Frequently Asked Questions: M.F.A. Online
Deadline for Fall Admissions: April 15
Deadline for Spring Admissions: November 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?
No. Students accepted into our program can write entirely in Spanish, all their assignments and their thesis.
A monolingual English student will never have to read or understand Spanish, but they are welcome to do so.
Spanish-language writers should be aware that they should understand English, as most of the classes and the reading material will be in English.
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?
No. No matter where you are in the world, you can write with us. As long as it takes you to earn your degree, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so long as you have a decent Internet connection.
However, our online MFA students are welcome to take up to three courses in our residential MFA. Any more than that will need approval from your advisor.
How much does it cost?
For any financial information, you would have to contact the Financial Aid office. They should be able to provide you with updated information.
You might find this link helpful: COST OF ATTENDANCE
How long will it take for me to finish my degree?
We encourage our students to graduate in three years.
However, many of our students work full-time and have families and otherwise very busy lives, so we allow a student to take up to five years to complete the degree. Also, there are multiple courses offered over the summer, so one can complete two years of a conventional program in a year and a half.
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, or both. While we don’t have specific requirements for formatting, but 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 prose and poetry.
Should I submit work in any particular genre?
We seek literary-quality work, and we rarely accept writing in such popular genres as science fiction, romance, horror and other genres.
Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, English or Literature to apply?
No. You must have a bachelor's degree in any subject from an accredited institution.
Will my M.F.A. degree have value once I have completed it?
We offer an M.F.A. from the University of Texas system. An M.F.A. 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 or Spring.
May I take courses in the Online M.F.A. 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.
If I am not accepted to the 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. All credit hours must be taken from UTEP.
Once I am in the Online M.F.A., may I transfer into the Resident M.F.A.?
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.