Spring 2020 Admission
Priority application deadline: September 1, 2019
Final application deadline: December 15, 2019
Spring start date: April 2020
Fall 2020 Admission
Priority application deadline: February 1, 2020
Final application deadline: July 1, 2020
Fall start date: September 2020
Priority Deadline applicants are eligible for scholarships and fellowships through the Graduate School.
For questions regarding the application and admission process, please Jordon Zardinejad, our recruitment coordinator.
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.
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:
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:
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 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 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 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.