The sections below correspond to sections of the online application. See also: Applying for Graduate Admissions.
Contact information. Please provide a phone number and email address that you check daily, and add @ucsd.edu to your trusted sites (nominations for admission are emailed with an attachment). If you need to update your contact information after you submit your application, you can do so in GradApply.
Tribal Membership Fellowship application. Complete the University of California Ethnicity section if you think you may be eligible for the Tribal Membership Fellowship. To apply, check the box for your tribal affiliation, and then confirm that you are a registered member of a tribe. To complete the fellowship request, mail or email a copy of your tribal membership card (or, if you have an application under review, an estimate of when you expect a decision) to the MFA Program.
PDF transcripts. You must scan and upload one set of academic records from every institution you attended after high school, including coursework completed at UC San Diego, UC San Diego Extension, or another UC campus. The academic records don't have to be official transcripts; they can be academic history reports downloaded from the school's registration website, as long as they state the following:
Please do not mail paper transcripts for the admissions evaluation. The admissions committee works remotely and does not have access to mailed-in documents. If you do not own a scanner, check if your local library has one or take your printouts to a FedEx Kinko's.
No GRE.The MFA Program does not require the Graduate Record Exam. Please do not submit GRE scores.
TOEFL or IELTS scores. International applicants may be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate proficiency with the English language. Please refer to admission prerequisites for more information. (Note: The spoken English exam is not required for admission purposes but international applicants should be prepared to demonstrate proficiency with spoken English when applying for Teaching Assistantships.)
When registering for the TOEFL/IELTS tests or ordering score reports, specify institution code 4836. If asked to provide a department code, specify 98 (Other Humanities).
Read the San Diego Fellowship information carefully before you complete this section of the application. Pay particular attention to the sections in Appendix A (Applicant Guide) that describe how to demonstrate barriers and commitment to diversity. Do not address the MFA admissions committee in your SDF statement. Statements are read by at least two committees, at least one of which will not have any representatives from the MFA Program.
Degree Emphasis. The application asks you to indicate which is your primary interest: Hybrid/Cross-Genre with an Emphasis in Fiction or Hybrid/Cross-Genre with an Emphasis in Poetry.
Teaching experience. You will be asked to provide a brief description of your teaching or tutoring experience (subject, grade level, and length of service).
Writing sample. A writing sample is required. The writing sample is weighed heavily in the selection process. You may submit poetry, fiction (comprised of one or several stories, a portion of a novel, or a combination), or hybrid texts, which could include forms such as the graphic novel or visual poetry.
In putting the sample together you should emphasize quality rather than length. Here are suggested page lengths (your sample can be shorter or a little bit longer):
Combine all the pieces of your sample into one PDF document, formatted as follows:
Upload the writing sample PDF to the application. Do not send hard or digital copies of your submission manuscript, published works, book reviews, press clippings, CV, etc., by regular mail.The admissions committee works remotely and does not have access to mailed-in documents. If you have trouble uploading your PDF to the online application, contact the MFA graduate coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to additional work sample (optional). As a optional supplement to the required writing sample PDF, you may provide a link to a digital work sample that could not easily have been incorporated into your writing sample, such as video or hypertext.
The statement is very important and is given careful consideration in the selection process. It should provide information that will aid the selection committee in evaluating your potential for completing the MFA program. Think of the statement as an opportunity to discuss your work and goals in both a personal and critical context. Here are suggested topics:
Be concise and specific. Your statement should be no longer than 2500 words. There is no minimum length.
You must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation from individuals who are in a position to analyze your academic ability and potential for success in a rigorous graduate program. Online letters of recommendation are preferred. Paper letters are accepted if mailed to us by the recommenders along with the paper letter of recommendation form (PDF). Letters submitted to us by professional dossier services such as Inferfolio can be paper or PDF. The mailing address is provided on the online application and the MFA staff page.