Skip to main content

How to Apply

Admission is competitive and applicants must satisfy the requirements of both the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program. Primary emphasis will be placed on the creative manuscript in all applications. Approximately 6 – 8 students in the genres of poetry and fiction are admitted each year. These numbers are inclusive for both the MFA and PhD programs. For further information, call 713-743-3014 or 713-743-3015.

**Please Note: The nonfiction track (MFA and PhD) has been indefinitely postponed. We are only accepting applications for fiction and poetry at this time.


In order to apply to the Creative Writing Program, you’ll need to complete the University of Houston Graduate School Application online: UH Graduate School Application.

In addition to completing the online application, the following documents are required:

  • Copies of official transcripts with degree(s) posted by each of the colleges and/or universities you have attended in the past – posted to online application.
  • Official transcripts (sealed in the issuing envelope) from every institution of higher education attended. (Official transcripts should be sent directly to the UH Graduate Admissions Office - University of Houston, Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 3947, Houston, TX 77253-3947.)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation* from teachers or professionals familiar with your writing and academic skills. Letters will be solicited by the UH Admissions Office electronically.
  • Official GRE test scores. Official ETS copy of the report is required and should be sent to the University of Houston – Main Campus [institution code 6870]. No department code is needed and indicating one will slow down the application process. Note: Scores take 4 – 6 weeks to reach the university for official verification. Please plan your test date accordingly. Applicants without GRE scores will not be offered admission.
Please note: The GRE will NOT be required for any graduate application for Creative Writing this academic year - 2020-21.
  • An original creative manuscript (maximum 10 pages of poetry or 20 – 25 pages of fiction). Fiction manuscripts should be double-spaced, on numbered, single-sided pages: poetry can be single-spaced and formatted as desired. Note: Submitting more than the recommended amount is strongly discouraged and could adversely affect the evaluation process.
  • A critical manuscript (PhD Candidates only). Provide a scholarly paper written for a literature course.
  • A personal statement. In 1,000 words or less, state why you wish to pursue graduate study in creative writing: which writers in your genre you are reading and their import to you and your work: and whether you have taught before and intend to pursue teaching as a career.

(Please note: You may apply in more than one genre, but in order to do so you must send separate application packets and application fees for each genre. The applications will be reviewed by different faculty members for each genre.)

*If you are submitting letters of recommendation through a dossier service such as Interfolio, you may leave the recommendation section of the application blank. Letters of recommendation submitted through dossier service should be sent to

Applicants not using a dossier service must provide the names and contact information of three recommenders.  Letters will be solicited by the UH Admissions Office electronically.


The application deadline is January 15, 2021.

Decisions on applications are usually made by the end of March.


$50 domestic application fee is payable by credit/debit card or electronic check. Payment is due upon completion of the online application. 

$80 international application fee is payable by credit/debit card or electronic check. Payment is due upon completion of the online application.