Admission & Assistantships | Department of English

Admission & Assistantships

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The Program

The MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a two-year graduate program that admits five-to-seven poets and five-to-seven fiction writers each academic year. Our MFA is a full-time residency program with an emphasis on providing studio time for writing.

Financial Support

The program is able to fully fund all students who receive assistantship offers. This full funding includes out-of-state and in-state tuition, fees, and health insurance in addition to a stipend. Graduate Assistantships are available to most committed students, and GA duties in the first year might include working in The University Writing Center, assisting with English Department publications and events, or light office work.

Applicants with a master’s degree in English may be eligible to hold a Teaching Assistantship in their first year. Students without an MA may seek a TA for their second year in the program.

Assistantships provide MFA students with professionalization opportunities, including college teaching experience and hands-on publishing work on our literary journal, The Greensboro Review. All applicants are automatically considered for the Randall Jarrell and Fred Chappell fellowships.

More information about funding sources and cost of living in Greensboro can be found at

Application Deadline

For priority consideration, please apply by December 15. Final deadline is January 15.

Applications for Fall admission must be made online and your writing sample also uploaded to Submittable by the above dates.

How to Apply

Our application process consists of two parts: the first part is an online application to UNCG’s Graduate School; the second is a writing sample that you will upload via Submittable

Part I: Online Application to the Graduate School

You can complete the online portion of your application by following the instructions on the Graduate School’s website: 

This online application will include basic biographical information, your academic history, three letters of recommendation, college transcripts, GRE scores if available (see below), a curriculum vitae or resume, a copy of your writing sample, and an application fee. The MFA Writing Program does not require a statement of purpose at this time.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are no longer required for admission to the MFA Writing Program. We do recommend applicants send test scores to The Graduate School if already taking the GRE general test, however, since some competitive scholarships and fellowships through UNCG’s Graduate School require scores as part of the nomination information.

Part II: Writing Sample

You should then upload your writing sample via Submittable:

Writing Samples: fiction samples may include one short story, several short stories, or a section of a novel, and must not exceed 30 pages in length using 12-point type, standard fonts like Times New Roman, one-inch margins, and double-spacing. Poets should send no more than 10 pages of poetry. Formatting is the same as fiction, except that poems can be single-spaced.  We encourage you to put your name and page number on all manuscript pages. Please do not exceed our page maximums: we remove pages in excess of the maximum before our readers see the material. Manuscript submissions should be uploaded no later than the application deadline.

Our address is:

MFA Writing Program, 3302 MHRA Building, UNCG, Greensboro, NC 27402.

You can apply to our program in both fiction and poetry, but in the event of acceptance, you would be admitted to just one and will not have the option of enrolling in the other genre. Should you choose to apply to both genres, you need to submit only one online application with its associated fee, though you will need to upload two separate writing samples.

Due to the large volume of application materials received, we ask that applicants do not phone or email us to confirm receipt of a complete application. We will contact you if there are missing materials, and the online system allows you to check the status of your application and materials.

Pre-Admission Visits

Applicants sometimes ask if they can visit our program before acceptance. We want prospective students to familiarize themselves with UNC Greensboro, and applicants are welcome to visit, but please understand that the MFA Writing Program does not have the staff or resources to consistently give tailored tours or arrange meetings with faculty and current students. Please contact the program’s director if you would like to schedule a visit.

  • The MFA Writing Program office, located in 3302 Moore Humanities and Research Administration Building, is open 9 to 4 Monday through Thursday (we are closed on all university employee holidays and have minimal staffing when classes are not in session). As schedules permit, the program’s director and the program assistant can meet with interested applicants.
  • Applicants can send questions to our current MFAs by contacting the program’s associate director. Please understand that our MFA students are under no obligation to respond, and that they are taking time away from their own writing and teaching when they do so.
  • Our faculty members generally do not schedule meetings with applicants prior to acceptance. If meeting with a faculty member is an important part of your application decision, you can try to arrange a visit during their office hours.
  • We do not allow anyone from outside of our workshops to attend those classes. We believe our workshops require a level of intimacy and trust that would be disrupted by a stream of visitors, however well-intentioned.

Admissions Decisions

Most decisions on admission into the Creative Writing Program will be announced by April 1, though we often try to make our notifications earlier. Students offered admission by April 1st must respond by April 15. If a student does not respond by this date, we will assume that the offer is being declined. We do not allow students to defer admission. An admitted student who cannot enter in the coming fall semester will have to reapply the following year. Applicants can check the status of their admission in the Graduate School’s online system.

Because the program is so small, our admissions process is highly competitive. Our applicants include some of the strongest student writers in the country, and many are accepted by multiple writing programs. These programs sometimes ask for an early decision. According to the Council of Graduate Schools “Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants,” no student accepted at any of its hundreds of member institutions should be under obligation to respond to an offer of financial support prior to April 15. For more information, the full text of this resolution appears on the the Council of Graduate Schools website:

Financial Aid

Additional scholarships, work-study opportunities, and student loans are administered by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Financial Aid Office. They can be reached at (336) 334-5702 or by visiting their website: Please contact that office directly for application forms and information.


Our MFA students must remain in full-time graduate student status to receive financial support. We can provide financial support for only two academic years. Students who do not satisfactorily complete coursework and successfully defend their theses on time must finish their degrees at their own expense. Except in extreme circumstances, we cannot grant a leave of absence once a student is enrolled.