Skip to main content

MFA Admission Prerequisites

Updated July 2019

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized university-level academic institution abroad by the time they enroll. Generally, applicants must have a minimum grade point average of B or 3.0 (or its equivalent, if the letter grade system is not used). Some exceptional applicants with lower GPAs may be recommended for admission. Refer to our application instructions for more information about grades.

International applicants must also demonstrate proficiency in the English language unless English is their native language or they studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is a dominant language. UC San Diego accepts the TOEFL, IELTS, and Pearson proficiency exams. 

International applicants who are nonnative speakers must also have their language proficiency certified by UC San Diego if they will work as teaching assistants to fund their program.

The MFA Program doesn't require the Graduate Record Exam. Please do not submit GRE scores.

Please refer to the Graduate Admissions website and our application instructions for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

May I apply if my BA is not in English literature or creative writing?


May I apply if my BA is still in progress?

Yes, if the degree will be conferred before the MFA program's Fall quarter start date.

How can I tell if the BA I earned abroad is equivalent to a U.S. degree?

Please submit your question to the Graduate Admissions Office at

May I apply if I already have a graduate degree?

Please refer to the admissions FAQ on the Graduate Admissions website.