Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?
Anyone with an undergraduate degree is welcome to apply.

Successful waiver of this requirement depends on significant publication and/or an accomplished literary work history, and is granted only at the discretion of the dean and provost’s admission’s committee.

We review the applicant's creative portfolio, personal statements, letters of recommendation, résumé and transcripts We are searching for students who take their work seriously, show talent and whom we believe would benefit from graduate level study.

There are no limitations with regard to age, gender, race or politics.

Can a writer who is not a U.S. citizen apply?

Yes. But for non-native speakers of English, TOEFEL examinations are required. Upon acceptance, international students will have their status confirmed by the admissions office so that a student visa can be applied for.

What work should I submit?

Submit your best written work. But if you are interested in pursuing fiction, make sure to include some samples of your fiction, and the same for those interested in non-fiction.

Is previous publication needed to apply?

No. Some applicants have published a lot, some a little. We are interested in both.

How should the manuscript be formatted?

Prose manuscripts should be double-spaced. Whenever possible it is helpful when your name appears on each page. We will not review books, CDs or any materials other than your manuscript printed on standard paper.

What academic background is required?

Good writing comes from any number of backgrounds. Admission is based on the merit of the writing.

Can I keep my full-time job while earning my M.F.A.?

Our program seeks writers who want to give as much time as possible to their writing, adjusting other time constraints. But we also recognize that full-time employment is a fact of life not just for many students, but also for a majority of writers at large. Therefore, to help the many graduate students who are employed, our core classes meet in the evenings during the week in the hopes that these times accommodate a greater number of working schedules.

What is the application deadline?
The priority deadline is January 15 (applications must be postmarked or submitted online by this date). Applications submitted after January 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. If you run into deadline problems, contact the Office of Admissions right away. 

Do I need to take the GRE?
No, nor do we require any other standardized test scores. We find they provide  a poor measure of writing ability.

Do those recommending me need to be professors or teachers who know my writing?

Not necessarily, but perhaps some sense of your work is helpful to them in writing on your behalf. 

Can I submit a screenplay or play that I have written?

No. We review only prose but welcome supplemental examples of poetry.

I write both fiction and non-fiction, can I apply to both categories in the same year?

Yes. The application will ask you to check your preference, but feel free to submit two varied writing samples.

How are applicants chosen for admittance?

Manuscripts are read  by a committee of faculty. The members discuss the merits of the manuscripts and eventually reach a decision.

When are applicants notified of the committee's decision?

All applicants will receive notice no later than May 15.

If I am not selected, can I apply again?

Yes. Please do. If we are unable to award you a place this year, we hope you will become more determined to practice your writing.

RELATED LINKS
UPCOMING EVENTS
Adult Undergraduate Information Session
8/23: Brooklyn. Interested in returning to college?
Late Night Admissions Hours
8/28: Brooklyn. For prospective adult undergraduate students.
One-Stop Enrollment
9/4: Long Island. For adult-learner undergraduate programs.
LECTURE SERIES