Frequently Asked Questions: MFA Online.

Deadline for Fall Admisions:  April 15. How firm are the application deadlines?

Firm. Please don’t send in your applications and materials at the last minute. If possible, arrange for all materials to be sent to the UTEP graduate school at least a month before this deadline. We begin reviewing applications immediately, so the sooner you turn in a complete application, the sooner we can make a choice.

Do I need to know Spanish to be admitted into the program?


How many courses are required to complete the program?

The degree requires 14 courses (48 hours of coursework) followed by 6 hours of thesis during which the student completes a culminating project. See curriculum

Will I have to visit UTEP at any point?


How long will it take for me to finish my degree?

We encourage our students to graduate in three years.

Are any tests required to apply?

We require no admission test of any kind. Neither the GRE nor the TOEFL are necessary to apply to our program. Our committee carefully reviews undergraduate and graduate transcripts, your writing sample, and your three letters of recommendation, and we make the determination on the basis of those materials. The primary criterion for admission is a writing sample of the highest quality and promise.

What should I submit as a writing sample?

Because your writing sample is the most important criterion for admission, we recommend that you send us your best creative work in either poetry or fiction, but not both. While we don’t have specific requirements for formatting, we do suggest that you use standard fonts and double-space your prose manuscripts. Please do not send us any other kind of writing (academic, science, business writing, for example). We’re looking for the highest quality fiction and poetry.

Should I submit work in any particular genre?

Yes, either fiction or poetry. We seek literary-quality work, and we rarely accept writing in such popular genres as science fiction, romance, horror and other genres. We look for a strong emphasis on craft.

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, English or Literature to apply?


Will my MFA degree have value once I have completed it?

We offer an MFA from the University of Texas system. An MFA qualifies a writer to teach Creative Writing at the college and university levels.

If I am admitted, when will I begin my studies?

You will begin your Studies in the Fall.

May I take courses in the Online MFA if I have not been admitted to the program?

Sorry. We do not allow students to take courses if they are not accepted into our program. Our resident MFA students can take online courses, and if requested, an online student can take a course or two in-house.

If I am not accepted to the Online MFA, may I reapply?

Yes. However, it is advisable to reapply only if there has been a substantial improvement in your writing.

Do you accept transfer credit?

We do not accept transfer credit

Once I am in the Online MFA, may I transfer into the Resident MFA?

Admission is to a specific program. One may not simply transfer from one to the other. We do allow online students, if they are able, to come to campus for a semester and take coursework in residence which will then apply to the online degree. Resident students may also take an equivalent number of online courses. However, if one wishes to move from one side of the program to the other, one should submit a new application.

Who do I contact about financial aid?

Students seeking information about financial aid should contact UTEP’s Financial Aid Office. They may also find information on the Financial Aid webpage.