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Bowling Green State University offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Creative Writing. Students will be expected to concentrate in either poetry or fiction and are requested to have all materials to our office by January 15 prior to the fall semester they wish to enter the Program. Please follow the guidelines carefully when preparing your application. Thank you for your interest in our program.

Those applying to the Program MUST complete all four (4) of the following steps:

  1. Upload a SINGLE DOCUMENT containing SUPPORTING MATERIALS directly to the Creative Writing Program. You can now do this electronically using SUBMITTABLE. We no longer accept paper submissions. You MUST upload your materials here: Submit Supporting Materials for MFA in Fiction or Poetry 

    Please do not submit screenplays, children's stories, fantasy or science fiction.

  2. Please ask three (3) reference writers to give their evaluation of you as a writer and prospective graduate student. You do not need to provide reference writers with a form. Ask them to prepare their letters on letterhead and send them directly to the Creative Writing Program.

    Creative Writing Program
    Department of English
    Bowling Green State University
    Bowling Green, Ohio 43403

    Important note: If you are applying for a teaching assistantship, please ask your reference writers to also address your qualifications and/or potential to teach undergraduate-level English courses.

  3. Apply to the Graduate College (which is in ADDITION to supporting materials you upload directly to the Creative Writing Program) online here. Applicants will be expected to meet the admission requirements of the English Department and the Graduate College. Based on a 4.0 grading scale, the minimal grade-point-average to be accepted for an assistantship is 3.0 overall, and at least 3.2 in English courses taken, although an English major is not necessary.
  4. Results of the general aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required from all applicants seeking admission to a degree program in the Graduate College. Information regarding the GRE may be obtained by following the link on the online Graduate Application page, here. Please note that the Literature in English Advance Test of the GRE is not required for admission into the MFA Program.

The MFA Program in Creative Writing is a composite of a total of 36 hours, consisting primarily of writing workshops, including a minimum of one course in techniques, one in literary editing, one in pedagogy, and the remainder in recommended courses or electives. A typical student's program consists of:

Required Courses:

  • Eng 6320 Writers' Workshop -  12 semester hours
  • Eng 6300 /6310 Techniques Course -  3 semester hours
  • Eng 7820 Advanced Writer's Workshop -  3 semester hours
  • Eng 6330 Editing the Mid-American Review -  3 semester hours
  • Eng 6370 Pedagogy of Creative Writing -  3 semester hours
  • Eng 6990 Thesis Research Hours -  6 semester hours

TOTAL: 30 semester hours

Required Electives - 6 semester hours

GRAND TOTAL: 36 semester hours

Total hour requirements may be reduced for outstanding students who are able to apply credit from previous graduate work. However, approval for the transference of hours must happen prior to matriculation. In all cases, a student is required to take a minimum of thirty hours in residence with a minimum of one workshop in their major area per semester after being accepted into the Program.

In recognition of the value that interdisciplinary studies has for artistic development and intellectual enrichment, graduates may choose electives from a wide range of fields, such as philosophy, cultural studies, science, history, and art. Students must choose a body of electivesearly in the program, and show a clear relationship between their electives and their specific goals as writers.

For detailed Graduate College requirements for preparing the thesis, click here.

Financial Assistance

Graduate Assistantships

Writers admitted to the MFA Program receive teaching assistantships: an annual stipend of $9,300 and a waiver of instructional fees for the course of study. Additionally, all MFAs are eligible for four competitive non-service Devine fellowships, each about $2,300 per year, two in poetry and two in fiction. They also receive $50 per year to mail manuscripts. Typically, Graduate Assistants teach one (1) section of undergraduate English each semester in their first year in the program. In the second year, they teach one (1) section one semester and two (2) sections second semester, usually including a sophomore course in creative writing. There are several opportunities for writers to partially fulfill their assistantships with non-teaching duties, such as interning with Mid-American Review, assisting in the direction of the program, and assisting with the reading series.

Additional Financial Aid

Students may also wish to apply for additional financial aid available through the Office of Student Financial Aid, telephone 419-372-2651.


If you have further questions, please contact Gradute Secretary Jeanne R. Berry (jberry@bgsu.edu) via e-mail or at 419-372-6864.