MFA Applicant FAQ

I need a funded offer to attend Mason.  What funding is available to me if I am not a TA candidate?

We have limited departmental funds for recruitment and relocation of applicants depending on state funding levels.  In some cases. the program director can also offer one-time fellowships from our pool of donations to the Creative Writing Program.  For third-year students we also offer six Fellowships that second-year students may apply for, a call for applications usually occurs in the Spring semester.

What employment opportunities are there at Mason for MFA students?

There are several great opportunities for MFA students who want to work at Mason.  Other programs/schools at Mason often look for teaching or research assistantships and open the search to MFA students.  They may either be posted on our MFA listserv, or advertised on our Human Resources site:  We are also contacted by the local community college, NOVA, or the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) headquartered at our Fairfax Campus with vacancies.

If I am not a TA candidate now, can I be considered for a TA position in the future?

Yes, you can apply for and be considered for a position in your second or third year.  You will be applying along with other interested MFA applicants and students.  For those TAs who desire to teach, you must complete a pedagogy course and have completed 18 graduate credits before you can enter the classroom.  However, taking the class and the 18 graduate hours will not guarantee a teaching slot.  

When will I hear something from Mason regarding my application to the MFA program?

Once Graduate Admissions receives the application packet they create an e-file for the faculty review teams.  Decisions may take several weeks depending on the volume of applications and the timing of decisions with regards to TAships. The English Department will send out a letter of congratulations to those applicants who are accepted into the program. A second letter will also be sent from the Graduate Admissions office.

What is the next step once I hear I am accepted into the program?

First, follow the instructions from the Graduate Admissions Office to essentially convert your account from an applicant to student. Your acceptance letter from the English Department will include detailed information on next steps.  Please follow those instructions carefully! It is very important to notify Graduate Admissions Office and the English Department if you are accepting your admission or not.

When can I visit the campus and take a tour?

The GMU Admissions Office conducts periodic Graduate Information Sessions, including a schedule that includes weekends, for applicants to learn more about Mason and take a tour.  Their schedule can be found on the Admissions web site.   Also, the Creative Writing Program conducts Open Houses in the Spring Semester that include: a tour; Meet & Greet with faculty and current students; and an offer to attend an evening graduate class.  More information can be found on the creative writing web page usually in January for that Spring's schedule.

Can I transfer credits that I earned at another institution?

Transfer of credit requests are completed after admission and matriculation to our program.  Once you join Mason and settle in, contact our Graduate Academic Coordinator at 703 993-1180 to discuss limits and also the reduction of credit for an earned masters degree.

Where can I find housing for the Fall? Are there housing options on campus for graduate students?

Access to the MFA listserv is very important for new students as we post housing opportunities to the MFA listserv.  We also have our on-campus graduate housing - Masonvale located on George Mason's Fairfax campus.  In addition, we host an off-campus housing link.

When can I expect to hear something regarding my admission into the program?

Unfortunately we don't admit, waitlist and deny everyone at once.  There may be a few waves of correspondence that go out to our applicants.  Applicants should check their GMU account for updates regarding application status and decisions.