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Application FAQs


Is the December 15 deadline for applications a firm deadline?

Yes, the deadline to complete your portion of the online application is December 15.

Is there any advantage to sending in an application long before the deadline?

No; however, it does provide recommenders with ample to time to submit their recommendations.

My recommendations won’t arrive by December 15; what do I do?

Don’t worry! Recommenders have a 15-day grace period (until December 30) to submit theirs letter on your behalf.

What if I miss the December 15 deadline?

You will need to wait and apply for the following year when the next application season begins in October.


Due to financial circumstances, may I request a waiver of the application fee?

The application fee is set and collected by the Graduate School. All fee waivers for qualified students are requested and approved through the online Graduate School application in GradWeb and are subject to availability.


Can I apply in both fiction and poetry?

Yes; however, you must submit two (2) separate application packets (only one application fee is required). To obtain a fee bypass for the second submission, please email

Do you require the GRE?

No. GRE scores may be reported; however, they are not required.

May I send more than the required number of pages for my writing sample?

No. Limit your writing sample to 14 pages for poetry and 25 pages for fiction. Additional pages will not be read by the admissions committee. Only submit writing samples in your chosen genre. (If you are submitting separate applications in fiction and poetry, you will need to supply the appropriate writing sample for each application.)

May I send nonfiction writing samples in a fiction application?

No. Although we offer some creative nonfiction courses and encourage our writers to explore this genre, because we offer only a fiction or poetry MFA, only applications to those genres will be accepted.

May I send materials not required by the Creative Writing Program?

No. Do not send extraneous application materials such as video cassettes, tapes, news clippings, chapbooks, etc. Also, do not send specialized file covers, bindings, or folders. The strength of your application lies within the required information; each application will be reviewed and considered for admission on the basis of the required materials alone.

If I applied before, what do I need to do to reapply?

  • Application — Each application has a one-time use only. You’ll need to create a new account to begin a new application.
  • Transcripts — At the time of application, applicants must submit official transcripts from colleges or universities from which a bachelor’s degree or any subsequent degree was awarded. For more information, visit the Graduate School’s Official Transcript Requirement.
  • Recommendations — Because the application portal (GradWeb) does not have the ability to reuse or transfer recommendations from a previous application to a new application, all recommendations must be resubmitted.


How many applications do you typically receive each year?

We typically receive 400-600 applications each year.

On what do you base acceptance?

Faculty members evaluate complete applications only. All components of each application are considered; however, the writing sample is given the most weight.

What can I do to increase my chances of being accepted into the program?

Submit your very best writing. Get letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work and with you as a student.

Will I improve my chances for acceptance if I visit your campus?

No. Although some applicants choose to visit the campus to help them decide if they want to apply to the Program, applicants are not permitted to sit in on any graduate level workshops or seminars. As a rule, faculty and current students only engage with applicants after they have been accepted.

If I am accepted, may I defer my entrance into the program?

Acceptance into the Program is for Fall term only and cannot be deferred until Winter or Spring term or the following year.

May I transfer credits from another graduate school?

Once an applicant has been admitted, only approved seminar credits may be transferred to apply toward the Seminar requirement for the degree. Workshop credits are never accepted as transfer credits.


May I identify more than 3 recommenders?

Three recommendations are required as part of your application. Identifying a fourth recommender is not required, nor will it increase your chances of admission; however, it may ensure your application receives three.

Do my letters of recommendation have to be from college professors?

The most useful letters of recommendation come from teachers familiar with your creative writing and with you as a student. Letters from other college professors, who may be familiar with your habits as a student and with your academic writing, may also be helpful. We realize some applicants may have been away from academics for some time and no longer have access to former teachers. In these cases, letters from employers or individuals with whom the applicant has worked are acceptable (especially from those where work was directly related to writing).

Can recommenders submit their letters before I’ve completed the online application?

Yes. You may provide your recommenders with the ability to respond prior to finishing your application by completing the Letters of Recommendation page of the online application. (Note: We suggest you contact your recommenders before providing their contact information.)

When you enter your recommenders’ information and press SAVE or SAVE AND CONTINUE, they will immediately receive an automated email with instructions on how to respond. (The link provided to them will take them to a web-page where they will see information regarding the waiver of your right to see the letter, and a web-form to enter or upload their recommendation letter.) Once emails have been sent, you will not be able to modify recommender information.

Only one email is sent per recommender identified. The Letters of Recommendation page of the online application may not formally indicate that you have officially completed the page; however, you are barred from making changes to recommender information once an email has been released. Regardless of whether you have submitted your application or not, each recommender receives only one auto-generated email per application.

How will my recommenders know to submit their letters? Where do they upload them?

Recommenders will be contacted via email once you have completed required fields and pressed “next” at the bottom of the page. We encourage you to identify your recommenders as soon as possible to give them ample time to respond.

Can my recommendations come from a dossier service or career service center?


Interfolio: Visit Interfolio’s website for instructions on “How do I have my confidential documents uploaded to a web page?” Recommendation letters receive an Interfolio-issued email address which may be included with the respective recommender’s first name, last name, position, and institution.

Other Services: If the service you use does not provide upload instructions, complete the first recommender position as follows:

  • First Name: Name of Service
  • Last Name: Full name of first recommender
  • Position: (first recommender’s)
  • Institution: (first recommender’s)
  • Email Address: email address provided by Service

Recommenders 2 and 3 must be “completed” by inserting the first name, last name, position, and institution of the required recommenders along with a fictitious email address (i.e., and; then mark the box next to “This letter will not be sent online.” The system will auto-generate an email to the Service where they can upload recommendations on file for you in a single PDF.


How do I create a PDF from my word processing document?

  • Open your word processing document, press “Save As…” and change the “Save as type:” to PDF (.pdf) OR
  • Open your word processing document, access the print dialog (Ctrl-P or Apple-P), change target to “Adobe PDF” (you will be forced to save the document) OR
  • Print your word processing document and scan it to a PDF. If you need assistance in doing this, consider contacting a local copy service center OR
  • Ask a family member, friend, or colleague for assistance.

Do not call the Program office as we are working as quickly as possible to update records.

I don’t have a PDF copy of my transcripts. How do I get one?

You may already have access to an electronic copy of your unofficial transcript(s) through an online student account. If not, contact the Registrar’s Office of your institution(s) to obtain a paper copy and then scan/convert it into a PDF to upload. If you need assistance with the conversion, consider contacting a local copy service center.


May I get advice from a University of Oregon faculty member regarding my application?

No. Since we receive hundreds of applications each year, we are not in a position to critique an applicant’s writing sample—or any other part of the application—before or after the process takes place.

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