Applicants to the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing are required to:
- Application Submit an online Application for Admission to the Graduate College. Please note that this requires an application fee, which you can read more about here.
- Intent to Specialize Indicate your intent to specialize in Poetry or Fiction under the heading "Application Information," Field(s) of Specialization on the online application.
- Transcripts Submit one copy of each transcript of all previous college-level work. The transcript must indicate the name of the applicant, name of the institution, and show grades by semester/quarter. You are required to upload one copy of all previous college-level work to your online application. Please include a copy of the transcript legend or university key (back page in most cases) for each institution. English translations should be included if the credentials are not in English. Official transcripts are not required at initial time of application; however, the University of Illinois reserves the right to require official academic credentials at any time during the admissions process, and may rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcript(s) are found. Additional details about uploading are available on the graduate college website. Only if you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official credentials (sent to us by mail directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents which must show the award of degrees. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.
- Letters of Recommendation Submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors of your college English courses. Letters may be electronically uploaded to your online application by your recommenders, or through Interfolio. Letters can also be mailed with a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature across the seal.
- Academic Statement Please write a statement that answers the following questions (1,000 words max):
- How has your academic background, including any training, research, or other educational experiences, prepared you for graduate study?
- What are your intellectual interests, and what scholarly questions are you interested in exploring in graduate study?
- Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own with whom you would like to work?
- How will our program help you achieve your academic and professional goals?
- Short Personal Statements (250 words max)
- Required Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development.
- Required Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively.
Optional Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware.
Optional If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here.
- Statement of Purpose The Creative Writing MFA Statement of Purpose (300-500 words) should be a precise and powerfully-written intellectual biography. What writers or authors, courses, literary works, critical texts have influenced you? What critical questions, historical or national issues, disciplinary or interdisciplinary interests do you hope to pursue in graduate school and beyond? Why? Why at Illinois in particular?
- Writing Sample Upload a Writing Sample. No more than 20-25 pages of fiction or 15 pages of poetry are to be uploaded to your online application. Please include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available). Please upload to your online application in the “Writing Sample” area.
As of 2020, the GRE General Test is no longer required for MFA applicants.