Image of hand writing in notebook

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. Any out-of-state student pays in-state tuition rates.

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 the NEOMFA deadline, which is always January 15.

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

Prospective students should only apply to one of the four universities. 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 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 four 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 linked here.

Remember application deadlines may vary for each individual gateway university.

II. Apply to NEOMFA

To apply to the NEOMFA Program, submit the following four things to the form below by January 15. Please be sure to label each document that you send with your name and full contact information including an email address.

  • A one-page statement of goals
  • A portfolio of creative work in your genre
  • Three letters of recommendation sent to your gateway university and

Note that NEOMFA only accepts applicants for fall semester matriculation. The deadline for your application materials is January 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

NEOMFA's Ohio icon

© 2021 NEOMFA
English Department
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio  44115