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FAQ for Prospective Graduate Students

To apply online or for general application questions please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center.

Q: Do I have to take the GRE?

A: No. We no longer require GRE test scores for admission to our graduate program.

Q: What fellowship opportunities are available to incoming students?

A: All incoming students to the Creative Writing Program receive Departmental Fellowships in the form of tuition remission credits. These fellowships offer at least half-tuition remission (16 credits) for both years, plus an undergraduate teaching position during the second year. Recipients of these positions design and each a semester-long introductory course in creative writing for undergraduates as well as attend a teaching practicum offered by the program. Compensation for teaching is approximately $5,000 per course. Many students also receive additional funding through other fellowship opportunities.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: The annual application deadline is December 18. This information is included in the GSAS Application Resource Center's useful online publication, "Application Requirements and Deadlines for Departments and Programs." Scroll to "English--Creative Writing." 

Q: Can I apply for both fiction and poetry?

A: No, you must select one genre. It is not possible to submit simultaneous applications in both fiction and poetry. If you apply to the poetry program, you will be considered with other poetry applicants. If you apply for the fiction program, you will be considered with other fiction applicants. If you submit applications for both, your applications will not be considered.

Q: What if I change my mind about the genre I'm studying?

A: It is not possible to switch from one genre to the other unless you reapply to the program. Students apply—and are admitted into—either the fiction or poetry program. Because of space limitations students are not permitted to take workshops in the alternate genre while studying here. Occasionally, with permission of the instructor and if there is sufficient room for enrollment, MFA students may have the option to take a craft course in the other genre. However, due to curricular requirements, M.A. students may not.

Q: How many applicants do you have each year and how many are accepted?

A: We receive approximately 1000 applicants each year. Of these, between 20-30 fiction students and 20-25 poetry students are accepted. At any one time, there are about 90-100 students attending our graduate program.

Q: When do we find out if we were accepted?

A: While it varies year to year, we're usually able to get the bulk of the notifications out in March.

Q: Do you have a waitlist?

A: We usually maintain a waitlist. Because the length and makeup of the waitlist varies each year, we cannot provide any further information about it and do not provide information about an applicant's place on the waitlist or chances of being accepted from it. Waitlisted applicants are notified about the status of their applications as soon as possible.

Q: What is needed to reapply?

A: Those interested in reapplying to the program must resubmit ALL application materials, and pay the application fee. The Graduate School's admissions office will NOT maintain any application and supplementary materials from previous years.

Q: Can anyone take or audit your classes?

A: No, you must apply and be accepted to the Creative Writing Program to attend any of our classes. Students in other schools and programs at NYU are not permitted to enroll in our courses.

Q: Can I sit in on a class to check out the program?

A: Class visits can be arranged upon acceptance to the program.

Q: What is your ideal candidate? Are there any minimum requirements in order to be accepted?

A: There is no “ideal candidate.” Our students range greatly in cultural and educational backgrounds, ages, interests, and goals. You do not need to have studied English Literature or Writing so long as you have successfully completed a bachelor's degree. You do not need to have been previously published. While all portions of your application are reviewed and considered, there is no recommended or minimum GPA that we require. We are looking for strong, dedicated, original writers of exceptional promise.

Q: What should I include in the Statement of Purpose?

A: The Statement of Purpose serves as your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and to state your interests and goals. Please include you reasons for applying to the program.

Q: What should be included on the resume?

A: The resume should list relevant educational and occupational experience. You may wish to include information about publications, workshops, and/or conferences you’ve attended, as well as anything else that may provide helpful information about your background for the admissions committee.

Q: Who should the letters of recommendation be from and how do I get them to you if the application is online only?

A: We recommend you request  recommendation letters from professors, employers, mentors, and others who know you well and are able to comment on you and your work as a writer, teacher, reader, etc.. When you apply, you will have the option to register your recommenders' e-mail addresses so that they can upload the recommendation directly to your online application. If your recommender is not comfortable with this process, they may send the letters directly to the admissions office. Letters should NOT be sent directly to the creative writing program as this will delay the completion of your application. It is in your best interest to apply early to ensure that your recommender can either upload or send in their recommendation before the application deadline.

Q: How do I know if you've received my application materials?

A: NO PART of your application should be sent to the Creative Writing Program. This will only delay the process. All materials should be submitted online or sent to the Graduate School of Arts & Science admissions office. For more information about submitting your application or to track you application materials, please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center.

Q: Do you have a low-residency program option?

A: We now offer a a Low-Residency MFA Program in Paris. For more information, including details on housing, costs, and the application process, please contact the NYU Creative Writing Program at 212-998-8816 or creative.writing@nyu.edu. 

Q: I was not admitted to your program. Could you provide feedback on my application?

A: Given that we are only able to admit a small percentage of the very strong applicant pool, we are often unable to offer admission to good candidates. Aside from advising that the creative writing sample is the most important part of the application, it is a matter of department policy not to discuss the admissions decision process or offer feedback on individual applications. We encourage interested candidates to reapply to the program next year. According to Graduate School policy, applicants may apply up to three times, after which applications will be returned without review.