The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is accepting applications for fall term.

Fall 2017 Admission

Priority application deadline: February 1, 2017

Final application deadline: April 1, 2017

Program begins: September 2017

Priority Deadline applicants are eligible for scholarships and fellowships through the Graduate School.

Please contact program director Dr. Emily Carr regarding admission to the program.

Click here to access online application

Overview of Application Requirements

A complete application will include the items listed below. All of these items except the official transcripts can be submitted online. Instructions are given both in the online application form and below.

  1. Online application form
  2. Statement of objectives (see details and instructions below)
  3. Three letters of recommendation (see details and instructions below)
  4. Writing sample consisting of 10-12 poems, or 15-20 pages of prose, which may be excerpted from a longer work. Hybrid samples may contain a mix of genres and should stay within the 20 page maximum.
  5. Current resume highlighting any publications, awards, fellowships, or relevant writing/teaching experience
  6. Official transcripts of all previous academic work

Applicants must enter either “Poetry,” “Fiction,” or “Nonfiction” as the area of concentration on screen #4 of the online application. Your selection determines how your application will be routed to the appropriate reviewers.

Instructions for Preparing and Submitting Materials

1. Complete the online application. You must begin by clicking on “first time user account creation.” This will initiate the process and allow you to return to your application as needed.

* Note 1: On screen #4, enter your area of concentration (see “Important Application Information,” above)

2. Please upload the Statement of Objectives (PDF format) when you are prompted for any additional documents. Your two-page double-spaced statement of objectives should address:

  • your long-term goals as a writer, including how you hope to use this degree, and what it will mean to you, personally and professionally
  • your preparation for graduate-level courswork, which may include preparation in the study of creative writing and literature but which may also involve leadership experience, community service, and knowlege in a non-writing field
  • your strengths AND weaknesses as a writer
  • your experience(s) as a member of a diverse community, and how you have worked through the challenges of living and/or working in a diverse community
  • your ability to communicate with people whose life experiences differ from your own
  • your readiness for graduate study that is largely independent and your ability to handle the independence and, at times, isolation of the Low Residency model
  • additional experience that seem particularly relevant to this application

The personal statement provides context for the writing sample and indicates the applicant’s passion and interest in pursuing a writing degree. This is where we look for applicants to talk engagingly and creatively about their work, to articulate their hopes and fears as writers and as people, to assess why they have chosen the writing life, and to articulate why they have chosen this particular low-residency creative writing program. If the writing sample gives us a sense of where you are now, then the statement of objectives is the opportunity to give us a sense of where you’re coming from and where you hope to go, as well as how you will function as a member of our community. We are also looking for evidence that you have the initiative, self-reliance and discipline to succeed in a long-distance learning environment. Be both specific and concise; include concrete details and relevant anecdotes. The personal statement is also an opportunity to explain why you chose to include particular pieces in your writing sample: how these texts demonstrate your strengths as a writer, as well as what you hope to learn by pursuing an MFA, and how you will contribute to your colleagues' growth as writers. Please practice the art of concision and precision and do not go over the two-page maximum.

3. The three letters of recommendation may be either submitted via the online letter of reference system or sent by regular mail to:
Enrollment Services
Oregon State University - Cascades, 1500 SW Chandler Avenue, Bend, Oregon 97702.
Letters sent by regular mail may be sent by you, in envelopes signed and sealed along the back flap, or directly to us by the recommenders.

Most recommenders prefer the online system, as OSU will send an email to each recommender with instructions for uploading a digital copy of the recommendation.

Letters of recommendation help to verify who you are, as a whole person. We are looking for the collegiality, self-reliance, and initiative, necessary to thrive both in long-distance mentorships and in intensive and close community during the residency periods. While we encourage you to contact referees who can speak about your writing and/or your academic background, it’s not necessary that these letters come from professors. You should choose referees who can speak specifically about who you are right now, your ability to succeed in graduate-level work, and/or your capacity for giving and taking constructive criticism.

* Recommendations from non-academic employers may be submitted. Please ask referees to speak to your writing experience, your educational experience, your work experience, and/or your ability to thrive in a low-residency graduate program. Please contact Dr. Emily Carr, Director, with any questions about recommendation letters.

4. The writing sample should reflect your best creative work. Please stay inside the page/poem maximums described in the “Overview” above. The writing sample and statement of objectives must be uploaded as separate files (PDF format).

We are looking for writing samples that accurately reflect the breadth and depth of your writing, and, if you write in more than one genre, encourage you to include work from more than one genre. Please do not feel limited by the genre you have identified in the application; we want to read the work that you feel best represents you as a writer.

5. Upload your resume as a separate file, as in step 4 above.

The curriculum vitae should give us a sense of who you are as a whole person; we do not expected that you have published or won writing awards. We do want to see that you are passionate and committed—not only to writing but also to other aspects of your life.

6. The official transcripts of all previous academic work should be scanned and uploaded directly to your application in the document upload section. Please scan and upload the front and back of each record if information is included on both sides. You can also mail hard copies to Enrollment Services, Oregon State University - Cascades,1500 SW Chandler Avenue, Bend, Oregon 97702.