Applying to the Program

How to Apply:

We are looking for candidates who show strong promise as creative writers and who also demonstrate a commitment to the serious reading of literature. Additionally, we seek students who are self-motivated, able to work independently, and capable of making positive use of criticism to improve their writing.

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, usually with a major or minor in a literary field. Applicants without significant undergraduate credit in literary studies should address how they have made up for this deficit in their personal statements. Committee review of MFA applications will be based on the following:


  • Writing sample in appropriate genre (see below)
  • Performance in previous undergraduate and/or graduate programs (as measured by GPA, awards, internships, etc.)
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • GRE (verbal)*
  • Maturity, preparation and experience as demonstrated in the personal statement

* Although the GRE is not absolutely required, a good score in the verbal section will enhance your candidacy. If you wish us to consider your GRE scores, direct the Educational Testing Service to submit them to Murray State University, code 1494.


Application Materials:

1. Send the following items to MSU Graduate Admissions and Records, B2 Sparks Hall, Murray KY 42071-3312:


  • Completed graduate admission application completed online or through the mail as per the directions found here.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $40.
  • Official transcripts from every educational institution you have attended (graduate or undergraduate) other than Murray State University. Transcripts should be mailed directly from the registrar's office of each institution.

 2. Send the following items electronically to Nita King, MFA program assistant, at


  • Writing sample (assembled according to the guidelines).
    All applicants must declare a specialization in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction and submit a writing sample within the chosen genre. The writing sample may be composed of one or multiple works. Prose samples should be double-spaced, and all samples should be typed in a legible font. Applicants who would like to be considered in more than one genre should submit multiple writing samples.

    Fiction: 20-30 pages
    Creative Nonfiction: 20-30 pages
    Poetry: 15-20 pages
  • 200- to 300-word personal statement addressing your experience and goals as a writer.
    Note: Please include the writing sample and the statement in the same Word document and attach it to an email with Application Materials in bold in the subject line.

3. Send two letters of recommendation (directly from recommenders), either electronically to Nita King at or via traditional mail to Nita King at MFA Program in Creative Writing, English and Philosophy Department, Murray State University, 7C Faculty Hall, Murray KY 42071-3341.

Note: Recommendations sent electronically should be sent as Word documents and attached to an email marked MFA Recommendation in bold in the subject line.

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