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Apply to the MFA Program


  • To learn about our admissions process, click here.)
  • Additional information regarding the application process—and the MFA Program—is posted in our Frequently Asked Questions, which we update regularly. Please carefully review the FAQs at http://www.uncw.edu/writers/mfa/faqpros.html.

Your application to the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington will be submitted online to UNCW’s Graduate School. Along with your online application, you are required to upload an electronic copy of your manuscript (the writing sample), your personal essay (also called a statement of interest, purpose, or intent), and email addresses for three recommenders. In addition to the application materials submitted online (manuscript, essay, and recommenders' email addresses), you will need to mail to the Graduate School your transcripts.

Here is a complete list of the required application materials:

1. An application for admission to the Graduate School (online)

2. A typed manuscript in the applicant's writing genre (uploaded as a single document with online application—cover page identifying genre should be included):

  • Up to 10 total pages of poetry (one poem per page; multi-page poems acceptable)
  • Up to 30 total pages of fiction (double-spaced); single or multiple pieces
  • Up to 30 total pages of creative nonfiction (double-spaced); single or multiple pieces

3. A personal essay (300–500 words), uploaded with the online application, which focuses on goals for the development of your writing. You will want to talk about your writing style, as well as literary influences (both contemporary and historical). In what way(s) does UNCW support/meet your vision for these goals? What will you contribute to the program? In the essay, identify the genre—Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, or Poetry—for which the application is intended.

4. Three letters of recommendation which are accepted ONLY via the online applications system. You will provide email addresses of recommenders, who will then be notified by the system to upload their letters. Thus, these letters may arrive after the deadline for application. Note: the system will now also accept letters from Interfolio. Details posted in the FAQs.

5. All official college transcripts, in sealed envelopes requested on or before January 1, or emailed directly from institution to gradtranscripts@uncw.edu.

DO NOT SEND transcripts to the Department of Creative Writing as this will delay the Graduate School from receiving and recording your application materials.

Send all official college transcripts, in sealed envelopes, to:

Graduate School
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5955

Electronic password-protected transcripts may be sent directly from the
institution to gradtranscripts@uncw.edu.

6. A non-refundable application fee of $60 (paid online as part of the application)

7. If you are interested in being considered for an assistantship in the Creative Writing classroom, or in the Publishing Laboratory, or in the Film Studies classroom, please include a brief (1–2 page) supplemental statement of relevant experience and interest. (upload with online application, in the Assistantship Essay section)

Additional information:

  • The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required for admission to our program.
  • There is no foreign language requirement nor interview process.
  • International applicants must meet additional requirements; details posted in the FAQs.

All application materials (including the application fee) must be posted to the online application system no later than midnight (EST) on January 1. Late applications cannot be accepted as the system closes at 12:01 AM January 2. You may begin to apply as soon as the system allows applications for the following year (around September 15). We do not admit new students mid-year (i.e., in spring semester).

For more details, see our FAQs at http://www.uncw.edu/writers/mfa/faqpros.html.

If you have questions about the application process after reviewing the FAQs for prospective students, please contact Lisa Bertini, MFA Program Assistant, at bertinil@uncw.edu or 910.962.3070, through December 20. (Holiday break follows and the university will be closed.)

To contact the UNCW Graduate School:

(Note: To check the status of your application or to request confirmation of receipt of application materials, see http://uncw.edu/gradschool/admissions/checkstatus.html. To address missing items in your application, please see the instructions at http://www.uncw.edu/gradschool/missingitems.html.) If you are having trouble with any part of the online application, please refer to the technical support options available through the application system. If you still need help resolving your issue you may contact Kimberly Harris in the Graduate School at harrisk@uncw.edu.

Be sure to review the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for a step-by-step guide to applying for admission. Many of your questions will be answered there.


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