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Hollins University
Coed Graduate Programs

(General Information)
Hollins University
Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
Fax (540) 362-6288

Program Director
Jeanne Larsen

M.F.A. in Creative Writing


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

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

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 (This application is available as a PDF.)
  • Brief statement of purpose (No need to resubmit if you complete the online application.)
  • Writing sample (Guidelines are listed below - under FAQs. Writing sample should be uploaded with the online application.)
  • Three letters of recommendation. (Please feel free to have the recommenders email their recommendations to
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate work. (We do accept certified electronic transcripts.)

Fees, Stipends and Scholarships

Tuition for M.F.A. graduate students is $19,120 for the 2012-13 academic year. Stipends and scholarships are available to qualified students. Interested applicants should fill out the Application for Stipend or Scholarship. This application is available as a pdf. Selected second-year students will serve as creative writing Teaching Fellows. New students must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $500 by April 20.


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 or Scholarship. We make a number of merit-based awards. The application is available as a pdf. 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 Wait a few weeks for the paperwork to clear, and then contact our Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at (540) 362-6332 or 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 non-fiction (approximately 25 pages)
  • Or an amalgam thereof (not to exceed 30 pages total)

More FAQs and some advice from the director, too.