|Application deadline: January 2, 2013
International Application deadline: December 1, 2012
January 2 is the deadline for receiving all admission materials. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, materials will be accepted on the first working day following the deadline. All materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation and G.R.E. scores must be received by January 2, 2013. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted after midnight, EST on January 2,2013.
Please note that all of your materials must be submitted online as one file with the exception of university transcripts.
NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: Please be aware that all non-U.S. citizens are considered international applicants. Only students currently studying at Indiana University are exempt from this rule.
NOTE FOR DOMESTIC APPLICANTS: Please be aware that you will need to submit your application form and fee in advance of the deadline on January 2, 2012. You will enter the contact information for each of your recommenders. The system will send each recommender an email with instructions for uploading letters of recommendation. Please note that this email will not be sent until you submit your application form. This means that if you do not submit your application until the January 2nd deadline, your recommenders will not have enough time to write you a letter. We will not accept any letters submitted after midnight, EST on January 2, 2012. We suggest you submit your application form and fee by the beginning of October.
Please click here to apply.
Application Materials Checklist
Students applying to the M.F.A in Creative Writing are required to submit the following online in one file (except transcripts):
- a personal statement (500 word limit).
- a statement about the teaching of creative writing (500 word limit).
- three letters of recommendation.
- one set of official transcripts (sent directly from the attended institutions)
- one set of official GRE scores submitted online and sent directly from ETS.
- a portfolio of thirty pages of fiction or twenty pages poetry.
- TOEFL Scores (for foreign applicants only)
SCHOOL CODE: 1324 DEPT. CODE: 2503 (for GRE scores and Transcripts)
All materials with the exception of the transcripts must be uploaded to the online application. Transcripts must be mailed to:
Creative Writing Admissions
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Ballantine Hall Rm. 442
Bloomington, IN 47405.
Please also see the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the page.
Our admissions committees in fiction and poetry usually are made up three writers. Committee members read the applications carefully, with a decided emphasis on the manuscript portion. We look for talent that genuinely excites us and that we feel we can work with and develop. The manuscript portion of the application is, by far, the most important part of the application and the main criterion on which decisions of acceptance are based. We strongly encourage applicants to read the published work of the Faculty in their genre since these are the writers the students will be working with in the program.
We do not require the GRE subject test in English; however, we encourage applicants who have taken the subject exam to have the results sent to us. Our Admissions Committees look for evidence that prospective students can successfully take graduate-level courses in literature, language, or culture since four graduate-level courses in these areas are required for our M.F.A. degree.
All applicants should upload a statement of about 500 words describing their ideas about the teaching of creative writing and suggesting a rationale for such teaching. This is a SEPARATE statement from the personal statement listed above. Our admissions committees are especially interested in hearing how applicants might teach a beginning-level creative writing course in poetry and fiction. Applicants should feel free to include a brief description that details their thoughts on how they would teach such a course and why. Actual teaching experience is certainly of interest but not at all a requirement.
Please note that we read applications to our program only once a year, for admission beginning in the fall semester only.
If you have any questions about the study of creative writing at Indiana University, please contact the Administrative Assistant or Ross Gay, Director of Admissions.
Frequently Asked Questions in Admissions:
--Do I need to have all of my materials by January 2 deadline, or just the application?
Both the application and the supplementary materials must be uploaded and transcripts received by January 2, 2012.
--Can I apply for the Spring semester?
No. We admit students only during the Fall semester.
--Can I apply to both poetry and fiction?
You may, but you must submit separate applications, with writing sample specific to each genre. Please don’t send both poetry and fiction with a single application. This also means you will have to pay 2 application fees.
--Can I apply to nonfiction?
No. We offer tracks only in poetry and fiction. We do, however, offer courses in nonfiction, and our students in both poetry and fiction have benefitted greatly from these courses.
--What should I write in my personal statement?
There is no single formula for personal statements. Your personal statement is how you introduce yourself to us—not only as a writer but also as a human being. We want to hear an honest voice, and one that shares our commitment to writing and learning about writing. We want to discern whether the applicant will be a productive and valuable member of our MFA program.
--What should I write in my teaching statement?
As with the personal statement, there is no single formula for teaching statements. You are asked to describe your ideas about the teaching of creative writing and suggest a rationale for such teaching. We want to hear a voice that resonates with our own unequivocal emphasis on teaching as a part of a well-rounded MFA education.
--If my writing sample is a couple of pages short of the stipulated 30 pages for fiction and 20 pages of poetry, will my application be disqualified?
We will most likely ignore it if your sample is only a page or two short, but in general we like our applicants to stick to the page length we require.
--I applied last year and wasn’t admitted. I want to apply again this year. What do I need to do?
You need to submit a new application form. You are also advised to submit new statements and writing sample that demonstrate developments in your thinking and writing from the previous year.
--How do you run your workshop?
Our workshop is a place for total immersion in the art and craft of writing. It is a lively arena where the actual written material of the student-writers takes center stage, where that writing is explored and discussed in a productive and encouraging atmosphere, where students also examine work by published authors to gain insights into their own craft.
We’ve designed our teaching schedule to ensure that students, regardless of when they enter the program, will have an opportunity to take workshops with different faculty members in the program. We are proud of the diversity our faculty bring in their approaches to the workshop. What this also means is there is no one way in which the workshop is “run.” In fact, we discourage prospective students from “workshop shopping,” i.e., determining beforehand whether a workshop will be to their liking. An MFA in Creative Writing, in our view, is an opportunity not only to consolidate your strengths but also to stretch yourself into new areas of exploration. Some of our best writing happens in moments of discovery. A pre-determined approach to the workshop shuts out new avenues and new directions that could lead to truly exciting art.
--Do I need to have majored in either English or Creative Writing in order to gain admission to your program?
No. In fact, many of our students come from areas other than English or Creative Writing. Our program, however, has a strong literature component and our students teach creative writing and composition (which invariably involves exploration and discussion of literary texts). So, we want to see evidence that prospective students can be successful in talking and writing about literature, both in the classes they take and the classes they teach.