Applications and admissions

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing accepts applications every fall and spring. If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Director, June Sylvester Saraceno, at jsylvestersaraceno@unr.edu.  

In addition to your online application, please submit the following materials:

  1. Manuscript in your chosen genre. Manuscript guidelines are as follows:
    • Poetry: 10 pages of poetry
    • Fiction: 20-25 pages of fiction
    • Nonfiction: 20-25 pages of nonfiction
    • Writing for children and young adults. Any combination of:
      • Picture books: 2-3 full manuscripts
      • Middle grade fiction or nonfiction: up to 25 pages
      • Young adult fiction or nonfiction: up to 25 pages
    • All manuscripts must be typed and double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font
  2. Two personal essays (two-three pages each)
    • Discuss your creative writing background, to include writers in your chosen genre who influenced your own work. Do not include the work of MFA faculty members at the University of Nevada, Reno in your discussion. (You may discuss this in question number two, if applicable.)
    • Discuss how the low-residency model and the program at the University of Nevada, Reno, Lake Tahoe campus would be suited to your writing goals.
  3. Two confidential letters of recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation should come from a college-level instructor or mentor, a colleague, or professional in the field (publisher, editor, workshop facilitator, or other), who can speak to your commitment to the literary arts and academic competencies. These letters should attest to your qualifications for independent study in a graduate context, as well as how successfully you would interact with others in peer critiques and workshops. You will input the names and emails for your recommendations into the application, recommendation requests are automatically generated. 
  4. Official Transcripts

Program fees

The low-residency MFA in creative writing is a five-semester program. The first four semesters, students enroll in 12 credits and the final semester students enroll in nine credits.

Cost for a 12-credit semester
Fee type Cost
Room and Board (double occupancy) $659
Program Fee $9,815.04 (817.92 per credit)
Total cost $10,474.04

Cost for a 9-credit semester
Fee type Cost
Room and Board (double occupancy) $659
Program Fee $7,361.28 (817.92 per credit)
Total cost $8,056.28

Room and board covers

  • Double occupancy dorm room
  • Daily breakfast in the cafeteria

Program fee covers

  • Course credits
  • Access to lectures and other events during residency
  • Receptions, pizza nights and similar events
  • Welcome dinner and graduation celebration
  • Daily coffee and snacks
  • Miscellaneous residency items (desk lamps, fans, etc.) as needed

Apply to the MFA in Creative Writing