MFA in Writing


Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In rare and special cases, we admit writers who have not earned an undergraduate degree. Such candidates must show evidence to the Admissions Committee of exceptional academic, literary, and/or publishing background.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MFA in Writing program is based primarily on the quality of original work submitted.

Part 1

Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate coursework sent directly from the institution to: Office of Admissions – MFA in Writing program, Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.

Part 2

Application Form

Applicants may apply to the program using VCFA’s online application form. (Please be sure to turn off your pop-up blockers before beginning the process.)

Part 3

You can submit the following materials online by signing up on Slideroom. It is important to sign up for the service early in the process to identify and email people providing letters of reference.

  1. 10 pages of poetry, or 20 to 25 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction (applicants may apply in one or more genres).
    • Each manuscript should be typewritten, single sided, double-spaced (except for poetry), numbered in the lower right-hand corner, and in Times Roman 12-point font.
  2. An essay (2-3 typed, double-spaced pages) in which the applicant addresses the following:
    • How long the applicant has been writing seriously
    • Previous study in writing and literature
    • Additional experience relevant to the application
    • Whether the applicant is prepared to use direct criticism of his/her work
    • The strengths and weaknesses of the applicant’s writing
    • Any challenges that may prevent the applicant from devoting 25 hours per week to study or corresponding regularly with the faculty advisor.
  3. A writing sample (3-4 pages, double-spaced) that demonstrates the applicant’s abilities as a reader and critical thinker. This sample may be something written previously for a class or a short essay on a literary work recently read. The essay should in some way engage questions dealing with the writer’s craft, subjects and thematic concerns, and/or the ways in which the writer’s work has served as a model for the applicant’s own literary ambitions.
  4. A list of all workshops, writers' conferences, and other non-credit courses attended (include dates, sponsor, location and faculty/workshop leader).
  5. A list of all publications, prizes, honors, and grants related to the applicant’s work.

Apply Now


Lucy Bourgeault

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
866-934-8232, ext. 8819
[email protected]

Admissions Deadlines

Winter 2019:

  • Priority Application Deadline: August 1, 2018
  • Extended Deadline: October 10, 2018

Summer 2019:

  • Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2019
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2019

To receive financial aid, it is recommended that applicants meet the deadline. 

Though the program sets deadlines to help manage the processing of applications and awarding of scholarships, these are intended as suggested target dates only; the Admissions Committee continues to receive and review applications throughout the year on a rolling basis. Application review may take two to four weeks. If a guaranteed space is no longer available for an accepted applicant for the coming semester, we will reserve a spot for the following term, and also place that student onto our waitlist for earlier entry.

Once accepted, a student’s program officially begins on the first day of one of the following MFA in Writing residencies:

Residency Dates for New Students

  • Summer/Fall 2019: June 25 – July 6, 2019
  • Winter 2020: December 29, 2019 - January 8, 2020

Mail application materials to:

Admissions Office
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602