To apply to the MFA Programs in Writing, applicants must submit electronic and hard copy documents. Applications are complete when the Programs in Writing has received all of the documents listed below. These documents include the University Electronic Application (with the Statement of Purpose and the Personal History Statement), three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, the Manuscript Submission Form, the Autobiographical Statement, and the writer’s manuscript. Please read the following information carefully for more information on each of these items. The Programs in Writing will not accept incomplete or partial applications.

Please submit the following electronically:

1) University Electronic Application:

  • Applicants must complete and pay for the electronic application by the program deadlines, no exceptions. Paying for the application is the only way to submit the application. The application fee must be paid by credit card only. No checks will be accepted.
  • Fee Waiver Requests: Your application must be submitted at least 5 days prior to the program's deadline. No exceptions. Applicants requesting a fee waiver who do not meet this deadline will be required to pay the application fee. Please visit the Graduate Division website for more information:
  • The GRE section of the application should be left blank, as the Programs in Writing does not require GRE scores.

2) Statement of Purpose:

  • There will be a section for the Statement of Purpose on the University Electronic Application.
  • The Statement of Purpose is an essay in which the applicant should try to articulate his or her ideas about the value of writing as well as to express how and why the Programs in Writing and its faculty may help with the realization of his or her vocational goals. Suggested length is 500 to 1000 words.

3) Personal History Statement:

  • Our program requires all applicants to complete the Personal History Statement on the University Electronic Application.
  • The Personal History Statement is about the applicant’s personal background. Applicants may include information about their upbringing, family, culture, socio-economic background, or any personal experiences and challenges. Applicants may also wish to describe how they might contribute to social or cultural diversity within their chosen field of study. The essay will assist both the admissions committee and fellowship review committees to evaluate your background and motivation for graduate study. Write about how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Suggested length is 500 to 1000 words.

4) Three Letters of Recommendation:

  • A total of three letters of recommendation are required and they can only be submitted electronically. Paper LORs will not be accepted.  Please note: Interfolio is now compatible with our application. You will need to complete the Letter of Recommendation section and enter your recommenders names and e-mail addresses.
  • Electronic letters of recommendation must be set up through the University Electronic Application. Applicants will input the email addresses of their recommenders, and the recommenders will be emailed a link that explains how to upload an electronic letter of recommendation. If needed, applicants can resend their recommenders this link by logging in to the Application Progress Review.
  • Letters of Recommendation can be submitted after the deadline, but please ask your recommenders to submit them ASAP, since the committee will begin reviewing your application soon after the deadline. Your application will not be submitted to the committee until it is complete.

5) Transcripts:

  • For application review purposes only, scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended since high school. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits and grading legend. UCI reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found. Official transcripts will be requested if and when you are admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.
  • Applicants who have attended UCI must upload an unofficial transcript; the program cannot obtain them on the applicant’s behalf.

Questions Regarding Electronic App?

For any questions about the University Electronic Application, please contact
UCI Graduate Division at


Please submit the following in hard copy to the Programs in Writing at the address below AND upload them to the online application, as well:

1) Manuscript Submission Form:

2) Autobiographical Statement:

  • 500 to 1000 words, double-spaced, in 12-point font, stapled or paper-clipped with full name and page numbers on it. Please no colored paper and no fancy fonts. (Please, no Courier/Courier New font.)
  • The Autobiographical Statement is a self-portrait of the applicant as a writer and as a person. It may include the influence of favorite writers or teachers as well as personal experiences and information about how the practice of writing became important to the applicant’s life.
  • Please note that the Personal History Statement, the Statement of Purpose, and the Autobiographical Statement are three separate statements.  It is fine if information in the three statements overlap.

3) Manuscript:

  • Place full name and page number on each page of the manuscript. A cover letter is optional but not required.
  • Fiction: No more than 40 pages of fiction, double-spaced, in 12-point font, stapled or paper-clipped. One story, a chapter from a novel in progress or several short stories is acceptable.
  • Poetry: A maximum of 10 poems, single-spaced, in 12-point font, totaling no more than 20 pages. More pages may be submitted if required to accommodate alternative spacing.

Mail all hard copy materials to:


UC Irvine, English Department
MFA Programs in Writing
435 Humanities Instructional Building
Irvine, CA 92697-2650

Please note: Due to the number of applications, we do not automatically confirm when application materials have been received. However, you can send us a self addressed stamped post card, which we will mail back to you, once we receive your application materials.

For any questions please contact the Programs in Writing Administrator at or (949) 824-6718.

The Programs in Writing does not accept any materials submitted by email.