Admissions

[Update 12/20/13: The MPW program is no longer accepting applications for admission, and we will no longer be enrolling new students. Unfortunately, we do not have any additional information that we can give you at this time.]

Applications are accepted for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Additional details can be found in our FAQs.

The USC Office of Graduate Admission offers an online application in order to make the process as easy and convenient as possible. Applications submitted electronically receive the same consideration as applications submitted on paper, and, with timely submission of required supporting documents, will be reviewed more quickly. Once you create your account, you will receive a PIN and password so that you can return to work on your application over several sessions. Only after you submit your application will it be available for review by our admissions committee.

Supporting Documents

Please upload the following two items in the "supporting documents" section of the online application:

  • Statement of Purpose for applying to the Master of Professional Writing Program. There is no minimum or maximum page-length requirement. Most applicants submit 2 to 3 pages.
  • Creative writing sample of 20 original pages. You may submit samples from different genres. Applicants focusing in poetry or writing for stage and screen must also submit a short prose sample of at least 5 original pages; this may be a college paper, essay, or excerpt of short fiction.

Letters of Recommendation

You will need three letters of recommendation. We suggest that your letters come from accomplished writers who know your writing personally and can speak to the development of your voice, work ethic, and your motivation and ability to incorporate direction into the improvement of your craft. Writers who know your work well could include professional colleagues, business superiors, or past faculty. Letters from past faculty are not required—especially for those applicants who have been out of school for some time and are no longer in contact with their faculty—but these letters can be helpful in assessing how well you might thrive in the program. Letters of recommendation from co-workers, someone you have supervised, or personal and family friends are inappropriate.

The online application allows you to e-mail your recommenders and request that they send their recommendations directly to your online application. Your recommenders may also mail them to the USC Office of Graduate Admission. If you receive hard copies of your recommendations, you may scan and upload them in your online application in the "Supporting Documents" section or mail them to the Office of Graduate Admission:

Office of Graduate Admission
University of Southern California
3601 South Flower Street
Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

Important Note: If your recommenders submit your letters to your online application or if you upload them as supporting documents to your online application, we will receive them immediately. If your letters are mailed, it may take up to 5 weeks before they are scanned by the Office of Graduate Admission and before we can view and print them to include with your application.

In addition, please submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  • Required application fee (waived for current USC staff, USC faculty, and USC alumni)
  • Official GRE scores
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Affidavit of Support (international applicants)

Mail these documents to:

Office of Graduate Admission
University of Southern California
3601 S. Flower Street
Room 112
Los Angeles, California 90089-0915

Since your application must be processed by the USC Office of Graduate Admission before it can be acted on by the MPW office, please mail the above materials as soon as possible.

For additional information, read our FAQs or contact us.

Apply now to the Master of Professional Writing Program.


  • Master of Professional Writing Program
  • University of Southern California
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, THH 355
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0355