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Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)
Poets & Writers ranked Hollins' graduate program in creative writing in the top 25 in the nation.




To apply

Candidates must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They may submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination, but the GRE is not required. They must give evidence, by undergraduate record, submission of manuscripts, and three letters of recommendation, of their capacity to undertake the program. The application form, transcripts, GRE scores (optional), three letters of recommendation, other materials, and $40 nonrefundable processing fee should be sent to:

Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Hollins University Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603

Phone: (540) 362-6575
Fax: (540) 362-6288
Email: hugrad@hollins.edu

For program questions, contact the creative writing department at (540) 362-6317 or creative.writing@hollins.edu.

The deadline for receipt of all materials is January 6.

Degree requirements

Forty-eight credits in residence are required for the M.F.A. degree. Each student will undertake ten four-credit courses, plus a thesis (eight credits). Elective courses may be in the immediate area of the degree, or, if the student's background and preparation warrant, in related areas. No transfer credit is accepted for the M.F.A. degree.

The thesis offered for the degree must consist of a book-length, original creative manuscript and must be completed by the end of year two. Each student will have a faculty thesis advisor who provides direction in the preparation of the thesis.

Checklist of items to be submitted:
  • Application for admission: online or by paper application (PDF)
  • Nonrefundable processing fee (submitted at the time of online application or included with paper application)
  • Application for Stipend or Scholarship (Word document)
  • Brief statement of educational objectives (No need to resubmit if you complete the online application)
  • Writing sample (Guidelines are listed below under FAQs)
  • Three letters of recommendation (Please feel free to have the recommenders email their recommendations to hugrad@hollins.edu.)
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate work. (We do accept certified electronic transcripts.)
Fees, stipends, and scholarships

Tuition for M.F.A. graduate students is $20,446 for the 2014-15 academic year. Stipends and scholarships are available to qualified students. Interested applicants should fill out the Application for Stipend or Scholarship (Word document). Selected second-year students will serve as creative writing Teaching Fellows. New students must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $500 by April 22.


Q: Do I need to send my GRE scores?
A: GRE scores are not required, but may be submitted.

Q: I didn't see a letter of recommendation form. Did I miss it?
A: We do not have a form for letters of recommendation. Just have your referees write a letter.

Q: Do you have graduate student housing?
A: Hollins University has a limited amount of apartment-style housing on campus for graduate students. In addition, the English department maintains a list from former graduate students of housing in and around Roanoke, and we share these leads with admitted students.

Q: I need financial aid. How do I apply for it?
A: Fill out the Application for Stipend Scholarship (PDF). We make a number of merit-based awards. If you are accepted to the program, you will need to complete the FAFSA (see below).

If you are interested in a student loan, complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), found online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. Wait a few weeks for the paperwork to clear, and then contact our Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at (540) 362-6332 or sfa@hollins.edu to follow-up on the paperwork.

Q: What kind of writing sample do I need to send?
A: Send a portfolio of original work:

  • Poetry (approximately 10 pages)
  • Fiction (approximately 25 pages)
  • Creative nonfiction (approximately 25 pages)
  • Or an amalgam thereof (not to exceed 30 pages total)

More FAQs and some advice from the director, too.