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Entrance Requirements for the MFA in Creative Writing

Welcome to our Entrance Requirements page. We are so glad you are applying to our MFA. We look forward to reading your work and connecting with you in person!

Entrance requirements for applicants to the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing include the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree – in any subject (a major, minor, or emphasis in creative writing, literature, communication studies, or journalism is preferred but not necessary)
  • Portfolio of Original Creative Work in a genre of emphasis (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or dual genre) – Required length is 20–25 pages for a prose submission (double-spaced) and 10 – 15 pages for a poetry submission (single-spaced, one poem to a page). For a dual genre submission, please submit 20–30 pages and include work in two genres. In this portfolio, please showcase the potential of the type of project(s) you want to work on in the MFA.
  • Statement of Purpose – Required length is 500–1000-words, typed, double-spaced. In your statement of purpose, please outline your relationship to your genre of choice and your creative process, as well as the goals you’d like to accomplish while in our program.
  • Sample Academic Essay or Craft Analysis Essay – Required length is 750–1500-words, typed, double-spaced. You can submit any academic essay that showcases your ability to engage in critical thinking and analysis. The essay can have a personal slant as long as it demonstrates original thought presented in an intelligent, professional manner. You can also write a craft analysis essay exploring how an author approaches one or more aspects of craft in a particular literary work of your choice. Please use MLA or APA citations.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation by individuals who know you in a professional and/or academic setting.
  • Interview with MFA Program Director and department faculty – The online interview with the MFA Program Director and English department faculty will be scheduled at the end of your application process once all of your other materials have been submitted.
  • Résumé (optional) – If you want, you have the opportunity to provide additional information in an up-to-date résumé. Here you can include your degrees, relevant coursework, attendance of summer writing programs or conferences, TA experience, professional work experience, publications, and other awards and accomplishments.
Submit your application for admission for the Fall entry by July 15. For more information, including application guidance, contact Theresa Fross in the Admissions Department at 641-209-9880 or theresa@miu.edu.

Before your first class

All MIU students practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique. If you have not learned it yet:

  • Once accepted as a US student, the cost of TM instruction is covered through a grant offered by MIU
  • Students are required to learn the TM technique before starting the first class
  • Contact your admissions counselor for details
  • Find information on the TM technique or search for a TM teacher at TM.org