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Before you Apply

Please contact program director, Geoff Schmidt (geschmi@siue.edu), with questions regarding the MFA and/or if you would like to schedule an on-campus visit.

Online Application

Begin by going to the SIUE Graduate School web site, which contains all necessary information regarding applying to SIUE, including requirements, fees, deadlines, application forms, and financial aid. It is possible to apply online.

Additional Required Materials

All additional materials, including letters of recommendation, may be submitted electronically to siueapps@siue.edu, or via mail to:

Office of Graduate and International Admissions, Box 1047, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL, 62026-1047

Additional materials include:

  • One-page statement of purpose
  • Either two (2) complete prose works (short stories, novel chapters, and/or creative non-fiction pieces) (maximum 30 pages) or 15 pages worth of poetry
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all previously attended undergraduate and graduate programs

More about Letters of Recommendation

Letters written by former and current professors are strongly recommended; letters by family members, clergy, etc. are best avoided. Please do not request or submit more than the required three letters; this only imposes a burden on busy professionals, and additional letters do not increase your chance of acceptance; there is in fact a high likelihood they will never be read. Ask your recommenders to write candidly about your qualifications, discipline, creativity, intellectual independence, capacity for critical thinking, and ability to organize and express ideas clearly.

Recommendations should be written on official letterhead, and submitted electronically to siueapps@siue.edu, or vial mail to:

Office of Graduate and International Admissions, Box 1047, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL, 62026-1047

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380), students have the right to read letters of recommendation sent to an institution upon request. If you would prefer to waive this right, or if your recommender has asked that you do so and you wish to comply, please print and sign our recommendation waiver form and have your recommender send it along with his or her letter. Completing this waiver form is, however, not a requirement of admission.

More about Statements of Purpose

Statements of purpose should discuss your professional goals and why our program is the best fit for you -- specifically your interest in the Writer in the World component. 

Deadlines

Applicants to the program are responsible for the timely receipt of all application materials.

Applications to the MFA program open September 2017 and close on February 1st, 2018.  Checking well ahead of the deadline with English Department's graduate director, Dr. Jessica DeSpain, and with the SIUE Graduate Admissions Office (618-650-3010), to determine if all materials have been received will prevent frustration and delay.

International applicants should also consult the Graduate School's International Student Admissions page.

Deadlines apply to the receipt of ALL application materials not just to the application form itself. The application must be received by the Graduate School NO LATER THAN the specified deadline. Please understand that waiting until the last minute to submit materials reflects poorly on the seriousness of your commitment to graduate studies.

Evaluation of Applications

Admission to the program is based upon a review of an applicant's transcripts, overall GPA, GPA in English courses, and letters of recommendation. Your Writing Sample and Statement of Purpose will carry the most weight. 

Notification of Decision

Students admitted to the program will be notified by email by the department's Director of Graduate Studies. (Thus it is crucial for applicants to notify the Director of Graduate Studies of any change of email address during this process.) This informal notification from the Department serves primarily to give students the name of that faculty member who will serve as their advisor. Once formally notified of admittance by the Graduate School, students must contact that advisor in order begin the advising process and to register for classes.

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