• Creative Writing Programs Admission Requirements

    This page provides application information for anyone interested in applying for one of our MFA program options. Please read the instructions thoroughly before beginning the application process.

    View specific information on Sampler's and Workshops:

    How to Apply

    Complete the following online application to get started.

    Apply Online 

    Required Questions and Materials

    The application requirements consist of: 1) Questionnaire, 2) Critical essay, 3) Creative writing sample, and 4) Supplemental material. The questionnaire, essay, and writing sample may be submitted online; supplemental materials are submitted separately.

    NOTE: Hamline MFA alumni are exempt from the questionnaire and the letters of recommendation.

    1) Questionnaire:  

    We have replaced our personal statement/essay with this questionnaire in order to find out more about you as a prospective student in our MFA program. Our faculty reviewers will be looking for well-written, thoughtful responses that let us know more about the kind of writer and student you are/will be

    2) Critical essay:  

    MFA - Please write a 3 to 4 page, double-spaced, critical essay, focusing on an element of craft or a particular subject in a book you admire as a writer. For example, if you were struck by the effective way in which a particular author moved around in time, focus on how the author did this. If you were struck by the strong voice on the page, focus on how this was done. If you think a particular book is a great example of a sports novel for teenage girls, explain why.

    MFAC - Please write a 3 to 4 page, double-spaced, critical essay, focusing on an element of craft or a particular subject in a children's or young adult book that has impressed you. For example, focus on the ways in which the writer created tension on the page to move the reader forward through the book. Or, focus on the ways in which the author developed the characters in the picture book you read. Or, based on a particular book, discuss what elements make a successful sports novel for girls. Please use specific examples from the text as evidence to support your opinion(s).

    3) Creative writing sample:  

    Please submit a sample of your best creative writing. This includes 20 pages of prose (double spaced) or poetry (for MFA and MFAC), or text for one picture book (MFAC). You may submit a critical essay as your sample, as long as it has a distinctive voice and form. We are not looking for samples of professional or technical writing, research papers, or articles. While you may submit more than one piece of writing, we encourage you to submit a fully realized piece—either a full story or chapter, a complete poem or sequence of poems, a complete essay or creative nonfiction narrative.


    4) Supplemental material:

    • Official transcripts from your regionally-accredited, undergraduate degree-granting institution. Transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to the Office of Graduate Admission.
    • Two letters of recommendation. Request these letters from two people familiar with your academic, artistic, and/or professional qualifications. While most students submit letters from current or former teachers/mentors, this is not possible for all students. It’s appropriate to submit a letter from someone well-versed in writing and literature who has read your work, and/or a colleague or supervisor at work who can attest to the kind of student you will be in terms of your seriousness of purpose, reliability, ability to interact well with others.
    • Any additional materials you wish the admission committee to consider. These may include additional letters of recommendation or previously published work (this should be brief). 

    Application Deadlines

    Please note: all materials must be received by the posted deadline.

    MFA in Creative Writing

    • Fall - February 1 for scholarship consideration; April 1 extended deadline for all others
    • Spring - November 1

    Low-Residency MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults 

    • Summer - April 1 (please select "summer" term for the July Residency)
    • Winter - October 1 (please select "winter" term for the January Residency)

    Low-Residency MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Alternative Admission Options: "Mini Immersion" Semester & Residency, Post-Graduate Semester & Residency, and Accelerated MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults 

    • Summer - May 15 (please select "summer" term for the July Residency)
    • Winter - November 15 (please select "winter" term for the January Residency)

     Additional Questions?

    If you have any additional questions about the application process, please contact us using any of the methods listed below.

    Phone: 651-523-2900
    Toll free: 800-753-9753
    Fax: 651-523-2458
    Email: gradprog@hamline.edu