Frequently asked questions
How does the free ride work, if I'm an out-of-state student?
First, you need to file a FAFSA application [click here]. Once that’s accepted you’ll get a waiver equal to the value of in-state tuition. Now subtract the value of that waiver from out of state tuition fee, and you’re left with a vastly reduced bill for your first year.
How quickly can I qualify as in-state?
If you move to New York State in your first year you’ll normally be considered in-state by your second. To make sure of this you need to submit a residency application and have it approved.
How does the free ride work, if I'm a non-U.S. citizen?
Alas, it doesn’t.
How do I establish that I'm an in-state student?
Simply submit this form and have your residency application approved.
If I'm not an in-state student, what then?
We expect you'll be established as an in-state student by your second year, in which case all your tuition will be covered. In the year that you are an out-of-state student you will need to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This is still a whopping great discount.
You must also complete a Hertog Fellowship or poetry fellowship and must complete the MFA in two years to receive the tuition waiver.
How does the free ride work, if I'm a non-U.S. citizen?
Some non-U.S. citizens are eligible for our free-ride tuition waiver. To find out whether you are eligible, please email our Financial Aid Dept at email@example.com with your name, which program you're applying to, what type of visa you have (if you have one). If you are eligible, they'll let you know. If you are, you will not have to file a FASFA, and you will pay the same as an out-of-state student, so you'll be charged out-of-state tuition fees, you'll receive a tuition waiver equivalent to in-state tuition, and you'll pay the difference.
What are the in-state/out-of-state tuition fees?
They increase a little each year, but as a rough guide they are approximately $8,640 in-state (NY State residents) and $15,570 out-of-state (non-NY State residents).
How many letters of recommendation do you require? How do my recommenders submit them?
We require just two rec letters. They must both be submitted via the online application form. We're unable to accept any emailed, snail-mailed or hand-delivered letters, unfortunately, and we're unable to accept anything submitted via Interfolio or any similar service. If you submit more than two letters, we'll only consider the first two that arrive, in order to remain fair to all applicants. You'll find details on the online application form, explaining exactly how to have your recommenders submit their rec letters online, but basically you enter the name and email address of each recommender, who will then be emailed a link, which s/he'll click to upload the letter directly.
How can I qualify for in-state tuition fees (which are lower than out-of-state fees)?
You'll need to have lived in New York State for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding your first day of classes, and you'll need to be able to prove that with documents, such as utility bills. Even if you don't qualify for in-state tuition during your first year of the MFA program, you can qualify for in-state tuition during your second year, as long as you spent your first year living in New York State and you have the required documents to prove your residency. Here are the full, official guidelines on how to establish and prove residency.
Do I need to mail in any of my application materials, or is it all online now?
It's all online now. No need to mail us anything, to apply. Your application form is online, you upload scans of our college transcripts as part of that online application form, and your recommenders must upload their rec letters online.
My online application is showing you didn't receive my application fee, transcript, etc., but I've already sent it in. Should I be worried?
No need to worry. This is completely normal. It often takes a while for all an applicant's materials to show up on our system. And if the admissions office ultimately finds something is missing, they'll contact you.
I missed the Feb. 1 application deadline. Can I apply late? Or begin the course mid-year?
No, unfortunately we don't accept any late applications, for any reason. All applications must be postmarked or submitted online by Feb. 1. And all new students begin the course in the Fall Semester. There is no admission in the Spring Semester
Can I get a paper application form?
Sorry, we no longer accept paper application forms. Please apply online.
Where can I get help with my online application?
The good people at the Graduate Admissions Office are on hand to help you with any problems you may have with your online application. Feel free to call them on 212.396.6049, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
Who do I call to check that my documentaton has been received?
No part of your application may be mailed in. Everything needs to be uploaded via the online application form. Regarding the progress of your application, there's no need to call! You can check the progress of your application yourself, by logging in the account you created to submit your application online. If you absolutely must check on something, you should contact the Hunter Admissions Office by calling: 212-396-6049. Please do not call or email the MFA office: it doesn't have this information.
Can I sit in on an MFA class, to see what it's like? Or enroll in a class if I'm not a Hunter MFA student?
No. Unfortunately, we don’t allow prospective students, auditors, students from other departments, etc., to attend any MFA classes. Only students currently enrolled in the Hunter MFA program may take Hunter MFA classes. The only exception is if you are offered a place on the MFA course, in which case you’ll be invited to sit in on one session of an MFA workshop or craft class, if you’d like to, soon after you receive your offer (usually March or April).
Is there any other class I can take, that's related to the MFA?
Yes, there's an undergrad class called Distingusished Living Writers, which is taught by Hunter MFA students and which focuses on the
work of our visiting writers each semester. Students of this course receive private class visits by these visiting writers. To enroll as a non-matriculated student, first submit a Non-Degree Admission Application here (your application will still be considered if you miss the deadline), and then as long as it's accepted, you can apply for the class on CUNYfirst by searching for:
--Subject: HUM - Humanities
--Course Number: Contains - 150
They can also help you get registered at the undergrad admissions office.
Can I work a full-time job during the MFA program?
All of the MFA classes start at 5.30pm or later, so it is possible to work full-time during the course, and a fair number of students do manage to hold down nine-to-five jobs. These people often spread out the course load by taking one of their literature classes during the summer break. Even so, working full-time and studying for the MFA is hard work, and you'll need to have discipline to keep up.
Most students work part time. If you are able to work part-time (or not at all), we recommend you do so.
Can I take longer than two years to complete the MFA?
No, all students must complete the MFA within two years.
Do you require the GRE?
No, we don't. You do not need to take the GRE.
I applied to the Hunter MFA before but didn't get in. Can I apply again?
Yes. We welcome you to apply again. A person's writing skills can develop considerably in the course of a year or two. We regularly accept people who had applied unsuccessfully in the past but kept working on their writing skills and applied again. To apply again, simply create a new application account and submit a new application, along with all of the application materials.
Do you accept applications from international students?
Yes, we welcome applications from international students. Please direct any questions about special requirements for international-student applications, to the Office of Graduate Admissions: Tel. 212-396.6049. Click here for their web site. There's also some useful information on the Hunter International Students Office web site. Tuition fees for international students are the same as those for out-of-state students.
I've found a mistake on the web site. Who do I tell?
Please send details of any typos, inaccurate information, broken links or any other mistakes or suggested improvements to email@example.com.
What are "learning outcomes"?
The learning outcomes are a rubric we're required to post, as part of an assessment process. They are as follows:
1. Workshop. Develop constructive workshop practices and demonstrate the ability to read closely and respond constructively to the writing of workshop participants.
2. Craft. Analyze the work of published writers in order to understand their techniques, methods and approaches, with the aim of enriching students’ own writing ability.
3. Literature. Demonstrate a sophisticated familiarity with literary history and context.
4. Thesis. Write and edit a sustained piece of creative writing.