How do I apply?
You must apply online at ApplyNow.

What is the application deadline and fee?
The application deadline is January 2. The application fee is $75, and there is no discount for submitting your application early.

Are there application fee waivers?
We are able to provide a limited number of application fee waivers each year.  All US minority and permanent resident applicants receive a fee waiver from the graduate school in the course of completing their applications. Begin your application and you will be walked through the steps of receiving your waiver.

Applicants requesting a fee waiver due to financial concerns will need a letter from their current or former institutions affirming that their financial position qualifies them for such a waiver. This documentation should be emailed to Direct all queries to

Waivers of Access?
They can be obtained while filling out the AY application. There’s a box to check online that tells the recommender whether the applicant waives access or not.

Can I use a dossier service (such as Interfolio) to apply to the program or submit letters of recommendation?
Notre Dame allows the use of dossier services such as Interfolio in its application process so long as the services have the capability to upload documents to SLATE. Therefore, you may use some dossier services to collect and submit your letters of recommendation. The service you are using should review SLATE procedures and alert you to which parts of the application it can complete and which parts you will need to personally submit online. More information about the SLATE process is available on the Graduate School FAQ page.

Information too late to be included?
We’ll accept late application information, such as recommendation letters or GRE scores, as long as this information gets to us within a week, more or less, of the deadline.

How can I make any changes to a submitted application?
After you have officially submitted the web application, there is no way to re-enter and upload any additional material. Any revisions that are absolutely necessary must be sent to

Spring admission?
We offer only fall admittance to the graduate writing program. The application deadline is January 2nd.

If I am not offered admission and I reapply the following year, will my application materials still be on file?
You will have to fill out a new application and resubmit application materials (letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, transcripts, a new statement of intent, and the writing sample). If the Graduate School has your official GRE scores from the previous year, you do not have to resubmit them.

Wait, so I have to start a new application entirely if I'm reapplying to the program?
Yes, you must. You will have to create a new application and re-submit your application materials (letters of recommendation, CV, transcripts, statement of intent, and writing sample). You cannot edit an old application or reactivate it to submit it again, you have to start a new application. Starting over fresh gives you the opportunity to think about your previous application materials, make edits, or change things you may no longer feel represent you at your very best.


GRE Requirements

Is the GRE required for admission?
Yes. All applicants must take the GRE General Test. The Subject Test is not required for students pursuing only the MFA degree. (Those students seeking entry into the MA or PhD program options must also take the Subject Test in English). International students must complete the GRE general exam and the TOEFL.

When should I take the GRE?
GREs should be taken no later than the December test date.

What are the GRE codes?
The University of Notre Dame code is 1841. The Creative Writing code is 2503.

What is a typical GRE Score?
There isn’t a typical score. The faculty committee considering your application places most emphasis on the portfolio of work submitted.

Do I need my official GRE and/or TOEFL scores when I submit my application?
No, a scanned copy of your GRE test scores uploaded through the Online Application will suffice for admission. Official test scores should be received within a week (more or less) of the application deadline.

Are my GRE scores too old?
GRE scores are accepted for five years from the date you took the exam.


Writing Samples

What is the most important part of my application?
The writing sample plays the biggest role in the selection process.

What qualifications do I need to be accepted?
Admission to the Creative Writing Program is based primarily on the writing sample and letters of recommendation. All writing professors consider the writing samples from all applications for their particular genre. It is by far the most important part of the application. However, you must also be accepted by the University of Notre Dame Graduate School, which requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. Exceptions can be made for outstanding writing samples.

I wasn’t an English major. Can I still apply?
Yes, as long as your application demonstrates an ability to succeed in an MFA program, i.e., an outstanding writing sample.

What if I want to apply to the MFA program in both Poetry and Prose?
In addition to the materials required by the Graduate School, the applicant must submit a writing sample which should be roughly thirty pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, twenty pages of poetry, or an equivalent amount of other appropriate writing. An applicant wishing to apply in both prose and poetry must submit two writing samples.

Should I upload my writing samples as one document or more than one?
You can upload them all as one Word or PDF document, or you can upload them separately using the “Upload Additional Documents” button on the online application.

How many pages of poetry need to be submitted?
On average, 20 pages of poetry should be submitted. Anywhere between 18 and 22 pages is acceptable. These pages may consist of twenty or so individual short poems or several longer poems, as long as the work does not extend beyond the acceptable page limit.


Campus Visits

Should I visit the campus before applying?
Although visiting the Notre Dame campus before applying is certainly not required, the Creative Writing Office is happy to aide prospective students who wish to visit by providing them with campus maps and area information. Guided tours of the campus are also available from the Eck Visitors Center.

May I sit in on a class or meet with MFA faculty before applying?
University of Notre Dame policy prohibits visitors from sitting in classes, so you will not be able to attend a course before you are an accepted student. If you visit the university after being accepted to the program, you may sit in on a class if invited by the course instructor.

Due to the large number of campus visits arranged each year, our program generally does not schedule official meetings between visiting applicants and faculty members. Our professors are engaged in their roles as instructors, advisors, and authors, and, as such, are often unable to meet with each prospective student. Nevertheless, the faculty at Notre Dame is supportive and willing to meet with applicants when time and scheduling permit. Visiting students can contact professors via this link.