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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:


a. First file: Upload a single document directly to the Creative Writing Program (use link below, "WHERE TO SUBMIT"). Please do not submit screenplays, children's stories, fantasy or science fiction. We no longer accept paper submissions. Admission to the Program will be determined primarily on the basis of the fiction or poetry manuscript submitted.

Submit a single, continuous document paginated sequentially in the order indicated below:

-A 1-page cover sheet including:

    -Area of specialization (you MUST apply in fiction OR poetry)
    -Mailing address (including country)
    -E-mail address
    -Phone number (outside U.S., include country and area code)
    -Last four (4) digits of social security number (if you have one)
    -Indication of whether you are requesting a graduate assistantship
    -Names of three persons from whom you've requested letters of reference
    -Bachelor's degree (institution and year)
    -If applicable, graduate degree (institution and year)
    -Honors, awards, professional societies

-A 1-2 page double-spaced description of your motivations for pursuing the MFA, what you hope to achieve in your area of interest, and your aspirations following receipt of the MFA.

-A portfolio of writing. FOR FICTION: 20-30 double-spaced pages. FOR POETRY: 10-15 pages with poems single- or double-spaced.

-An 8-15 page double-spaced sample of academic or professional writing.

b. Second file: If you wish to apply for an assistantship, then you must upload a second, separate document. This is a PDF file that you can obtain here. Download it; fill in the fillable parts (Name, Date, and check the box "MFA in Creative Writing"); save it; then upload this second file using the "WHERE TO SUBMIT" link below.

WHERE TO SUBMITSubmit Supporting Materials for MFA in Fiction or Poetry

2. ASK THREE (3) REFERENCE WRITERS TO EVALUATE 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
211 East Hall
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.

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.