Graduate Application

New faculty members Emily Pohl-Weary and Ian Williams

New faculty members Emily Pohl-Weary and Ian Williams

How to Apply to UBC Creative Writing

All applicants to our on-campus and Optional-Residency MFA Programs, as well as the MFA in Creative Writing & Stage Playwriting, must apply to Creative Writing using the UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies online application system. Applicants for the Joint MFA in Film Production and Screenwriting must apply to the Film Program rather than the Creative Writing Program.


Admission is based primarily on your portfolio submission. This is evaluated by members of the Creative Writing faculty. We also take professional experience and publications into account. Students’ previous degrees may be in any discipline, but must include a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited university-level institution.

Faculty do not provide critiques of manuscript submissions. The evaluation procedure is confidential, and we do not disclose any details regarding the decision to accept or reject an application. We cannot provide pre-evaluation of portfolios. To find out if you will be accepted, you must apply.

Approximately 20% of applicants are accepted each year. Some applicants are successful in applying again after not being accepted a previous year.

Academic Requirements

Once applicants have been recommended for admission by Creative Writing faculty based on their portfolio submission, they are forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for review to ensure they meet the university’s academic requirements.

UBC requires the following for admission:

  • A four-year undergraduate degree. There are few exceptions to this requirement, though students with three-year degrees and the equivalent of an extra year of third or fourth year credits have been accepted. Please note that three year degrees from many international universities are acceptable – see Grad Studies for country-by-country details.
  • A B+ average in third and fourth year-level course work, or at least 12 credits of third-or fourth-year courses in the A- grade range (at UBC this is 80% or higher) in the field of intended graduate study. This can be waived in some circumstances.
  • Sufficient preparatory academic background to carry out graduate work in a chosen field.
  • Evidence of English-language proficiency. Note that Creative Writing students are expected to function at a very high level of proficiency in English.
  • Official versions of all previous post-secondary transcripts.

On approval, UBC will issue a formal letter of acceptance.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2019 academic year will be open from October 15, 2018 – January 11, 2019.

Application Guidelines Document

Our application Guidelines document provides detailed information on the application process for the on-campus and online (Optional Residency) MFA programs of the Creative Writing Program, including the MFA in Creative Writing and Theatre. Please do not apply until you have reviewed this document.

UBC CRWR MFA application guidelines (PDF)


Please review the guidelines and read our Frequently Asked Questions page first. The answers to the majority of the questions we get can be found there. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, please email Alexandra Tsardidis, Graduate Support at