Creative Writing Application Info | NSPE | The New School in New York City

Application Information

  • The New School master's program in creative writing is based on the principle that writing is a skill that can be learned through practice. Good writers can come from any background. We are a community that cares deeply about literary excellence and about the influence writers can have beyond the world of letters. Whether or not you are already published, we welcome your interest in developing your life as a writer.

    A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and an acceptable writing portfolio (described below) are the only prerequisites for applying.

    Because of the integral nature of the MFA in Creative Writing, transfer credits are not accepted. The program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Part-time study is not an option.

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and writing for children has been extended to January 21. Applications submitted after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis; for inquiries, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission. There is no spring semester admission.

    How to Apply

    Plan ahead to meet the application deadline. It takes time for supporting documents such as official transcripts and reference letters to reach The New School. Your application will not be reviewed until all the required documents have been received by the Office of Admission. Former students seeking readmission must contact the Office of Admission for instructions before proceeding.

    All applicants except readmits are required to use the online application. The application fee and most supporting documents can be submitted online with the application form. The online application form includes detailed instructions. You can also download the application instructions. Please read the instructions carefully before filling out the application.

    A complete MFA in Creative Writing application includes:

    • The application
    • The application fee: $50 (nonrefundable)
    • Transcripts from every college or university previously attended, including documentation of undergraduate degree completion or the U.S. equivalent
    • A statement of purpose—a 500-word explanation of your interest in and preparation for graduate study in creative writing
    • A résumé or curriculum vitae
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Writing portfolio: The content of your portfolio depends on your planned concentration. Submit a typed manuscript, double spaced. You may include published and unpublished work.
      • Fiction or Nonfiction: 20 pages consisting of short fiction, an essay, or a selection from a larger work
      • Poetry: 10 pages of verse
      • Writing for Children: 20 pages of fiction and/or nonfiction or a draft outline for a children's book

      Applicants with substantial accomplishments in more than one genre can apply for a dual concentration, but they must identify a primary and a secondary field and submit a separate writing portfolio for each.

    Any supporting documents not submitted online can be mailed to the Office of Admission, accompanied by an Application Materials Cover Sheet.


    Unofficial Transcripts

    In the Educational Background section of the online application, upload a copy of your transcript, mark sheet, or academic record from every institution you attended (even if you didn't receive a degree). Make sure you include any explanatory key or legend associated with a record (usually the back page of a transcript). These documents must be uploaded before you submit the application.

    Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial. The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Misrepresentation of your record as indicated by discrepancies between unofficial and official transcripts may result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School.

    Academic records in languages other than English must be accompanied by an English translation.

    Records from institutions outside the U.S. must include a grade or mark for each course and a copy of the diploma if a degree has been conferred.

    Make sure your name appears on each document that you upload. Make sure scans must be clear and legible.

    If you have difficulty uploading an academic record document, send an email to with the subject line "Upload Transcript Issue"; describe in detail the problem you encountered, and attach the document in question to the email. Do not subsequently mail materials that you uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.

    Official Transcripts

    Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts from every institution attended.

    An offer of admission is always contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for a second semester unless all official transcripts (including degree certifications) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission.

    If an institution is outside of the United States, see Foreign Credentials below.

    Transcripts by Mail

    Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal and must be in a sealed envelope signed or stamped by the issuing university's registrar or records office. You can request that institutions send transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Admission at The New School, or you can forward an official transcript in the original sealed envelope accompanied by the Application Materials Cover Sheet.

    Electronic Transcripts

    The New School accepts electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions if distributed by one of the following approved vendors:

    • National Student Clearinghouse
    • Naviance by Hobsons
    • Parchment, which includes Avow Systems Inc. and Docufide Inc.
    • SCRIP-SAFE International

    This policy does not apply to international documents due to translation and evaluation requirements (see Foreign Credentials below).

    Any electronic transcripts not received directly from one of the vendors named above will be treated as UNOFFICIAL.

    Foreign Credentials

    All transcripts and mark sheets not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation (and degree certification) by WES or another NACES provider.

    Foreign Credentials for Transfer Credits

    See special requirements for transcript evaluation.

    International Applicants

    See special requirements for English language proficiency.

    Costs and Financial Aid

    Visit the Registrar's website for tuition and fees and Student Financial Services for estimated additional costs of attendance. Speak to an admission counselor if you are concerned about costs. The New School will work with you to help you finance your graduate studies. All accepted students are automatically considered for New School merit-based scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.

    All U.S. citizens and permanent residents who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are considered for loans and grants on the basis of need. The New School's federal school code is 002780. You do not have to wait for an admission decision to file the FAFSA; you can file for the next year beginning January 1.

    Additional Information

    Successful applicants receive a letter of acceptance, which includes detailed information about and instructions for financial aid, housing, registration, student visas (for nonresidents of the United States), and other matters.

    Writing portfolios and all other documents submitted as part of the application for admission become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to the applicant or transmitted to a third party.

    In any given term, a student may apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.