Fall 2024 Admission

  • Application opens: September 20, 2023
  • Priority application deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Final application deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Fall start date: September 2024

Online Application

If you have questions about the application process, please contact the graduate student recruitment coordinator.
Phone: 541-706-2101


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. All listed items are due by the application deadline. Instructions are given both in the online application form and below.

  1. Online application form
  2. Personal Essay
  3. Two letters of recommendation 
  4. Two writing samples 
  5. Current resume
  6. Official transcripts of all previous academic work

Applicants must select “Poetry,” “Fiction,” or “Creative 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.

2. Please upload your Personal Essay (PDF format) when you are prompted. The Personal Essay should be three to five pages double spaced. 

Share how your life experiences and training have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree in writing, and help us get to know you better. Describe your specific writing goals and how our program will help you accomplish those goals. The following questions are intended as guidance, you are NOT required to answer them all.

  • Please tell us about your previous informal and formal academic experiences (e.g. degrees pursued, coursework, certificates) and how those have prepared you to pursue graduate studies at OSU-Cascades?
  • Please tell us about other relevant experiences (e.g. work or volunteer experience) that have prepared you to pursue graduate studies?
  • Based on your diverse life experiences, what lessons have you learned that you believe will support you on your graduate journey?
  • How have your background and life experiences influenced your writing and your desire to be a writer?
  • Please tell us about your previous formal or informal leadership and/or collaborative experiences and how you think these will help you succeed with graduate studies.
  • Do you have any extenuating circumstances that have affected past educational opportunities or your ability to be successful in them? If so, please describe to the extent you are comfortable doing so.
  • What writing project do you hope to embark on or complete?
  • How will graduate study help you complete your project?
  • How will our program advance your creative and professional goals as an artist?
  • What about our program excites you?
  • Why does a low-residency program appeal to you?
  • Are there specific faculty members with whom you're stylistically aligned?

3. The two 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.

4. The writing samples should reflect your best work. Each writing sample, personal essay, and statement of purpose must all be uploaded as separate files (PDF format).

  • Writing Sample #1 (Creative): Sample of any relevant published or unpublished work. (10-25 pages).
  • Writing Sample #2 (Critical): Sample that showcases your ability to assess, analyze, and critically reflect on a text or subject.  Examples may include a piece of college writing, an academic essay, a book review, or an article. (5-10 pages) 

  • OPTIONAL Writing Sample #3: Other samples of your work (up to 20 pages max). 

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 when prompted (PDF format).

The resume/curriculum vitae should give us a sense of who you are as a whole person; we do not expect 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 sent electronically to or hard copies can be mailed to Enrollment Services, Oregon State University - Cascades,1500 SW Chandler Avenue, Bend, Oregon 97702. Transcripts are only considered official if they’re received directly from the institution or a third-party service like Parchment or National Clearinghouse.

Online Application