Master of Fine Arts

Admission

 

How To Apply


To apply to our MFA program (or any MFA program) you must first have an undergraduate degree.  Many applicants have undergraduate English or Journalism or Communications degrees, though some of our past MFA students have come to the program with Science or Business degrees.  Ideally, applicants should have a respectable grade point average and at least 18 credit hours of English courses, nine of these hours in literature classes.  

But by far the most important element of your application is the writing sample: 10-15 poems if applying in poetry; 20-30 pages of prose if applying in fiction (roughly two stories or novel chapters).  Send us your most compelling, most insightful, most entertaining work.  Nothing impresses the MFA Committee more than picking up a writing sample and getting captivated right away by an elegant and wise poem or a smartly-crafted and engaging story.

The yearly deadline to apply to the UMSL MFA program is January 15. 

A Brief Overview of What You Will Need To Apply

  1. Writing Sample
  2. Online Application
  3. All Undergraduate Transcripts
  4. Letters of Recommendation

If applying for Teaching/Tutoring assistantship you will also need:

  1. Application for Teaching Assistantship
  2. Sample of Critical Work
  3. GRE Scores (General Test)
  4. Teaching Statement

An Item-by-Item Explanation of What You Need to Apply

1. Submit Writing Sample: 10-15 poems, 20-30 pages of fiction, printed out and mailed to the UMSL MFA program.

MFA Admissions Committee
UMSL MFA Program / Department of English
484 Lucas Hall
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-440

2. Complete an online application through the Office of Admissions:  The online application takes 20 minutes to complete.  The link below takes you to The Graduate School page (for advice on applying).  From there a few simple clicks will take you to the online application at the Office of Admissions.

http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/graduate/future/how-to-apply.html

3. Have the official transcripts from every college or university you attended sent to the Graduate Admissions Office:      

University of Missouri-St. Louis
Graduate Admissions Office
255 Millennium Student Center
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

4. Have two letters of recommendation from former teachers / professors sent electronically to UMSL: Use this link to submit an email request to a former professor for a letter of recommendation.  You will need an SSO ID which will be sent to you after you complete the online application (see item # 2).

https://apps.umsl.edu/webapps/ITS/graduate_letter/applicant/login.cfm

If your recommenders prefer to send a paper letters, please ask them to send to:

MFA Admissions Committee
UMSL MFA Program / Department of English
484 Lucas Hall
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

 

If you wish to apply for a Teaching Assistantship or Tutoring Position, you must provide these ADDITIONAL documents with your application.  (Please note that by submitting the application and materials below you will be considered for both a Teaching Assistantship and a Tutoring Position.)

5. Application for Teaching Assistantship: Use the link below. Print out and fill in the application. http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/graduate/pdf/g2.pdf

send to:

MFA Admissions Committee
UMSL MFA Program / Department of English
484 Lucas Hall
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

6. Sample of Scholarly Work:  The Admissions Committee wants to see an example of your critical work as an undergraduate. Please choose work that best demonstrates your critical skills and writing ability. Ideally, we would like to see a critical paper that evaluates some aspect of American, British or World literature.  If you don't have such a paper, then please submit a research paper or piece of journalism.          

send to:

MFA Admissions Committee
(same address as above)

7. GRE Scores (General Test): The UMSL institution code for score reporting is 6889.   

8. Teaching Statement: Tell us how you would approach teaching freshman composition and how you see teaching and tutoring fitting into your graduate career and beyond. The link below will take you to a page that describes in more detail what your teaching statement should entail. 

Teaching Statmeing Instructions

send to:

MFA Admissions Committee
(same address as above)

Note: The easiest and most efficient method is to send the Writing Sample, Application for Teaching Assistantship, Sample of Scholarly Work, and Teaching Statement to us all in the same packet.