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Admission to the program is limited to the fall semester. Students applying for admission to the MFA Program generally have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in English from an accredited institution with a 3.2 GPA in upper-division English courses, meet University admission requirements, and submit evidence of creative ability in prose or poetry. When an undergraduate degree has been completed in a program having different requirements from those of CSULB or in some field other than English, additional preparation may be required.

Admission to the MFA program in Creative Writing is based in part on an evaluation of a representative sample of the applicant’s recent work. The sample should consist of 10 pages of poetry or 20-30 double-spaced pages of prose (one or more short stories, one or more creative nonfiction essays, or a section of a novel). Admission to the program will be in one genre only, and applicants are discouraged from submitting in both genres in the same year.

In addition to the writing sample, a complete application will include official college or university transcripts, two letters of recommendation (not from CSULB Creative Writing tenured faculty), and a brief “statement of background and purpose” addressing the student’s preparation and potential for commitment to our MFA program.

The Admissions Committee reads each application carefully, paying particular attention to the quality of submitted writing samples. The Program is committed to selecting those applicants who not only satisfy all the admission requirements but also demonstrate the highest levels of achievement and promise in their writing.

Application Process

Applications are accepted from October 1 through February 15 for entrance into the following year’s Fall semester only. Notification will be given after February 15. The completed CSU Graduate Application should be uploaded in Cal State Apply.

In Cal State Apply, select “CREATIVE WRITING MFA” as your major.  It is not under “English,” but rather within programs starting with the letter “C.”

Through CSU Apply, you will be asked to provide transcripts, a writing sample/statement of purpose (in one document), and two letters of recommendation. Links to upload these components of the application will be found there.

Questions concerning admission or degree requirements may be directed to Cris Hernandez, the Graduate Programs Administrative Coordinator.