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Prospective Student FAQs

Our Program

We generally enroll 22-24 students (or 6-8 students in each of the three genres).

There are generally between 60-70 students in the MFA program. See our current demographics. Get to know our MFA students (profiles). Check out our student reading series.

Workshop courses have a maximum of 14 students and often run with lower enrollments.

How can I find out about your courses? The Department of Creative Writing provides course descriptions for classes offered in the current/coming semester. You may also review the Graduate Catalogue for a complete course listing. (Select "Graduate Catalogue" then "Course Descriptions" at middle left.)

Aside from Creative Writing courses, you may also wish to review course offerings for English or Graduate Liberal Studies. The MFA program requirements allow for up to six, optional "interdisciplinary" credits (generally, two classes) to be applied toward the MFA degree.

No. We are a residency-based program.

Our MFA program is a full-time, residency-based program. Most of our classes are held in the afternoons and evenings, and completion of the program requires 48 hours of coursework, generally completed within three years.

The degree must be completed within five years. While students occasionally take an extra semester or two to finish, a student who lives beyond daily commuting distance, or who works full-time during the day, will likely have difficulty completing the program.

Perhaps more importantly, we encourage students to immerse themselves in the full range of events and opportunities offered by our literary community; we believe such involvement is as valuable to the life of the writer as what goes on in the classroom.

We encourage cross-genre study in our MFA program (in fact, it's a requirement); however, students in the program must choose one focus genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.

For more details about our MFA degree requirements, including the cross-genre study requirement, please see our FAQs for Current MFA Students.

Please see MFA opportunities.

The overall course requirements for the MFA degree are as follows: 48 hours, broken into 21 hours of writing workshop (CRW 530, 542, 544, 546, 548, 550), 21 hours of electives (anything that's not a writing workshop), and 6 thesis hours. Most MFA students take courses full-time (9 hours) and finish their degree in 3 years (6 semesters).

For more details about our MFA degree requirements, including the out-of-genre requirement, please see the FAQs for Current MFA Students.

We recommend visiting during our annual Writers Week—this is a great opportunity to get a feel for our vibrant writing community. Please see our resource guide for visitors and be sure to check out our events calendar for a listing of the current goings-on. We're always happy to have visitors at our department events!

Also, be sure to review the UNCW academic calendar for university breaks and closings, and visit our virtual campus tour and/or schedule a campus tour. Don't miss the dynamic UNCW Digital Viewbook for a feel for student life, engagement, and the community. Finally, check out whatsonwilmington.com for events happening in the Wilmington area.

Please note that we don't allow visitors in workshop courses. Meetings with faculty or students can be arranged on a limited basis (generally reserved for accepted applicants).

Applying

Your application to the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington will be submitted online to UNCW's Graduate School.

As part of your online application, you will upload several documents: an electronic copy of your manuscript (the writing sample), your personal essay (also called a statement of interest or intent), email addresses for three recommenders, and an (optional) essay indicating any interest in an assistantship.

Uploading a resume is optional. No cover letter is necessary. In addition to the application materials submitted online, you will need to mail your transcripts, or arrange their electronic delivery, to the Graduate School.

Full details can be found at our 'Apply' page.

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.

Applications received by January 7 are considered for August enrollment. New students are only enrolled in the Fall semester; we do not do mid-year (i.e. Spring) admissions.

Applications for admission to the MFA program in Creative Writing must meet the general admission requirements for the UNCW Graduate School. More details can be found at the Graduate School FAQ. There is no specific minimum GPA score for the MFA program, but the Graduate School requires a "B average" (3.0 GPA) or better. There is no GRE requirement.

The UNCW Graduate School does not require GRE scores for admission; that requirement is up to individual graduate programs. The MFA program in Creative Writing does not require applicants to take the GRE. If GRE scores are included in an application, they will not figure in our admissions decision.

You will need an F1 visa to attend a degree-seeking program at UNCW, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The first step in applying for a F1 visa is to get a SEVIS generated I-20 form from UNCW. See a full list of the F-1 Degree-Seeking Pre-Arrival Steps, which also details the required Proof of Financial Support.

You are required to submit official transcripts to the UNCW Graduate School. All foreign transcripts are required to have an additional course-by-course transcript evaluation, which should be requested from a NACES approved credit evaluation service, WES.org evaluation preferred.

The course-by-course credit evaluation will determine the institution accreditation, degree, credits and course equivalents earned. The evaluation is requested by (—and fees paid for by—) the applicant, and should be sent directly to the Graduate School.

