completed online application

  • A manuscript of your work in each genre you are applying: no more than 10 pages of poetry or 10-15 pages of creative nonfiction or fiction (fiction and creative nonfiction writing samples should be double-spaced.  All writing samples should be in 12-point font.)  Acceptable formats include .doc, .docx, or PDF.

  • A personal statement should be at least two (2) but no more than five (5) double-spaced typewritten pages. In it, please describe in detail your background and current interests as a writer, as well as your ability and commitment to undertake graduate education at this time. If there is a particular faculty member you'd like to work with or if there is a specific reason you'd like to study at SMC please also indicate this in your statement. If you're applying to two genres, please address your abilities and experiences with regard to both. If you would like to be considered for any of our three (3) Community Partner Fellowships please indicate in your personal statement why you are an ideal candidate.
  • ​​A minimum of two (2) but no more than three (3) letters of recommendation (LOR) from people who are familiar with you and your work. If possible, and if you are applying to the Teaching Fellowship(s) in Composition or at the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum at least one of your letters should address your aptitude for teaching. The online application will ask you to provide the names and contact information of the people who are recommending you and their contact information. Once this information is supplied, the online system contacts them directly, with instructions about how to upload the LOR's.
  • One copy of unofficial  transcripts from the colleges you have previously attended, with proof of a Bachelor's degree from your degree-granting college. Please upload unofficial copies of transcripts via the online application system in order to start the review process ASAP. (Please note on your application if the name on your transcript is different from your current name.)  If your bachelor's degree is in-progress, send an unofficial transcript nowthen send the official transcript after your degree is posted.

    We also require one set of official transcripts from only your degree-granting institution(s). You may mail these directly to the program either before or anytime after the January 31st deadline. Please mail to:

    Saint Mary's College of California
    MFA in Creative Writing
    Attn: Application Materials
    1928 Saint Mary's Road
    PMB 4686
    Moraga, CA 94575

  • OPTIONAL: An essay of up to 1,000 words to be considered for Teaching Fellowships in Composition or the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC). The essay should describe your teaching experience or other relevant experience (i.e., editing, tutoring, coaching, professional writing, or any other distinguishing writing or mentoring experience), as well as your interest in and reasons for applying to the fellowship(s). Please be sure to comment on your teaching philosophy and include details about your values, beliefs, and approaches as a teacher. One of your letters of recommendation should address your relevant teaching experience.
  • Your resume or CV
  • A $50 application fee. Pay by credit card via the online application or make checks payable to Saint Mary's College of California. The online application will provide further instructions for applicants who want to pay by check.
  • Please note that the MFA Program does not require applicants to submit Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores.

Special Instructions for International Applicants

In addition to the above application requirements, international applicants should visit the International Applicants page for a complete checklist of additional applicaiton materials.

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact the Program Assistant at 925-631-4762 or

PDF icon MFA - Certification of Finances109 KB