How many students are accepted into the MFA program each year?

Because we privilege close faculty-student mentorship, our MFA program is designed to be small. Each year, we aim to accept 6 fiction writers and 6 poets.


Can I enroll as a part-time or non-degree student?

The MFA Program is intended for full-time, degree-seeking students. Acceptance into the MFA Creative Writing Program at the College of Charleston is competitive, with applicants from a national pool. All prospective students must submit an application to the Graduate School. We do not have a part-time or non-degree option, because we are committed to having a set cohort of student-writers progress through the degree coursework together, across four semesters.


Can I begin the MFA program in the Spring semester?

Enrollment into the MFA program always begins in the Fall semester.


Can I visit a graduate class?

For the integrity of our workshops and to safeguard our student community, we do not allow outside visitors to sit in on MFA classes.


Can I schedule a meeting with creative writing faculty to learn more about the MFA program?

Unfortunately, MFA faculty are not available to meet with prospective students who have not yet been accepted into the MFA Program. Prospective students are encouraged to write to the MFA Director with any questions (Prof. Emily Rosko, roskoe@cofc.edu). If you are planning to visit Charleston, prospective students can schedule a campus tour with the Office of Admissions.


What does the Admissions Committee look for in an MFA application?

The creative writing sample is the single most important part of the MFA application. MFA faculty assess the writing samples for advanced craft skills and promise. The statement of purpose is also a very important piece of the MFA application as it serves as another writing sample that allows MFA faculty to evaluate an applicant’s potential for graduate study.


Do you accept creative nonfiction as a writing sample, or as a genre focus?

No, sorry. Not at this time. 


Are the GRE scores really required?

Applicants can request a GRE score waiver by contacting Susan Hallatt, the Director of Graduate Admissions (hallatts@cofc.edu). GRE waivers are granted at the discretion of the Graduate School Dean. Please be aware: if you ask for and receive a GRE waiver, then this will make you ineligible for all Graduate School fellowships and scholarships.


When should I hear back about the status of my application?

Typically, the MFA Director contacts accepted students between the end of February to early March. If you do not hear from the MFA Director by mid-March, then it is likely that your application is on the wait-list. Because the College of Charleston is committed to the Council of Graduate Schools April 15 Resolution, all accepted students who have been offered financial support have until April 15 to make their final enrollment decision. It is possible, then, that wait-listed applicants could hear back from us after April 15.


Are applications to the MFA program accepted through the summer?

No. The MFA program’s application deadline is firm—January 15.


Are there opportunities to teach undergraduate classes?

Right now, the English Department does not offer training for graduate students to teach first-year academic writing or intro creative writing courses. The MFA program runs two outreach programs, however, that allows some MFA students the chance to teach creative writing: the Gibbes/St. John’s Program and the Bahrain Program.