Applying to UAF English

Thank you for your interest in English graduate studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We offer three separate degree programs: the MFA in creative writing, the MA in English, and the combined MFA/MA. The application process varies slightly for each program, but only in regard to your writing sample and statement of purpose. These supporting documents are discussed further at the bottom of this page.

Unless requested otherwise, all applicants will be automatically considered for a teaching assistantship. We do not require GRE results. All MFA and MFA/MA applications are due by January 15, with a start date in the fall semester. Applications for the MA program are due by October 15 (for spring enrollment) or January 15 (for fall enrollment). To apply, please submit your online application and official transcripts, as noted below.

Online application:
Visit the UAF Office of Admissions webpage. Once you create an account and begin your application, you’ll submit the following:

  1. UAF graduate application
  2. Résumé or CV
  3. Writing sample (see below)
  4. Statement of purpose (see below)
  5. Contact information for three references; your references will receive an email with a link for submitting letters

Official transcripts:
Submit your official academic transcripts directly to the UAF Office of Admissions. Further directions are provided on the “Graduate/ Licensure” tab on the UAF Admissions “Apply Now!” page.

Below are guidelines for your writing sample and statement of purpose. Applicants for the MFA/MA combined degree should submit both creative and scholarly writing samples and provide one statement of purpose that addresses both degree programs. Because applications to the MFA/MA combined program will be reviewed by both the MFA and MA Admission Committees, it's possible that applicants will receive admission into one degree program but not the other. 

Creative writing sample (MFA applicants)
Submit 25–40 pages of fiction, creative nonfiction or dramatic writing, or 15–20 pages of poetry. It is acceptable (but uncommon) to submit work in more than one genre. Also, please include a brief note at the beginning of your manuscript indicating the genre in which you’re applying.

Scholarly writing sample (MA applicants)
Submit 20–25 pages of your best scholarly or critical work. At the beginning of your document, please include a brief (one paragraph max.) contextual statement explaining for which course(s) you wrote this paper(s) and why you're choosing it as your writing sample.

Statement of purpose
MFA applicants: In 600–1,000 words, address your personal goals for graduate studies. You can discuss your current interests, writing projects and literary influences. You might also address how your experience, skills, and intellectual outlook make you an ideal fit for our writing community.
MA applicants: In 600–1,000 words, discuss why you wish to earn an advanced degree in English. Identify which research area(s) you plan to focus on during your graduate work, and explain why the University of Alaska Fairbanks is an attractive site for your studies.

For information about our MFA program, contact:
Dr. Gerri Brightwell, Director of Creative Writing
Department of English
(907) 474-5307

For information about our MA program, contact:
Dr. Chris Coffman
Department Chair
(907) 474-6361