Creative Writing Admission

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Admission Requirements

A bird on a fountain in the middle of Fairfield University's campus.Admission requirements for the MFA in Creative Writing are based on the following criteria:

  • Completed application for Graduate Admission 
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service) Transcripts must be mailed directly to the University at the address below.
  • Two recommendation forms and letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The recommendations are completed online. At the time of application, you will need to provide your two recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Interviews. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview as part of the admission process. If required, candidates will be contacted by the program director to schedule an appointment.
  • Sample portfolio. Students are required to submit sample of their work (20-30 pages of fiction, non-fiction, or screenwriting or 6-8 poems).
  • Personal statement. Students should describe why they want to be a writer and emphasize their commitment to their craft. While students in the program can work in more than one genre, they should specify which of the three genres they are applying for in their personal statement. 

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

For the winter residency, please apply for the spring semester.
For the summer residency, please apply for the fall semester.

Application Information for U.S. and Permanent Residents of the United States
Application Information for International Applicants

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information on financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid. 

Special Admission Options

Prior Learning Assessment

Our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) option offers highly qualified students the opportunity to receive up to one full semester credit for the work they have already written or published. Students receiving the PLA can finish the MFA in three semesters instead of four. 

Some of our very best students come to our program after years of working as writers. They have advanced skills in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or screen writing. Some have significant publications or have worked as professional writers. The PLA concept is intended to give academic credit (up to one full semester or 15 credits in the Fairfield MFA) to creative writers for significant prior learning experience, i.e. both for previous formal creative writing training in an MFA or MA in creative writing program, or a sustained, high level of skill in writing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or screen-writing. The following are some of the examples of work that would be considered for PLA: 

  • Successful completion of one full semester of graduate-level creative writing in an MFA or MA program;
  • Significant publications (for example, a book of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or a screenplay/play that has been produced, or significant individual publications in literary journals);
  • Prizes or awards received for creative writing work already written;
  • Unpublished work in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or screen writing that, in the opinion of Fairfield’s MFA review board, demonstrates work that is of publishable quality. 

Students interested in applying for PLA for up to 15 credits must complete the following requirements:

  1. Apply to the MFA program: APPLY NOW
  2. Upload a copy or copies of published work, or an extended piece of highly polished unpublished work (90 pages; or the equivalent of one semester of one-on-one work in the MFA)
  3. Write and upload a 3-5 page analysis of how your prior learning experience developed your ability as a writer.

Fairfield’s MFA Admission Committee will review applicants seeking PLA consideration and make the decision to award prior learning credit to the student, up to 15 academic credits (i.e., one semester in the MFA program). Students will be notified at the time of admission about PLA credits.

Accelerated MFA in Creative Writing

The College of Arts and Sciences has created an accelerated pathway for current, high achieving undergraduate students who are interested in transitioning directly into the MFA in Creative Writing program.

Scholarships And Financial Aid

The $5,000 MFA Fellowship

The prestigious $5,000 MFA Fellowship will be awarded to the most promising writer in each residency applicant pool. To be considered for this one-time tuition-based award, you must have a complete application (including personal statement and writing sample) filed by the following priority deadlines:

Priority Deadline and Notification Dates:

October 15 for December Residency and November 15 notification
April 15 for July Residency and May 1 notification


For further information or questions, please contact


Teaching Assistant Positions

Three to four paid part-time Teaching Assistant (TA) positions are available every year for students who live in the Fairfield area. Hiring for the TA positions takes place in March for the next academic year. Please contact Sonya Huber at for current position descriptions and to apply


College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Veterans Fellowships

The College of Arts and Sciences takes pride in serving our veterans, just as they take pride in having served our country. As part of our commitment to helping these individuals attain their educational goals, The College is proud to offer a number of graduate level veterans fellowships to former servicemen and servicewomen interested in pursuing an MFA or MPA from Fairfield University. Each of the fellowships range from $3,000 to $10,000 and are available to veterans enrolled in the MFA or MPA Programs who have exhausted all or a portion of their GI Bill® educational benefits. Visit our Veterans Financial Aid page for details on how to apply.

Veterans Pride Program

Fairfield University is grateful to all veterans for their service and is dedicated to helping that attain their educational goals. Many veterans have earned their MFA through our program and received additional support through the Yellow Ribbon program. Visit our Veterans Financial Aid page for details on how to apply.

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