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Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2019 cohort. 

Checking well ahead of the deadline with English Department's graduate director, Dr. Catherine Seltzer, and with the SIUE Graduate Admissions Office (618-650-3010), to determine if all materials have been received will prevent frustration and delay. Applicants to the program are responsible for the timely receipt of all application materials.

Please note that there is a separate application for Departmental Graduate Assistantships (with a deadline of February 21). Late applications may be considered. 

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.

Before you Apply

Please contact program director, Geoff Schmidt (, 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. There you will also find the link for applying online.

Additional Required Materials

All additional materials, including letters of recommendation, may be submitted electronically to, 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. 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, 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. 

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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