*Note: This UNCW Graduate School transcript requirement must be met in order for the application to be considered complete and thus forwarded to the Department of Creative Writing for review. Incomplete applications are reviewed last, which could impact funding offers—available Department funding such as teaching assistantships are generally offered to applicants who have submitted all application requirements.

For full details regarding international student requirements (including TOEFL), please review the information found in the important 'Additional Information' of UNCW Graduate School Admissions. (Click on 'International Applicants.')

For details regarding financial information and requirements for working on campus, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services page.

Please note there is no special funding for international students through the Department of Creative Writing—all applicants are considered for all available departmental funding; the FAQs listed below give more detail regarding financial aid.

Degree / Credit Requirements'

I Am an International Student, and I Am Not Sure If My Degree/ My Credits Meet Requirements.

The UNCW Graduate School requires a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated and reviewed by an accredited foreign credential evaluation service (see FAQ above).

IMPORTANT: please see the updated information for international students regarding transcript evaluation at the Graduate School's admissions webpage (look for <International Applicants> under the <Additional Information> section).

Finances

I Am an International Student, and I Don't Yet Have My Finances Sorted. What Can I Do?

International applicants may complete the Student Data Form and leave the financial information blank. If accepted, the financial portion of the form and a bank statement would be required before the I-20 would be sent to initiate the student visa. (Typically the financial requirements are listed within the application checklist as 'Require if accepted'.)

I Am an International Student. Is There Special Funding Available for Me?

The breakdown for available funding (which is the same for all applicants, including international students) is found in the Residency & Financial section of FAQs. See additional resources.

Supplemental materials (i.e., transcripts, recommendation letters, TOEFL scores) may be received after the published deadline, as long as the application itself has been submitted, though your application will be considered incomplete, thus delaying its review. See FAQs below about making changes to an application.

The manuscript should not be longer than 30 pages for fiction or creative nonfiction. It can be as short as you feel confident in the representation of your work, and may be made up of more that one piece of writing.

Excerpts should be able to stand alone and feel like complete stories. Poetry manuscripts should not be longer than 10 total pages, with one poem per page (though multi-page poems are acceptable). Published work is fine but needs to be submitted in manuscript format, i.e., typed and double-spaced. (Poetry does not have to be double-spaced, but should be typed.)

A cover page with your name and the genre to which you are applying may be included with your manuscript.

No. We look for originality and quality in the writing, though not perfection. Like editors and publishers, the writers on our faculty have widely varying opinions and literary tastes, but ultimately are looking simply for the strongest writing.

We do not generally admit students who want to focus exclusively in highly specialized areas such as children's literature or science fiction/fantasy, because we do not offer writing workshops in these areas.

The writing sample is the most heavily weighted element of the application, and most represents your potential as a writer in our program. Submitting a manuscript in a specialized genre likely won't help demonstrate your suitability, as we do not offer writing workshops in these areas and therefore do not generally admit students who want to focus exclusively in such areas.

Though we occasionally do offer a course in screenwriting, since we don't have a concentration or focus in screenwriting (—or playwriting—) as part of our MFA program, submitting a screenplay may be viewed as too specialized by our faculty reviewers. It is, of course, up to you what you choose to submit.

A hard copy is not necessary or requested. We receive all application materials electronically from the Graduate School.

Mixed-genre manuscripts will not be considered. You will need to fill out an application twice (in effect, applying to the MFA program in each genre), and you will need to pay the application fee twice.

You won't need to submit two sets of transcripts or letters of recommendation (unless any of your letters of recommendation only address one genre of writing, in which case you'd need to provide a different letter in the second genre).

You will create a second username and password to complete the second online application.
Upload a Word document into the 'Reuse of document upload' section of the first application. Outline specifically which documents you wish to have added/copied to your second application.

We encourage cross-genre study in our MFA program (in fact, it's a requirement); however, students in the program must choose one focus genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. For more details about our MFA degree requirements, including the cross-genre study requirement, please see our FAQs for Current MFA Students.

Recommendations are accepted exclusively through the online graduate application; the process will become clear once you begin your application. (You will provide the email addresses of your recommenders, and your recommenders will receive emailed instructions via the application system to fill out a brief form and to upload their letter.)

Please contact the UNCW Graduate School at gradschool@uncw.edu if you or your recommenders are having trouble, and be sure to review the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for more details about submitting letters of recommendation.

