Creative Writing Application Info | NSPE | The New School in New York City
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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 is January 15. 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

    The Office of Graduate Admission is available to you during the application process. You are encouraged to email the Admission liaison, Anita Christian, at christia@newschool.edu with any questions during your application process.

    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.

    Transcripts

    Unofficial Transcripts

    Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if they didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.

    • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
    • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. Institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
    • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
    • Do not mail materials that have been uploaded with the online application or any other materials unless requested by the admission office.
    • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email enroll@newschool.edu with the subject line “Upload Transcript Issue” and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.

    The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

    Official Transcripts

    Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts (as well as official certified translations and evaluations of the transcripts/mark sheets and degree certifications if the degree was earned outside of the United States) to The New School. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career.

    Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. New students will not be permitted to register for their second semester of study until all official transcripts (including degree awarding transcripts) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admission. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

    Transfer Applicants

    Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for questions about transfer requirements.

    By Mail

    Official transcripts should have an original signature or a raised university seal, and must be in a sealed envelope that has been signed or stamped by the issuing university’s registrar or records office. Applicants can either send official transcripts with an Application Materials Cover Sheet or request that institutions send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for supplemental application materials:

    The New School for Public Engagement
    Office of Graduate Admission
    Creative Writing Program (NS 300)
    79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
    New York, NY 10003

    Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only)

    The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors. The New School’s approved vendors in order of preference are

    • Parchment Exchange
    • Naviance by Hobsons
    • SCRIP-SAFE International
    • National Student Clearinghouse

    We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. Note: All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

    International Academic Credentials:

    All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English language translation.

    International Academic Credentials with 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.

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