Admission Requirements and Application

Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing considers applications throughout the year on a rolling basis, but we prefer to see complete applications by June 1. Depending on openings in the Summer Intensive Residency, we do admit students later than this (up to July 1), or to begin in alternative semesters, at the discretion of the Concentration Directors and the Program Director. We make admissions decisions on all completed applications within one month. Students may be accepted, accepted with provisions (e.g. a requirement to finish their undergraduate degree before matriculating in the graduate program at Western), waitlisted (with a notification of a final decision by April 1), or rejected.

Please inquire directly if you have any questions about dates and enrollment schedules: graduatestudies@western.edu

International students have some additional university-wide application requirements to those listed here. Please visit the international graduate students application page to learn more.

Western Graduate Program Application Forms

Checklist for Application to the M.F.A. and M.A.

As part of your application for admission, you will need to submit the following:  

  • An official transcript of the bachelor's degree, including grades of B- or above in at least four (4) undergraduate or graduate courses in literary and/or film studies (either in analytical or creative work). The baccalaureate-granting institution must send the transcript directly to the Western's Office of Graduate Studies at Crawford 118, 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231. If students do not have transcripted credit for the requisite four courses in literary and/or film studies, they may make the case to the Admissions Committee for sufficient familiarity with the field by presenting other evidence, e.g. publication, professional experience, or other forms of relevant study.
  • An 800- to 1,000-word personal statement describing your writing experience and commitment to writing. This statement should include a self-assessment of qualifications for admission to Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing for the chosen degree and concentration.
  • A 20- to 30-page writing sample in the appropriate genre, double spaced and numbered, or properly formatted for the appropriate genre. Instructions per concentration are provided within the application.
  • At least two letters of professional recommendation from those capable of assessing the applicant's preparation to succeed in a low-residency program. All letters must be submitted on letterhead, must be originals, less than a year old and signed by the person giving the recommendation.​

Transfer Credits

Departmental representatives determine if graduate classes completed at other accredited institutions can be transferred to the respective Western graduate studies programs. Transfer credits must be listed and approved by the major advisor on the degree plan. Transferred graduate credits must be:

  • Earned at a regionally-accredited institution;
  • Numbered at the graduate level and accepted as part of a graduate degree program at the sending institution;
  • Passed by the student with a grade of B or above (courses with grades such as pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are not acceptable);
  • Earned within the past five years unless a department specifies otherwise;
  • Account for no more than nine credits towards a Western degree.

Students must provide official transcripts, and request and receive permission in writing from Western to transfer coursework.