Apply to the MFA Program

Application Deadline for Fall 2024: December 15, 2023

The University of Arizona MFA program’s online application is available from August 30 through December 15 each year. Applications must be finalized and submitted electronically by 11:59 pm MST on the December 15 deadline. The online application system will no longer process new or incomplete applications after 11:59 pm MST on December 15. 

We accept applications in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in any style and form. As always, applications are welcome from international and US-based students. All of our students receive equal funding known in academia as "full funding" which includes tuition, fees, and a stipend associated with teaching undergraduate classes (see other pages for details of terms and training). All students have the opportunity to teach (and be mentored in the teaching of) undergraduate creative writing classes in either/both their second and third years of study. Work on an MFA thesis -- usually a book-length manuscript -- is the emphasis of your time here.

We encourage you to look over faculty profiles and to familiarize yourself with their work, as well as to visit all UArizona MFA Program links -- including the FAQ page -- and relevant pages at the Graduate College. If you enjoy social media, consider following our Twitter feed for faculty, student, and alumni news. If your research into the UArizona MFA Program in Creative Writing does not answer your questions, send an email to the MFA Program Director,  Professor Farid Matuk.  Please use "Question from Prospective Applicant to UArizona MFA Program in Creative Writing" as your email's subject line. Thank you for your interest.

How to Apply

To apply, you must complete the University of Arizona Graduate College online application. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a GradApp account
  2. Complete your GradApp profile under "My Account".
  3. Select "Apply to a Program" from the sidebar.
  4. Choose "Degree Seeking" under application type and "Creative Writing (MFA)" under program of study.
  5. Choose the semester during which you wish to enter the program.
  6. Your application should now be initiated under "My Active Applications."


Admission Guidelines

Admission to the MFA program is extremely competitive: we get approximately 500 applications each year for approximately 6 positions. As you can imagine, that means that we get many very good applications. 

Admissions decisions are based largely upon our evaluation of your creative sample. GPA, personal statement, and letters of recommendation are also considered. Because of the quantity of applications, it is impossible to offer individual critique as part of the application process. All deliberations of the admissions committee are confidential.

We do not accept students who already hold an MFA in creative writing. The UA Graduate College does not allow students to get the same degree twice. (MAs and/or terminal degrees in non-creative writing fields are fine, however.)

Application Checklist

You are required to submit the following materials as part of your online application. Your application will not be processed until all required information is received.


  • Poetry applicants submit from 6 to 10 poems
  • Fiction applicants should submit up to 30 pages (typically a couple short stories or an excerpt of a longer work)
  • Nonfiction applicants should submit up to 30 pages (typically a couple essays or an excerpt of a longer work).

These should be recent, representative samples of your writing and writing ambitions. Please do not submit more than about 30 pages. Retain copies of all materials submitted, as manuscripts will not be returned. Please make sure your name is on your writing sample.

You may apply in more than one genre without paying an additional fee, but must submit complete writing samples for each genre to which you are applying. You need only upload one copy of all other materials (personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc.) when applying to more than one genre.

Letters of Recommendation

These should come from three people familiar with your creative work or your abilities or best qualities as a student, colleague, and a member of a writing community. Ideally, they should be able to attest to your ability and promise as a writer and your qualifications as a candidate for our MFA Program in Creative Writing. No form is required. Please follow the instructions on the online application for requesting your letters. (These are typically submitted electronically by the recommender.)

Statement of Purpose

Submit a 300-500 word statement expressing your goals and/or reasons for pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. What are your ambitions for your own work? What do you hope to accomplish during your time in our MFA program? What draws you to our program in particular?


Unofficial transcripts for all college-level work should be uploaded into your application. If you are accepted into the program you will then be required to send your official transcripts.


Include a resume listing employment, publications, prizes, awards, and honors.

GRE Scores

We do not require the GRE.

Application Fee

The Graduate College requires a $90 application fee, payable with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express. We are not able to waive this institutional fee. 


December 15, 2023