city view at night
streetcar on market
flowers at Kalmanovitz
Shurin and Brady
Kalmanovitz front door
girl with braids
reading series speaker
MFA students and Kate Brady

How to Apply

Apply Online for Fall Admission!

The MFA in Writing program starts each Fall. Applications for fall admission must be submitted by January 15. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application items before the deadline. Review of applications for admission begins after January 15.

PLEASE NOTE: As you start your application, click here for important instructions and items required by all graduate programs. In addition, read below for instructions specific to the MFA in Writing.

International applicants please click here for important instructions.

Explanation of Application Items

  • Writing Sample - The writing sample, the most heavily weighted component of the application, should comprise no more than 20 pages of writing in the genre in which you are applying (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry). Please indicate the genre on the first page of the writing sample. The writing sample should include original work that demonstrates your talents and interests as a writer. It should not include collaborative assignments, such as edited pieces for newspapers, because these might not accurately represent your own work. Prose should be double-spaced, and all writing samples should be set in 12 pt. type.
  • Statement of Purpose - In no more than three pages, tell us about your writing—the kinds of subjects or themes you're drawn to, writers or movements you've found influential, your strengths and weaknesses, or anything else that might give us a sense of your work. Explain how your writing sample gives evidence of your interests and aims as a writer. Please discuss your goals for your writing during your time as an MFA student, and tell us why you are interested in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco. The statement should be double-spaced and set in 12 pt. type.
  • Letters of Recommendation - Academic and/or professional letters are required from two individuals who can attest to your competence and ability to succeed in the Writing program. Have their names and email addresses ready to enter into your application. You do not need to wait until you submit your application to notify your recommenders online. If necessary, you can log in and send them a reminder email to complete the recommendation.
  • Résumé - Your resume includes work and life experience, outside interests, and any writing, published or unpublished, that you would like the admissions committee to know about.

Notification of Admission Decision

The review of applications begins after January 15. Applicants are notified beginning in early February through late April.

Registration, Orientation, and Start of Classes

Admitted students will be contacted by the MFA in Writing Program regarding registration, orientation, and start of classes in the fall of each year. The program can be contacted at 415.422.6066 or at All new students begin with a required weekend orientation in mid-August before the start of the fall semester.