Admissions Information for the MFA Program

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Application Deadline for beginning Autumn 2016 is December 11, 2015.

The writing sample is the most important part of your application: it should demonstrate an ability to produce work of high quality and should consist of 15 to 25 pages of poetry, or 20 to 40 double-spaced pages of fiction or creative nonfiction (or a combination of poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction).  (Please note that admission is generally into a single genre, so that applicants should choose carefully the genre in which they wish to be considered.  However, all MFA students at OSU are encouraged to take workshops outside their "home" genres, so successful applicants will have ample opportunity to explore multiple genres.) In addition, applicants must submit a sample of critical writing of 8 to 10 double-spaced pages.  This short critical essay should be chosen carefully, with special attention paid not only to the prose but also to the construction of a persuasive argument, the skill that is at the heart of OSU's First-Year Writing Program, in which all MFA student TAs will teach.

Since teaching first-year writing is among the many opportunities and responsibilities of our MFA students--and because all MFA students will have the opportunity to teach introductory creative writing classes in their genres, and may have the chance to teach more advanced classes as well--each applicant should include a statement that addresses her or his interest, background, and abilities in teaching (this statement may be incorporated within the autobiographical statement).

An MFA applicant's undergraduate major may be in any discipline.  Beginning with the applications for fall 2016, the GRE is no longer required as part of the application.

Admission to the MFA Program is made for Autumn Semester only; the application deadline for Autumn 2016 is December 11, 2015. NOTE: If you are an international applicant and wish to be considered for a University Fellowship, the application deadline is earlier: November 30, 2015.

Please send the following items through the OSU Graduate Admissions Office:
(Recommended browser for completing application is Internet Explorer. NOTE:  It can take up to 7 days for your uploaded materials to show up in the system. If your applicant center still says "incomplete" after you've uploaded your documents, this is NORMAL.  After 7 days, if you are still concerned that your materials did not load, please feel free to contact us at

  • the completed application form and fee - submit online at;
  • three (3) letters of recommendation: Our preference is that your recommenders be faculty who have taught you or writers familiar with your work, as these are likely to be most useful to us. But we understand that for those who have been out of school for some time, and those who have not participated in writing workshops or conferences, this may be impossible. You will not be penalized for this, but we do ask that you choose your recommenders carefully from among the options you do have--those who have had the opportunity to work with you or supervise your work, for example. Please have your recommenders submit letters electronically via the OSU application system. An email will be sent to you after you submit with instructions to set up your recommenders -- this is done separately from the application itself;
  • one official transcript of each academic record (transfer credit from another institution appearing on the same transcript is not sufficient): Upload with your application to the Graduate Admissions website one scanned copy of an official transcript for each institution attended. Please note that this must be a copy of an official transcript; web-based advising reports are not acceptable transcripts. If you are accepted to the program, you will be asked to send a hard copy of your official transcripts to Graduate Admissions;
  • a personal statement (1-2 single-spaced pages) that describes your background as a writer and your purpose in pursuing this degree; this statement should address your writing interests as well as briefly describe your interest and/or experience in teaching;
  • curriculum vitae/resume (no more than two pages);
  • creative writing sample (15 to 25 pages of poetry, or 20 to 40 double-spaced pages of prose, or a combination of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction prose of no more than 40 pages in all);
  • critical writing sample (8-10 double-spaced pages): a short scholarly/critical essay or portion of a longer work is appropriate. This essay should demonstrate your abilities as a critical reader of a literary or related text, in particular your ability to form a written argument.  It is useful in the department's assessment of your potential to teach undergraduates.
  • The GRE is no longer required for application.  However, if you have taken the GRE in the last 5 years and would like to submit your results, please use GRE Institution code 1592 to ensure that your scores will be sent to the correct office; for information about the GRE, please visit the Educational Testing Service website:

Please Note: Do not include your Social Security Number on any of your application materials.

For questions, the Creative Writing Program can be reached at 614-292-2242 or via email at

Transfer Credit

Students may receive transfer credit for graduate courses taken at other accredited universities if the Director of Graduate Studies deems those courses appropriate to our program.

MFA students entering the program may apply up to 10 hours of transfer credit towards their degrees.  Students wishing to request transfer credit should complete the “Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit” form available in the Graduate School and the Graduate Studies Office. In addition, all graduate students may transfer 10 hours of graduate work done at Ohio State as a non-degree graduate student.