MFA Application Instructions

Instructions for Applicants to the MFA Program in Creative Writing

Submit the complete application and all supporting materials by January 5, 2021––for Fall 2021. (We do not accept applications for the Spring term.) Please note that the system will close promptly at midnight, so you will be unable to edit your application past 11:59pm on January 5, 2021. The system is set to Maryland time (EST). If you are uncertain about what time that the system will close in your timezone, please look it up. We are unable to make exceptions for late applications based on timezone.

University of Maryland's Graduate Application Process

The University of Maryland’s Graduate School accepts applications through its application system. Before completing the application, applicants are asked to check the Admissions Requirements site for specific instructions.

As required by the Graduate School, all application materials are to be submitted electronically:

  1. Graduate Application which can be found here.
  2.  Non-refundable application fee ($75) for each program to which an applicant applies.
  3. Unofficial transcripts of your entire college/university record (undergraduate and graduate), including records of any advanced work done at another institution. Electronic copies of these unofficial transcripts must be uploaded along with your online application. Official transcripts will be required after an applicant is admitted to the program.
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation.  In your online application, please complete fully the information requested for your recommenders and ask them to submit their letters electronically. 
  5. Statement of Goals, Research Interests, and Experiences. The statement, which should not exceed 1000 words, should address relevant aspects of your educational experience, your creative interests, and your reasons for applying to our program. 
  6. A single Creative Writing Sample in the genre in which you are applying: for fiction, 15 pages (double-spaced); for poetry, 10-15 pages (single-spaced). To ensure that your application package is processed accurately, you must specify your genre (fiction OR poetry) in the online application.

Note: We no longer require--or recommend--that applicants to the MFA Program in Creative Writing submit GRE scores.

The electronic submission of application materials helps expedite the review of an application. Completed applications are reviewed by a faculty admissions committee in each genre. The recommendations of the poetry and fiction committees are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision. Students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean.  To ensure the integrity of the application process, the University of Maryland authenticates submitted materials through TurnItIn for Admissions. 

Information for International Graduate Students

The University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. The Office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students.  International applicants are encouraged to explore the services they offer, and contact them with related questions.

The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; it is not a guarantee of attendance.  Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland which will require submission of additional documents.  Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International Applicants for more information. 


Applicants are encouraged to direct any technical issues and questions related to the admissions process to the Graduate School (gradschool@umd.edu301-405-3644)