MFA Degree Application Checklist

Priority Deadline: December 12th, 2022
Final Deadline: January 30th, 2023
  • 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 pages. In it, please describe in detail your background and current interests as a writer, as well as how you might contribute to our generative, inclusive community. 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 our Teaching Fellowships, our MARY Journal Managing Editor Fellowship, and/or any of our three Community Partner Fellowships please describe your interest in your personal statement.
  • ​​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 in Composition, at least one of your letters should address your desire to teach. 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.

    Upon admittance, we also require one set of official transcripts from only your degree-granting institution. You can mail these to:

    Saint Mary's College of California
    Office of Admissions
    PMB 4800
    Moraga, CA 94575-4800

    Official electronic transcripts can be e-mailed directly to the Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment at

  • OPTIONAL: An essay of up to 1,000 words to be considered for a Teaching Fellowship in Composition. The essay should include a reflection on why you want to teach first-year writing at Saint Mary's College, as well as describe your experience learning to write in college and how that experience may inform your own values and approaches to teaching academic writing. One of your letters of recommendation should address your desire to teach.
  • 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 Collin Skeen, Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment, at