FAQs for Creative Writing
We’re sure you have a lot of questions about applying to a graduate degree program in creative writing. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about our MFA degree.
The MFA is considered a terminal degree that qualifies a candidate for teaching at a college or university.
Our program is multi-genre so every student studies and writes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and more.
We admit between eight and fifteen students each year.
You apply to a specific genre. However, you are required in your first year of study to enroll in workshops outside your primary genre. The second-year Thesis Colloquium is a multi-genre workshop in which students from all genres read and discuss one another’s theses. We invite exploration of genre boundaries and theses that cross or blend genres.
Workshops are limited to 15 students, but usually have fewer than 10 students.
Yes. A part-time schedule can be devised with the Director of Creative Writing.
Many students go on to build careers as poets, essayists and novelists. See some examples here, under Where Have Our MFA Graduates’ Works Been Published?
Our Manhattan Center one-week residency occurs annually at the end of August. The regular classes will run online, both at the same time as our scheduled class and also available online on your own schedule.
Full-time students complete our program within two years, but the program is self-paced and you will be able to complete the MFA on your own schedule.
Although Adelphi uses a modified rolling admissions process, applications for fellowships and financial aid are due no later than January 15. The reading of applications for fall matriculation begins in mid-January, and the majority of students are admitted in February. Thereafter, admission is based on available space.
Full-tuition fellowships and partial tuition remission are available to students, as well as opportunities for paid teaching in the undergraduate “Introduction to Creative Writing” and “Art and Craft of Writing” classes, and in a variety of tutoring and administrative roles. The MFA Director can answer your questions about financial support.
The writing sample is the most important part of the application and the way you demonstrate your talent and skill. You should submit your best work. It is not important to the committee whether or not that work has been previously published. Submit writing samples only in your chosen genre, and within the page limit. (Additional pages will not be read by the Admissions Committee.)
- Poetry: no more than 15 pages of poetry (approximately a dozen poems).
- Fiction: no more than 30 pages (double-spaced), which can consist of one or more stories, or a section of a novel. If an excerpt from a novel is submitted, please include a one-paragraph description of the novel as a whole.
- Creative Nonfiction: no more than 30 pages, double-spaced, which can consist of one or more pieces or part of a longer work. If an excerpt from a longer work is submitted, please include a one-paragraph description of the work as a whole.
You should tell us something about your writing experience to date and what you hope to accomplish during the program. Tell us what you have read, are now reading, and intend to read. Describe your current literary interests, your current or future challenges, and literary goals. Please limit your essay to 1,000 words.
The preference is for letters from teachers and/or mentors familiar with your creative work, with your writing process, and with you as a student.
An undergraduate degree in English is not required for application or acceptance in the program.
There is no interview process, but you can arrange a visit (when possible) with our department through Jan-Henry Grey, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Jhgrey@adelphi.edu