MFA Creative Writing

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Poetry


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. 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 do I establish that I'm an in-state student?
Simply submit this form and have your residency application approved.

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 Financial Aid with your name, the program you're applying to, what type of visa you have if you have one. If you’re 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, which means you will 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 and out-of-state tuition fees?
Sometimes they increase a little, but as a rough guide they are approximately $8,640 for NY State residents, and $15,570 for non-NY State residents.

How many letters of recommendation are required? How do my recommenders submit them?
We require two recommendation letters. Both must be submitted via the online application form. They can't be emailed, snail-mailed or hand-delivered. Unfortunately, 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. You'll find details on the online application form, explaining exactly how your recommenders submit their recommendation letters online. Basically, you enter the name and email address of each recommender, who will then be emailed a link, which they click to upload the letter.

How can I qualify for NY State, that is, 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. Refer to these guidelines.

Do I need to mail in any of my application materials?
Please do not mail anything. It's all online.

My online application system is showing that my application fee, transcript, etc. wasn't recieved, but I've already sent it in. What do I do?
Stand by. This is normal. It takes a while for all of an applicant's materials to show up on our system. If Admissions finds that something is missing, they'll contact you.

I missed the February 1 application deadline. Can I apply late? Or begin the course mid-year?
Unfortunately we cannot accept late applications for any reason. All applications must be submitted online by February 1. All new students begin the course in the Fall Semester.

Can I get a paper application?
We no longer accept paper applications. 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 reach out to them by phone at 212-396-6049, email, or visit their website.

Who do I contact to check that my documentation has been received?
You can check the progress of your application yourself by logging into the account you created to submit your application online. Please do not call or email the MFA office as application status is tracked by Graduate Admissions.

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?
Unfortunately, we don't allow prospective students, auditors, or students from other departments to attend any MFA classes. Only students currently enrolled in the Hunter MFA program may sit in or take Hunter MFA classes. The only exception is if you are offered a place in the MFA course, in which case you'll be invited to experience one session of an MFA workshop or craft class soon after you receive your offer.

Is there any other class I can take, that's related to the MFA?
Yes, there's an undergraduate class called Distinguished Living Writers, HUM 150, which is taught by MFA Creative Writing students. Each semester it focuses on the work of our visiting writers. Students of this course receive private class visits by many of the visiting writers. To enroll as a non-matriculated student, first submit a Non-Degree Admission Application. Your application will still be considered if you miss the deadline. As long as it's accepted, you can apply for the class in CUNYfirst by searching for Distinguished Living Writers, HUM 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 sometimes 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, 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 Graduate Admissions. There's also useful information on the Hunter International Students Office website. Tuition fees for international students are the same as those for out-of-state students.

I've found a mistake on the website. Who do I tell?
Please email details on any typos, broken links, and the like. Thank you.

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.