Recommendation letters from a dossier service are accepted through the online graduate application. The applicant should enter a contact email address for the dossier service as the 'recommender.'

(Should you receive a notice from the dossier service of trouble with your online recommendation, please forward the following information to them: In the evaluation portion of the online recommendation, the dossier response to the open-end 'Questions' section will be "Dossier Service Completion"; the response to the 'Rating' section will be "Inadequate opportunity to observe"; and the response to the 'Overall' section will be "Dossier Service Completion".)

Please see the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for more details about submitting letters of recommendation.

If you would like to re-notify a recommender to complete a recommendation, you can do so by logging in to your online application, going to the Recommendation section, and clicking "re-notify." (You may need to ask that the recommender add campusmgmt.com to their safe/known recipient list.)

Please see the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for more details about submitting letters of recommendation.

As long as the recommender has not already submitted the recommendation, you may log back in to your online application to change a recommender. After logging in, go to the recommendation section. You can then delete the recommender that you wish to change and add the name and email address for the new recommender.

More recent is better, of course, but it is appropriate for recommenders to submit letters that are a few years old. The most effective recommendation letters come from individuals who are experienced at assessing writing, who know your work and your potential for graduate-level study, and who have some knowledge of the nature of MFA programs.

Enter “Unknown College Out of State” within the “Name of Institution” section. Then below, you’ll be asked if you’ve earned more than one degree from this institution.

After you type your response (either 'yes' and what other degree you’ve pursued, or 'no'), add a dash and the name of your university. Then, when the UNCW Graduate School processes your application, they will add the university to their system.

The Graduate School requires official transcripts of all college work (photocopies are not accepted). If you received a transcript from an accredited institution (this includes community colleges, junior colleges, etc.) you need to send it to the Graduate School.

The only exception is study-abroad credit that is transcripted by your home institution (i.e. you went on a UNCW study abroad trip and received UNCW credit for the trip). If you matriculated in a study-abroad institution or any other institution (this includes audit credit) you are required to include these transcripts.

Please see the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for more details about submitting transcripts.

Please request one official transcript from each institution that you attended and earned college level credit. If accepted, a final degree granting transcript will be requested prior to starting classes at UNCW.

Your admission to the MFA program will be considered provisional, pending successful completion of your degree program and submission of your final transcripts to the UNCW Graduate School in the summer. You will not be granted acceptance to the Graduate School until all required documents have been received. (See the FAQ below in the Admissions section concerning admissions notification.)

A résumé should be included as part of a single document for the assistantship-interest statement.

Creative materials are generally not considered by our faculty reviewers, though you may choose to include a URL linking to such content within your essay or manuscript. Application materials must be sent to the UNCW Graduate School via the online graduate application.

Please visit the Check Application Status page to confirm receipt of application materials.

We request that you please do not contact us to ask for the status of your application. You'll receive a call and/or email just as soon as we have made a decision on your application. We won't be able to give additional information until that time.

If you haven't yet submitted your application, you may log in to your in-progress application and delete the file you'd like to change and replace it with the corrected file.

Once an application has been submitted, an applicant may only update the recommendation module (e.g., substituting a recommender). The applicant may review other parts of the application (with the exception of transcripts and completed recommendations), but no changes can be made.

If you previously attended UNCW or submitted an application to Graduate School within the last year, you may have documents [i.e. transcripts, recommendations] that you wish to recycle.

Upload a Word document into the 'Reuse of document upload' section of the most recent application and outline specifically which documents you wish to have added.

  • Create a new account/application 
  • Click 'CONTINUE' if you wish to start a new application
  • Complete the graduate application
  • Upload a Word document into the 'Reuse of document upload' section outlining which documents you wish to recycle from your previous application
  • Submit prior to the published program deadline & pay the application fee (UNCW faculty/staff/dependent submit waiver through HR)

Yes, you will need to submit a new application and pay the $75 application fee. (It may be in your best interest to send new materials!)

Application fee waivers are only accepted for active duty military personnel, accepted-deferred applicants, McNair Scholars, and UNCW Faculty/Staff & Dependents. See details and instructions for these categories at 'Additional Information' section of UNCW Graduate School Admissions.

You may not transfer-in coursework that has counted toward another degree. If you have taken graduate-level courses that did not count toward another degree, a maximum of six hours may be eligible to count as transfer credit.

However, all requests regarding transfer credit must be made in person to our MFA coordinator after you are admitted to and enrolled in our program. We will not consider or process transfer credit during the application process.

