Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is there a language requirement?
There is no language requirement either to apply to the program or to complete the degree.
2. Do I have to take the GRE?
Yes. The most important element of your application is most certainly your writing sample. We weight it more heavily than GRE scores, letters of recommendation and the GPA; so should you; however, no application is complete until we have all scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation.
One exception: if you have already completed a graduate degree in another subject, you do not need to take the GRE or to submit GRE scores with your application.
3. Will GMAT scores substitute for GRE?
No.4. Where do I send my application materials?
program application (along with a $50 application fee), transcripts,
GRE scores, or TOEFL (for students from non-English speaking countries)
should be sent to our Graduate Studies Office at 206 Showalter Hall,
Cheney, WA 99004-2444. Your admission essay, writing sample, and
letters of reference are collected directly in the Creative Writing
program office at:
Inland Northwest Center for Writers
Eastern Washington University
501 N. Riverpoint Blvd. #455
Spokane, WA 99202
Download an application checklist: here
5. Can I apply for a TA in my second year?
No. TAs are only offered as two-year appointments to incoming, first-year students. Second-year students are eligible for other types of financial aid, including some merit scholarships as well as graduate assistantships .
6. How many teaching assistantships do you offer first year students?
The number of teaching assistantships available each year varies, and can be as many as 8 or as few as 4.
7. How many students do you accept into the program each year?
8. How old are most of the students in your program?
The students in our program range in age from young adult (straight out of college) to much older, non-traditional continuing students. Every year's incoming class is different in its makeup and there is no consistent average age, year to year. It is consistently inconsistent in this regard.
9. Can I extend my program of study from two years to three?
Yes, you may take as long as six years to complete your MFA degree. However, only full-time enrolled students are eligible for TAs and other forms of financial aid. Enrolled full-time, you will finish the program in two years. Once students have finished all coursework in their chosen genre, they do occasionally elect to spend an extra quarter or more in residence, enrolled part-time, in order to complete work on the thesis. At present, there is no financial aid available to students who stay on in this way.
10. How difficult is it to find a place to live? Where should I live and is rent expensive in Spokane?
Most of our students have very little trouble finding apartments and rental properties not too far from the Riverpoint campus, where all of our classes are held. Studio apartments can go for as little as $250/month and up, while house rentals generally begin in the $500 range. Generally speaking, Spokane is quite affordable. Since almost all of your classes will be held at the Riverpoint Campus, it is most advisable that you live close by, not in Cheney. Spokane also has the most to offer in the region in terms of restaurants, coffee shops, museums, book stores and general culture. Many of our students choose to live in the historic Browne's Addition, while others find rentals on the lower South Hill or in the Gonzaga University neighborhood.
11. How do I choose an advisor?
As an incoming student each of you will be assigned an academic advisor in your elected genre from the CRWR staff. Toward the end of your first year, in anticipation of beginning work on your thesis, you will select a thesis advisor with whom you will work exclusively on the thesis project during your second year. Your thesis advisor will also act as your academic advisor during this time, from the end of your first year until completion of the program.
12. As an incoming student, do I have to choose which literary genre I want to concentrate in, or can I wait and make that choice later? Can I apply in more genres than one?
Your writing sample must include work in the genre for which you want consideration as a degree candidate; it will be reviewed by the faculty who write primarily in that genre. If you choose to apply in more than one genre you must submit a complete writing sample for each genre for which you want consideration. Given that the program is a two-year, full-time intensive studio degree program, with a complement of required courses in each genre, most students find that working in a single genre is exhaustive. Very occasionally, and with consent from the thesis director, students will submit a final thesis that is a hybrid of work in more than one genre; with equal infrequency MFA candidates elect to switch genres midway through the program, though such a switch must be approved by your advisor and generally involves extra coursework.
13. Do I have to have BA or BS in order to apply?
Yes. You may apply before having completed your Bachelor's degree; however, the degree must be in hand before enrolling at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers.
14. What sort of academic background do most of your students come to the program with? Do I have to have a BA in English/Creative Writing?
Though the majority of our students have some formal, academic background in the study of literature and/or creative writing, it is not a requirement. The desire to write coupled with some inherent ability to do so, as well as a desire to read penetratingly — these are our only real requirements. Some of our most interesting and successful students have come to the program with formal training in completely unrelated academic disciplines.