Application & Admission
Thank you for your interest in the University of Notre Dame
We are dedicated to admitting a vital, diverse body of students: diverse in terms of aesthetics and genre and diverse in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, economic background, nationality, immigration status, ability and disability. The Creative Writing Program welcomes applications from undocumented writers.
Our application deadline is January 2.
We look forward to receiving your application.
Every admitted MFA student receives: 100% health insurance subsidy, full tuition waiver, a fellowship featuring a full stipend (currently $16,000 per year), as well as teaching, editorial, and publication experience. Students interested in editorial/publication experience can choose to conduct their fellowship at the Notre Dame Review, Action Books, and/or the Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance initiative. Graduate instructors teach during their second year of study after having completed a pedagogy course that emphasizes anti-racist pedagogical approaches to the production and reception of literature; instructors develop their own courses, engaging genres and aesthetics they are most passionate about. During their second year of residency, students will complete a book-length manuscript/thesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
Undocumented Applicants: The Creative Writing Program welcomes applications from undocumented writers. With our campus partners such as Letras Latinas—the literary arm of the Institute for Latino Studies—we strive to provide support, mentorship and community for undocumented students. Please contact us if there is any way we can support you in preparing your application, including an application fee waiver, if needed.
How to Apply:
All applications must be submitted online.
The Creative Writing Program asks you to include the following with your application:
- Writing Sample: 25-30 pages of prose (which may be any combination of short fiction, nonfiction or a novel or manuscript excerpt) or 20 pages of poetry (which may be twenty individual short poems, or several longer poems up to the page limit). You may also apply in both genres, submitting a separate work sample to each. Or, if your work is of a genre which falls between poetry and prose, you may use the same work sample in both applications. The manuscript is the most important part of the application and is read by several faculty members. Attach your writing sample to the appropriate section of the online application.
- Statement of Intent: In 300-500 words, please discuss some but not all of the following topics: your approach to writing and reading; the books, artworks, movies, places, and/or other sources which drive or inform your writing; the work, personal and/or political experiences which drive or inform your writing; aspects of your identity which drive or inform your writing; your sense of what writing is for; your sense of what you’d like to accomplish during and after your MFA. Attach your statement to the appropriate section of the online application.
- Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation from former undergraduate or graduate teachers or from other professionals who know your writing. These must be submitted online by your recommenders.
- Transcripts: One copy of academic records from all postsecondary colleges and universities attended. (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for application evaluation; official transcript records will be required upon acceptance.) Attach a copy to your online application.
- Official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from all international applicants.
- The completed Graduate School application and fees.
Please complete your online application for the Graduate School.
Changes to the application process for this year: THIS YEAR THE GRE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR THE CREATIVE WRITING MFA PROGRAM.
Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores. (The GRE Subject Test score is NOT required for the MFA program.) The Graduate School DOES NOT REQUIRE you to take and submit your GRE results for the Creative Writing MFA for application submission in January 2021.
- If you decided to take the GRE, no need to take the Subject GRE test. For the purposes of admission, a scanned copy of your GRE test scores may be uploaded via the Online Application. Official scores must be received from the ETS within a week, more or less, of the application deadline.
GRE codes: Notre Dame is 1841; the Creative Writing Program is 2503
For additional application information please view the Admissions website.
Many common questions are answered in our FAQ section, and additional questions may be addressed to:
Director of Creative Writing
Department of English
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556