Master of Fine Arts Admission Requirements

Savage Library

Checklist for Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Admission

Complete all sections of the online application.

Forward the following to Western's Extended Studies Graduate Office, Taylor 303, 600 N. Adams Street, Gunnison, CO 81231, or email to Extended Studies (ExtendedStudies@western.edu):

  • an official transcript of the bachelor's degree, demonstrating   evidence of literary and/or film studies of at least four (4) undergraduate or graduate courses. The baccalaureate-granting institution must send the transcript directly to the Western State Colorado University Extended Studies Graduate Office.
  • an 800- to 1,000-word personal statement describing writing experience and commitment to writing. This statement should include the applicant's own assessment justifying candidacy to Western's M.F.A. in Creative Writing for the chosen concentration.
  • a 20- to 30-page writing sample in the appropriate genre, double spaced and numbered, or properly formatted for the appropriate genre. The Fiction concentration sample should cap at 25 pages and ideally be from a single work. The Poetry concentration sample should include 20 pages of poetry and 10 pages of poetic analysis in prose. The Screenwriting concentration sample should include a complete scene or short.
  • at least two letters of professional recommendation from those capable of assessing the applicant's preparation to succeed in a low-residency M.F.A. program. All letters must be submitted on letterhead, must be originals, less than a year old and signed by the person giving the recommendation.
  • For Poetry Concentration only: Poetry applicants must have sufficient preparation in a foreign language (ancient or modern) to work on translation with aid of a dictionary and other supporting texts during second year of studies.

Non-Matriculated Enrollment

Anyone holding a baccalaureate degree may apply to take up to nine credit hours of 600-level graduate coursework at Western.

To apply to be a non-matriculated student, please forward the following to Western’s Extended Studies Graduate Office, Taylor 303, 600 N. Adams Street, Gunnison, CO 81231, or email to Extended Studies (ExtendedStudies@western.edu):

  • Application. Download here.
  • One-page cover letter explaining your desire to take classes in one of the MFA’s three tracks (Genre Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting)
  • 10-15-page writing sample in the appropriate genre, double spaced and numbered, or properly formatted for the appropriate genre. The Fiction concentration sample should cap at 15 pages and ideally be from a single work. The Poetry concentration sample should include 10 pages of poetry and 5-10 pages of poetic analysis in prose. The Screenwriting concentration sample should include a complete scene or short.
  • Unofficial transcript documenting successfully completion of baccalaureate degree.

Admission to non-matriculated status is subject to approval by the Director of each concentration. Admission to non-matriculated status does not constitute or imply full admission to the graduate program.

If a student is subsequently admitted to the MFA as a fully matriculated student, credits in courses where the student earned a grade of B- or higher will be applied to the MA or MFA degree.