MFA in Creative Writing

A Center for Literary Arts and Publishing Practice

Become a Mason Graduate Student

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.

You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.

Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application. George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as unofficial transcripts, goals statement and writing sample, at the same time you submit your application. Online applications require a non-refundable $75 application processing fee.

Step 2: Within a few days of submitting your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application.

Step 3: Check your application status and requirements checklist in your application portal. Initial processing takes 3 to 5 business days from the date of submission. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your admissions portal, so it is best to log in periodically to monitor your application status.

Step 4: For newly admitted students, refer to the CHSS New Graduate Student webpage for tips on confirming enrollment, submitting official transcripts, registering for class and more.

The fall graduate degree seeking application opens September 15.

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample

Additional Information

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.

Portfolio of original work.  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. Further details about applying for a GTA are embedded within the application itself.

TA Materials. To learn more about funding opportunities click here. Are you interested in applying for a teaching assistantship?

  1. Upload a 1000-word nonfiction writing sample, preferably a literary analysis. Ideally, you should select an essay that demonstrates your facility with undergraduate-level discourse about literature or a closely related field (e.g. film). We are looking for a clear and contestable thesis statement; a close engagement with the text you're interpreting and with the intricacies of language; an ability to incorporate scholarly sources into your argument, if possible; and a clear sense of audience and purpose. Feel free to select a portion of an essay for submission, taking care that you provide as continuous an argument as possible and that you frame the selection so that we can see how it ts into a longer argument.

  2. Upload a one to two page personal narrative that explains why you would like this appointment and how your experience qualifies you for it.

Non-Degree Applications. Interest in creative writing courses as a non-degree-seeking student also requires applicants to contact Gregg Wilhelm, Creative Writing Program Director, at

Application Deadlines

Priority Deadline: January 15

Funding Deadline: February 15

Final Deadline: April 1

Applications are accepted for fall semester only. Applications received by the priority deadline (January 15) receive the highest consideration in terms of offering funding support. Applications received between January 15 and February 15 may still receive funding consideration. Applications missing supplementary materials after April 1 will be considered until April 15, 2024.

Additional Requirements for