Are you committed to a writing career? The program aims to train accomplished writers who intend to make writing their life.
Can you devote yourself to full-time graduate study? Pursuing the MFA requires full-time enrollment and a minimum time commitment of 36 hours a week. Expect to be on campus all day, three to five days a week to attend classes, fulfill your teaching obligations, or attend evening sessions with guest speakers.
Do you have 2-3 years to devote to completing an MFA? The degree requires a minimum of six quarters of registration. While the program does not have a summer session, you must reside in California during the summer to establish or maintain eligibility for resident tuition. See below for more information about residency for tuition purposes.
Are you interested in experimental writing? The program encourages writing that falls between or beyond genre categories, as well as straight poetry or prose. Currently students must take at least one cross-genre workshop if they wish to complete the program in two years. Enrollment in additional cross-genre workshops may become a requirement --- see Proposed Changes to the MFA Degree.
Are you prepared to study theory? Students are required to study form and theory as well as craft. A minimum of 16 units of graduate-level seminars are required for the degree. Workshops may blend studio work and theory.
How will you fund your degree? Most MFA students fund their degrees by teaching argumentative writing for UCSD's undergraduate writing programs. If you do not obtain a fellowship and cannot afford to pay tuition and other expenses, be prepared to apply for and obtain TA appointments. See Funding and Support for details.
California residents who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents pay less tuition than nonresidents. The Registrar's website offers detailed information about residence for tuition purposes and exemptions and waivers.
Application period. We accept applications in fall of the current year (typically August 15 to December 1) for admission in September of the following year. We do not accept applications at any other time.
Application. To apply you must complete the online application, pay the application fee, and click Submit by the application deadline.
Application review. Submitted applications are reviewed by Literature faculty starting the day after the application period closes. The application packet should be complete at this point. While we accept some supplemental documents (transcripts, recommendations) after the application deadline, we may not wait for all supplemental documents to arrive before we review your application and make a decision.
Nominations for admission. Nominations are staggered. The MFA Program will begin notifying candidates about their status (Nominated, Waitlisted, or Denied) in February. All applicants will be notified by the end of March. Waitlisted students will receive a final decision no later than April 30.
Admissions. The MFA admissions committee only nominates candidates for admission---the final decision is made by UCSD's Office of Graduate Studies. Typically OGS notifies candidates about admission 1-2 weeks after nomination.
Acceptance. The deadline to accept admission is April 15. Please log in to GradApply to accept or decline.
Please contact the MFA graduate coordinator to chat by phone or arrange a campus visit.