College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > English > Graduate Programs > Creative Writing and Publishing (MFA) > Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

For both the MFA and MA, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is required. For admission, a student should have:

  • A strong record of previous academic achievement.
  • Relevant course work in creative writing or experience such as publishing original work and/or participating in a writers’ group that has resulted in a body of creative writing.

Students apply to both the MA and the MFA simultaneously. MA students may apply to the MFA after two quarters of graduate study with the recommendation of the faculty and an updated writing sample.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • A completed online application.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.
  • A résumé that summarizes your education and relevant experience.
  • A reflective essay, from 500 to 750 words long, describing your objectives in applying to DePaul’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing and Publishing and your plans for the future. Please also discuss any long-form projects you are planning to write while a student at DePaul (e.g. novel, collection of short stories, memoir, etc.). In addition, please identify a faculty member within the Creative Writing and Publishing program with whom you would like to study. The admission committee takes this statement seriously, so please be as specific as possible about how and why this program would help you reach your creative and professional goals.
  • A portfolio (approximately 25 pages, double-spaced) of representative creative writing. You may submit creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or a combination. If you are submitting poetry, please ensure that at least half of your portfolio contains samples of your prose writing. 
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Students applying for graduate assistantships must submit two letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate's ability to succeed in graduate study.

Students educated outside of the U.S. must provide a credit evaluation and proof of English proficiency by submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score. Visit for more information.

How to Apply

Online applications can be submitted at Application credentials can be submitted through the online application or by email to Additionally, official electronic transcripts can be emailed to directly by the issuing institution. Please make sure your name is on all documents.  Letters of recommendation must be emailed directly from the recommender as an attached pdf document on letterhead with the recommender's signature.

Transcripts and other required credentials also can be mailed to:

The Office of Graduate Admission
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
DePaul University
2400 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

Application Deadlines

We accept applications all year round, and students may begin their studies in any academic term. We strongly suggest that students submit their applications 10 to 12 weeks prior to the quarter in which they wish to begin their studies (i.e., June for fall entry, late October for winter entry, early January for spring entry).

Learn more about Graduate Admission.

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If you need assistance to complete your application and/or have questions, contact the LAS Graduate Admission office at (773) 325-7315 or