Admissions

Applications are reviewed by our graduate faculty in each genre. The manuscript-i.e. your writing sample-is given the most consideration. We also review your statement of purpose, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation, but your writing is the most important component. (Learn more about our admissions process.)

Our MFA students come from widely varying academic and professional backgrounds; a major in an unrelated field will not hurt your chances.

Official notification letters are sent from UNCW's Graduate School via an emailed hyperlink to your application, but because these letters take several business days to process, as a courtesy we will also email you directly as soon as we have an admissions decision regarding your application.

Applicants for whom we wish to extend the invitation to join our MFA program will receive a notification email from Melissa Crowe, the MFA Coordinator, that states the applicant has been recommended by the Department of Creative Writing for acceptance to the UNCW Graduate School. This email will also include funding awards/information. (Thus, you may be admitted by the Department of Creative Writing to the MFA program, but you must satisfy all admissions requirements of the Graduate School in order to be accepted to UNCW; i.e., your application must be complete.)

Please add the following UNCW email addresses to your contact lists: (crowem@uncw.edu, bertinil@uncw.edu, and gradschool@uncw.edu). You might also want to keep an eye on your SPAM folder* as some servers tend not recognize the ".edu" suffix. We admit on a rolling basis** and do our best to notify all applicants by April 15.

We request that you please do not contact us to ask for the status of your application-you'll receive a call and/or email just as soon as we have made a decision on your application. We won't be able to give additional information until that time.

*Special note for Gmail users: Emails sent from our department and the UNCW Graduate School have been routed to Gmail spam folders. Please monitor your email settings and make any necessary adjustments to ensure you don't miss important communication from us, including the status of your application and funding offers!

**We will not review applications until after the January 7 deadline has passed; we'll most likely begin to offer admission in March and conclude in early May. Please see our admissions process for more details.

Please contact our MFA Coordinator, Melissa Crowe, by email (crowem@uncw.edu) or phone (910.962-3436), with the details of your competing offers.

We do not permit deferrals. New students are only enrolled in the Fall semester; we do not do mid-year (i.e. spring) admissions.

Yes. Applicants often reapply and are admitted on the second or third try. Having previously applied will in no way affect your chances of being admitted.

The high volume of applications and confidential nature of the review process make it impossible for us to provide comments or feedback.

Congratulations on being a finalist! While we don't disclose the specifics of where a particular applicant falls on the waitlist, you may review our admissions process for more details on what to expect.

Residency & Financial

Your MFA program application is reviewed by the UNCW Graduate School and coded for an initial residency decision. This residency determination will be included in your acceptance letter from the Graduate School. If you do not agree with the determination you may submit an appeal.

How can I apply for in-state residency after my first year in the program? There are a couple of paragraphs of important information you need to review at https://uncw.edu/myuncw/academics/registrar/students/nc-residency. Be sure to read all of it very carefully, because there is language housed there that you need to be sure to represent in your application regarding your initial intent to move to NC.
Once you have lived in NC for one year (typically from the date your lease began), you’ll submit an application for residency determination into the RDS system for their review and decision. We strongly urge you to thoroughly read the entire Residency Guidelines provided: there is, for example, a list of supporting documents in the Initial Consideration section that will help strengthen your application. <RDS FAQs>

For a cost estimate, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

For a more exact breakdown, please visit Student Accounts.

Please visit Payment Options for more information about how tuition is paid. There is also an in-house payment plan available.

Yes. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. UNCW's university code is 002984.

For information about loans and federal aid programs, please see the UNCW Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid webpage specifically for graduate students. Also see current federal student loan interest rate- and fee information.

Your cost of attendance budget for financial aid purposes includes allowances for tuition & fees, room & board, books & supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

At any given time, given our community of 60-70 writers, about 55-65% of students receive substantial funding in some form. We continue to work energetically toward our goal of providing support for all MFA students. We have 25-28 graduate assistants who teach creative writing, publishing and editing, occasional online courses, or who work on our two national literary journals, Ecotone and Chautauqua. Eight to ten of these assistantships are available for each incoming class, and each assistantship comes with an annual stipend of $17,000 ($1700 per month, pre-tax, August-May), and full tuition coverage for the first year.

In the second- and third year of the program, teaching assistants are responsible for paying their own tuition, but all MFA students (who are U.S. citizens) are eligible to apply for in-state residency after the first year (nearly all have been granted residency, but it isn't guaranteed as individuals have unique circumstances). As such, second- and third-year tuition costs are usually very reasonable.

