Prospective Students

What is the NEOMFA?

The NEOMFA is the only consortial Creative Writing MFA program in the country. We utilize the best of four universities’ offerings in one streamlined program. Students apply to one home campus and have the opportunity to take classes at all four campuses in these genres:

How to Apply to the NEOMFA

The NEOMFA accepts students in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. Though it is favorable to have completed an undergraduate degree in English, Theatre, or a related field, students applying for the MFA degree who do not have any of these undergraduate majors may be admitted on the basis of writing excellence. While the NEOMFA Program does not require the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or consider GRE scores during the admissions process, individual gateway schools may require it, especially for assistantship consideration, and applicants should consult the Gateway’s Graduate Coordinator for further information.  Any out-of-state student pays in-state tuition rates.

There are two steps to applying to our program:

  1. Apply to ONE graduate school at a consortial university.
  2. Apply to the NEOMFA.

1) Apply to a Graduate School at one of the Four Consortial Universities

Apply for admittance to the Department of English through the Graduate School at one of the four consortium universities–Cleveland State University, Kent State University, The University of Akron, OR Youngstown State University. The MFA program is located in the Departments of English on each campus.
The online application system for each university will give you directions for submitting materials required by the English department at your gateway of choice. Follow the links below to get more information at each university’s English Department graduate admissions page, then use the “click here” links for online application forms by university:

Required application materials to the gateway school may vary by campus. Be sure you know what you need to send and where. Be sure to indicate that you are applying for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA not MA) program in Creative Writing.

NOTE: ALL GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION MATERIALS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE GRADUATE SCHOOL OR ENGLISH DEPARTMENT IN THE LINKS ABOVE, NOT TO THE NEOMFA OFFICE.

Application deadlines may vary for each individual gateway university.

If you are not sure which school you should apply to, contact the NEOMFA Campus Coordinators for advice on what each particular school has to offer. You need only apply to ONE of the gateway universities.

NEOMFA Campus Coordinators:

2) Apply to the NEOMFA Program

Send three (3) letters of recommendation, a one-page statement of goals and a portfolio of your creative work in your genre to the NEOMFA Office at neomfa.applicants@gmail.com

Letters of Recommendation

We prefer that those who are recommending you e-mail their letters directly to us at neomfa.applicants@gmail.com. It is also possible to have hard-copy letters sent via U. S. Mail to NEOMFA/Department of English – Cleveland State University/2121 Euclid Ave./Cleveland, OH 44115.

Statement of Goals

We are interested in knowing more about your background in creative writing: What authors have had an important influence on your work and why? Who have you studied with and how has their influence been important to you?
Your one-page statement of goals may include:

  • Your current career goals, and
  • Compatibility of these goals with the purpose and design of the NEOMFA.
  • Specific reading and writing projects in area of specialization.
  • Degrees, special workshops attended, or other relevant experience.
  • Honors and awards.
  • Publications in your chosen genre (including date, publisher, page numbers).
  • Relevant work experience.

Creative Portfolio

The creative portfolio is a sampling of your creative work in your specific genre: 15 pages of poetry, or 30 pages of fiction or creative non-fiction. Playwriting applicants should submit a full-length play and a twenty-page selection from another work.

The statement and portfolio should be sent as 2 separate attachments (in .doc, .docx, or .rtf) and emailed to the attention of NEOMFA Director,  Prof. Mike Geither: neomfa.applicants@gmail.com

Please be sure to label each document that you send with your name and full contact information including an email address. We will contact you when we receive your portfolio and again to let you know the decision of the Admissions Committee.

NOTE: ALL DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE NEOMFA OFFICES AT THE neomfa.applicants@gmail.com EMAIL ADDRESS, NOT TO THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT OR GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE CHOSEN GATEWAY UNIVERSITY.

The deadline for portfolios is February 1st!

The NEOMFA only accepts applicants for fall semester matriculation.

If you also intend to apply for an assistantship please check with the Campus Coordinator at your gateway university. Deadlines for assistantship applications vary by university and may be different than that of the MFA portfolio deadlines.