Apply | College of Arts


We are now accepting fall 2024 applications. Please read through the instructions below and apply by December 4th, 2023, to be considered.

Admission Requirements

Requirement for admission to the MFA program is a baccalaureate degree, in an honours program or the equivalent, from a recognized degree-granting institution. There is no requirement as to the discipline in which the degree was earned. Successful applicants will be expected to have achieved an average standing of at least second-class honours (B-) in their last four semesters of study. Note, however, that a limited number of students may be admitted to the MFA without having satisfied the degree requirement and/or academic standing requirement set out above, if they are assessed as qualified to undertake graduate studies in creative writing on the basis of other experience and practice.

Admission Portfolio

Students will be selected for admission to the MFA program primarily on the basis of a portfolio. The portfolio should be between 25 and 40 pages in length and may contain published and/or unpublished work and/or work-in-progress. It must include a minimum of two separate works (or excerpts from separate works). Applicants are encouraged to submit works in more than one genre, e.g., fiction and poetry. Considerations of balance over the program as a whole, with respect to genres in which applicants are particularly interested and particularly strong, will have some impact on admission decisions.

Primary Genre

Please note that you are required to indicate your primary genre (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama, Poetry, or Mixed /Hybrid) as part of your application. Your primary genre is the genre you expect to study in workshops and/or make the focus of your thesis. Students are still required to take at least one workshop outside their primary genre and are able to explore as many genres as they wish.

Link to the U of G online application for graduate studies

Application Components

keyboardHow do I apply online?

You can access the University of Guelph’s online application for graduate studies at the following website:

The online application website offers the convenience of submitting your application electronically as well as paying the application fee online. It also provides links to a wealth of information about preparing for graduate studies, university admission requirements, the financial aspects of enrolling in a graduate program, as well as answers to other questions you may have about graduate school.

pen paperWhat supporting documentation is required?

Unofficial transcripts are required as part of your application. Scans of your transcript can be uploaded using the online application portal, or electronic transcripts can, in many cases, be ordered by the applicant. If you prefer to submit an official transcript, hard copies can be sent to: Office of Graduate Studies, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road E., Guelph, ON N1G 2W1.

Please note that applicants, if admitted, will eventually have to provide official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Applicants who indicate on their application that English is not their first language will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB) in order for their application to be completed. The department may decide to waive this requirement if you are accepted into the program; this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, letters of reference (two letters of reference are required) should now be sent electronically. Your referees will receive an email approximately 24 hours after you submit your application requesting a response to fill out the Referee Assessment form. We encourage you to contact your referees, prior to submitting your application, to ensure they will provide you with a reference for your graduate application. Applicants can no longer simply/only submit hard copies of their letters of reference. Please let your referees know that they are encouraged to send an email to if they are experiencing difficulty or have issues with this new process.

For clarification with regard to this process, please visit Applying to Guelph

portfolioHow do I submit my portfolio?

Once you have submitted your online application through the OUAC application portal, you must submit a cover sheet, an admissions portfolio (described above), a letter of intent, and a CV by email to the program administrator no later than December 4, 2023. 

Please review the instructions below carefully:

  • Cover Sheet: Download and complete the cover sheet and submit it as part of your electronic application package. Name your file accordingly: Last_First_CoverSheet_Genre or Smith_John_CoverSheet_NonFiction  DOWNLOAD COVER SHEET (.DOCX)
  • Writing Portfolio: Your portfolio should be submitted as a PDF or a MS Word document. Poetry and drama submissions may be single-spaced; fiction and non-fiction submissions must be double-spaced; 12 pt. font for all submissions. Name your file accordingly: Last_First_Portfolio_Genre. E.g., Smith_Jane_Portfolio_Mixed.
  • Letter of Intent: In no more than three pages (1.5- or double-spaced), describe your aspirations as a writer and reasons for wishing to attend the program and indicate the genres in which you are most interested. Name your file accordingly: Last_First_Letter_Genre or Smith_John_Letter_Fiction.
  • CV: Submit as part of your application an overview of your publication and work history, including any awards you may have received. Name your file accordingly: Last_First_CV_Genre or Smith_Jane_CV_Poetry.

The cover sheet, writing portfolio, letter of intent, and CV should be e-mailed to the program administrator, Libby Johnstone, at In the subject line, include your first and last names, your genre of choice, and the word “Portfolio”: First Last Genre Portfolio or Jane Smith Fiction Portfolio.

Note: We no longer require a hard copy of your admissions portfolio.

calenderWhat is the deadline for applying?

Applications for fall 2024 admission must be submitted by midnight on December 4, 2023.