We are pleased to offer one fully-funded GTAship in each genre that covers tuition & fees in all three years

In addition to the GTAship funding, we have students coordinating outreach programs who receive first-year tuition remissions (the Department covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition), and there are many other students who hold GAships with other entities on campus.

All applicants to our MFA program are automatically considered for available teaching assistantships and scholarships, which are awarded on a competitive basis (via confidential application ranking scores). Teaching experience is not necessary.

We do offer limited full fellowships (or "full-ride" funding). Please see our Scholarships and Financial Aid page (with its Letter to Prospective MFA Students with UNCW Financial Information & Opportunities) for more details, and see below for more information about our teaching assistantships.

Though all applicants are automatically considered for assistantships in terms of a departmental financial aid award, applicants interested in teaching creative writing, or in working in our Publishing Laboratory, book imprints, or with our journals (Ecotone and Chautauqua), should upload an essay describing relevant experience (classes taken in publishing/production experience, etc.) and their particular interest in these positions. The following FAQs give more details about each position.

Our GTAs do not teach composition courses, but rather introduction to creative writing courses (co-teaching one course per semester in Year 1; co-teaching one course plus an independent course per semester in Year 2; and teaching two independent courses per semester in Year 3). Here are details:

First Year [0.5/0.5 Load]

Along with the other new teaching assistants, you will be co-teaching (under the guidance/mentorship of a professor of record) CRW 201, Introduction to Creative Writing. The class meets twice a week: once for a lecture featuring the professors in the department, the other in break-out sections of 10 students-each led by a GTA-that reinforce the topic of the previous lecture through discussion and writing exercises. In the fall semester, you will also enroll in CRW 503, Creative Writing Pedagogy: Theory and Practice, our class which teaches how to teach. The professor of record arranges the lectures, writes the syllabus, creates the exams, and teaches the pedagogy course.

Second Year [1.5/1.5 Load]

You will have a similar experience. In the fall, you will be co-teaching CRW 203, Evolution of Creative Writing, followed in the spring by FNA 102, Explorations in the Creative Process. Since you now have teaching experience, the enrollment for the break-out sections will increase to 15 students (still a very small class). At the same time, you will have the opportunity to teach an independent section each semester of either CRW 201, or an introductory-level writing course specific to your genre (CRW 207, Fiction Writing; CRW 208, Poetry Writing; CRW 209, Nonfiction Writing).

Third Year [2/2 Load]

Even more independent teaching. Each semester, you will be assigned two courses from the following list, based on the needs of the undergraduate program: CRW 201, CRW 203, CRW 207, CRW 208, CRW 209. See catalogue course descriptions

By the time you graduate, you will have acquired teaching experience in four different courses. Every GTA will have the opportunity to teach in their specific genre. Though we have the right to make revisions to this plan as dictated by enrollment and programmatic needs, we will make every effort to adhere as closely as possible to these guidelines.

**TAs who do not have either an MA or a teaching license must take a total of 18 hours in their first year in order to qualify to independently teach a course in their second and third years. The Pedagogy course counts towards the 18-hour requirement.

First Year

TAs are required to enroll in the graduate bookbuilding course (CRW 523) in their first semester and work 20 hours a week in the Pub Lab. Your primary task during scheduled Lab hours is to serve as a resource for students enrolled in publishing courses and to help them use our computers, software, printers, and bindery equipment safely and effectively.

Other assignments will reflect your expertise and creativity, and may include the editing and design of broadsides and posters for visiting writers, updating the department Web site, and fulfilling book orders, etc.

Second Year

In the fall of your second year, you will co-teach (under the guidance/mentorship of a professor of record) CRW 321, Books & Publishing. The class meets twice a week: once for a lecture featuring the professor of record and other publishing professionals, the other in break-out sections of sixteen students-each led by a TA-that reinforce the topic of the previous lecture through discussion and written assignments.

The professor of record arranges the lectures, writes the syllabus, and creates the assignments.You will continue to work 15 hours a week in the Lab. In the spring semester, you will return to your assigned duties in the Pub Lab.

Third Year

You will teach one section of CRW 323, Bookbuilding, in either the fall or spring (based on the needs of the program). During the semester you teach, your Lab hours will be reduced to 10/week.

We consider all students whom we admit to our MFA program to be well-qualified for assistantships, regardless of prior teaching experience or lack thereof.

