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The NEOMFA accepts students in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. Though it is preferable 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. 


Deadline for full-time applicants seeking funding (fall matriculation):

  • January 15

Deadline for part-time applicants and other students not seeking funding:

  • November 15 (spring matriculation)
  • April 15 (fall matriculation)

There are two steps to applying to our program. You must complete two different applications to be considered. Please keep in mind that the deadlines for the different universities are not the same and not to be confused with NEOMFA deadlines.

1. Apply to the graduate school of the university of your choice: Cleveland State University, Kent State University, or The University of Akron.

2. Apply to the NEOMFA through this website.

Prospective students should only apply to one of the three universities accepting applications as gateways. Please contact the NEOMFA Campus Coordinators to learn more as to what each particular school offers its students.

I. Apply to a Graduate School

Prospective students apply for admittance to the Department of English through the Graduate School at one of three consortium universities: Cleveland State University, Kent State University, or The University of Akron. This university then becomes the student’s gateway campus. The NEOMFA program is located in the Departments of English on each campus.

The online application system for each university provides directions for submitting materials required by the English department at the student’s gateway of choice. Each university’s English Department graduate admissions page is linked below, where the prospective student may apply directly online:

Required application materials vary among the consortial graduate schools, and prospective students should review the requirements, as well as making sure to indicate their application is for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Creative Writing and not a Master of Arts (MA) program. Please follow your gateway’s instructions regarding letters of recommendation.

Note: All graduate school application materials should be sent to the appropriate graduate school or English department.

Remember application deadlines may vary for each individual gateway university.

II. Apply to NEOMFA

To apply to the NEOMFA Program, submit the following things to the form below. Please be sure to label each document that you send with your name and full contact information including an email address.

  • A creative portfolio of work in your genre
  • A one-page statement of goals

Additionally, please arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to These may be the same three letters sent to your gateway university's graduate college. Letters from current and former instructors are always welcome, as well as letters from employment supervisors, mentors, and other professionals.

Note that NEOMFA now accepts applications for matriculation in both fall and spring semesters.

For full-time students seeking funding, matriculation is in the fall. The deadline for application materials is January 15.

For students not seeking funding (including both degree and non-degree-seeking applicants), matriculation is in the spring or fall. The deadline for spring applications is November 15. The  deadline for fall applications is April 15.

We will contact you via email when we receive your portfolio and again to let you know the decision of the Admissions Committee.


Prospective students interested in an assistantship must contact the campus coordinator at the intended gateway university. Deadlines for assistantship applications vary by university and may be different than that of the MFA portfolio deadlines.

Email Address*
To which gateway school are you applying?*
On which genre do you intend to focus?*
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 nonfiction. Playwriting applicants should submit a full-length play and a twenty-page selection from another work. Please adhere to these page limits.

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? With whom have you studied and how has their influence been important to you?

Your one-page statement of goals may include:
• Current career goals
• 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