Application Checklist

The deadline for receipt of all materials listed below is January 31, 2016 for admission in the fall of 2016.  

Your application to the MFA Program in Creative Writing consists of the following:

  • 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. If you are applying to more than one genre you must submit a manuscript in each genre and clearly indicate on the manuscript itself which genre it pertains to.  
  • Your Personal Statement should be at least two (2) but no more than five (5) double-spaced typewritten pages.  In it, you should 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 you’re applying to two genres, please address your abilities and experiences with regard to both.  
  • Your resume or CV
  • A minimum of two (2) but no more than three (3) letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with you and your work. In the online application you will be asked to provide the names of the people who are recommending you and their contact information. Once you have supplied that information, the online system contacts them directly, with instructions about how to upload the letters of recommendation.
  • One copy of unofficial transcripts from the colleges you have previously attended, with proof of a Bachelor’s degree from your degree-granting college. You can upload unofficial copies of transcripts via the online application system. (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 one nowthen send the official transcript after your degree is posted.

Official transcripts may be requested by the program at a later date depending on your admissions status.

  • If you would like to be considered for the Teaching Fellowship in either Composition or the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum, please submit a letter of application up to 1,000 words. Please 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 experience.

  • A $50 application fee must accompany the online application. Make checks payable to Saint Mary’s College or pay by credit card via the online application.

  • 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 online application requirements, please snail mail or scan and email the following in hard copy to the address above:
1. A copy of your English language test scores (TOEFL code for SMC is 4675)
Acceptable tests and minimum scores: TOEFL (min. score = 6) or IELTS (min. score = 6) or Michigan Test (min. score =77%) score
2. A copy of your passport
3. A copy of your bank statement or bank affidavit
4. A copy of Certification of Finances (attached at the bottom of this page)

The deadline for receipt of all materials is January 31, 2016 for admission in the fall of 2016.  

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services, at 925-631-4762 or

PDF icon MFA - Certification of Finances109 KB