Having an MA won't necessarily affect your chances of being admitted or receiving an assistantship. Your manuscript (writing sample) is the part of your application we consider to be most important. All applicants are automatically considered for all available scholarship and assistantship awards.

Because our teaching assistantships are based on a three-year training trajectory, we do not award them in the second or third year. However, other types of assistantship positions occasionally do become available.

Our department's Publishing Laboratory employs a small number of second- and third-year MFA student assistants; interested students should enroll in a publishing class or internship in the first year. Second- and third-year MFA students may also apply for part-time tutoring positions in UNCW's Writing Center; these positions come with a small stipend. Keep reading to the next FAQ.

All applicants are automatically considered for all available departmental financial awards, though in the case of specialized assistantships such as those in The Publishing Laboratory or directing one of our outreach programs, a supplemental statement of interest and relevant experience may prove helpful to faculty reviewers.

We offer some partial scholarships; please see our Scholarships and Financial Aid page for details.

The Graduate School and our Department also provide travel funding on a competitive basis for currently enrolled MFA students to do thesis research and attend or present at conferences; please see our Scholarships and Financial Aid page for details.

We do offer a limited number of tuition remissions (the Department pays the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition) for out-of-state students, but the number available isn't clear until the GTA-ships have all been offered and accepted. (Specifically, if an in-state student accepts a GTAship, then the remission that would've been slated for that first year of the award is freed up to give to someone else.)

Students that apply to programs like ours that aren't fully-funded recognize the need to plan for student loans and/or part time work to support their graduate studies. The few funding opportunities we do have are something of a bonus (a situation we are constantly working to improve).

Out of 24 or so new students we will admit, perhaps 8 will get GTA-ships and a few more will get small $2000 stipends to work with our outreach programs—stipends that may or may not have an available tuition remission associated with them for the previously-mentioned reasons.

The funding statistics improve once students arrive to campus in the fall and begin finding GA- or RA-ships in other departments—opportunities we advertise as soon as we hear of them, or students have found independently.

We've gathered a comprehensive collection of resources in our Letter to Prospective MFA students with UNCW Financial Information & Opportunities.

Occasionally, there are part-time job openings at UNCW on the Human Resources website. The Graduate School frequently announces available graduate assistant positions, as does Student Affairs.

For information about loans and federal aid programs, please see the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid website and be sure to check out the Apply for Federal Aid portal at the bottom.

The Career Center has great student resources, including the Handshake online job posting system (available at the start of your initial semester).

UNCW graduate students have free access to the university's Student Health Center, which includes the Counseling Center, Disability Services, and the Crossroads substance-abuse program. We recommend that students use the Health Center as the first stop for most illnesses and tests, because many services there are covered by student fees, while others (including many medical tests) are offered at dramatically reduced rates. Also, the Health Center has a pharmacy that fills most prescriptions at lower costs than commercial pharmacies do.

All students will need to go online and either enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (BCBS Student BlueSM) or complete a waiver** every semester by showing proof of other insurance coverage. Visit Health Services for more information. The waiver submission deadline varies and is posted here.

The current cost of student health insurance is around $1300 per semester. Effective dates for Fall are August 1—December 31, and for Spring are January 1—July 31.

**NC legislation requires all students on campus to provide proof of health insurance. The health insurance fee will automatically be added to your student account (payable by semester or monthly installments) unless you complete the waiver that details your own private policy.**

Please see the list on the Student Health Center website. You would need to submit the required form within the 30 days following your registration for classes.

All MFA students (even those who receive funding) are responsible for covering their own student health insurance & required immunizations, parking permits, and the student ID card fee. (see Below)

Housing is available both on-campus and off-campus. See MFA Housing for resources.

UNCW's Campus Dining provides a variety of options within walking distance of Kenan Hall. Though not typically utilized by graduate students, campus meal plans are also available.

Information about parking permits can be found by visiting UNCW Parking. Parking fees, depending on which option you choose, currently range from $156-$460 per year.
Information about One Card, a student ID card.

Why an MFA?

Poets & Writers offers many helpful resources, including this overview and Joshua Henkin's noteworthy article, "In Defense of MFA Programs."

The December 2015 issue of The Writer gives a brief but helpful overview with Meredith Quinn's article, "What the F? Learn the difference between an MA and an MFA." (pdf)

The UNCW Career Center gives some insight, and please also see our recent alumni career placements.

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