How to Apply
The Graduate Application for the MFA in Creative Writing is available online here.
You may submit the form electronically or mail a paper application. Similarly, additional materials may be mailed or submitted electronically, as word or pdf attachments, to:
Once you have submitted the electronic application, please submit the remaining items (2-6 below). Your application will not be considered for admission until it is complete.
To process your application, we will need:
1. A completed and signed application (submitted electronically or with packet)
2. A $25, non-refundable, application fee
3. A sample of your creative work (see guidelines below)
4. An application essay (see guidelines below)
5. A sample craft or scholarly essay (see guidelines below)
6. Two letters of recommendation sent directly to: Admissions Office, The Institute of American Indian Arts, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508
7. All official college transcripts sent directly to: Admissions Office, The Institute of American Indian Arts, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Once we have received all of your application materials, your application will be reviewed. Materials must be received by 5 pm on April 15 for full consideration. Applications completed after 5 pm on April 15 will be considered for any remaining openings, wait-listed, or considered for the following year. At this time, we are only accepting students into the program in the fall semesters.
Admission will be competitive; we will be accepting only thirty students into the program each year. There is no separate application for the Truman Capote Trust Scholarships; all students who apply before April 15 will be considered for the Capote Scholarships and other scholarships that become available.
A bachelor’s degree is required, but it need not have been with an English or writing major. Students who have completed a significant number of undergraduate hours may request an exception to the bachelor’s degree requirement; however, given the competitive nature of the admissions process, such an exception will be granted rarely. Contact the Program Director.
Should you be accepted into the program, you will need to pay a $200 deposit by June 15 to hold your place.
For questions about the application process, please contact:
Please submit examples of your work in one of these areas:
• poetry: up to 10 pages (single-spaced, not more than one poem to a page)
• fiction: up to 25 pages (double-spaced)
• creative nonfiction: up to 25 pages (double-spaced)
• screenwriting: up to 30 pages (industry-standard formatting)
You may apply in multiple genres, but a complete manuscript must be submitted for each genre in which you choose to apply. Each manuscript should be typewritten, single-sided, numbered in the lower-right hand corner, and set in 12 point Times Roman (or Courier for a screenplay). Please do not staple. Manuscripts will not be returned. Any pages beyond the maximum will not be read.
Please submit an essay (2-3 typed, double-spaced pages) in which you address the following questions:
• How long have you been writing seriously?
• What previous study have you done in writing and literature?
• Is there any additional experience that seems particularly relevant to your application?
• Are you prepared to hear direct criticism of your work and apply that criticism to revision?
• What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of your writing?
• Do you foresee anything that might prevent you from devoting 25 hours per week to your study or from corresponding consistently with your faculty advisor?
More than transcripts or letters of recommendation, the essay gives us some understanding of your experience with writing and criticism, your goals for work in the program, your readiness to work in the low-residency format, and the appropriateness of your admission.
Please submit a writing sample (3-4 pages, double-spaced) that demonstrates your abilities as a reader and critical thinker. This sample may be something formal that you have written previously for a class, or you may write a short essay on a literary work you’ve recently read. The essay should in some way engage questions dealing with the writer’s craft, subjects and thematic concerns, and/or ways in which the writer’s work has served as a model for your own literary ambitions. Applicants may find the annotations at Annotation Nation useful as models for this brief essay: Annotation Nation.
Admissions Procedure Checklist
__ Application completed and signed
__ Application fee $25 (non-refundable) included with the application
__ Application Essay enclosed
__ Creative Manuscript enclosed
__ Craft Essay enclosed
__ Official college transcipt(s) sent
__ Two letters of recommendation sent directly to the Admissions Office
Application should be submitted electronically or mailed with a $25 application fee (payable to The Institute of American Indian Arts) to:
The Institute of American Indian Arts
83 Avan Nu Po Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508
To applicants who are reapplying: If you are reapplying to the IAIA MFA in Creative Writing Program within one year of your previous application, submit the following: 1) a new or revised creative manuscript, 2) a new or revised personal essay, 3) a new or revised craft essay, 4) a new application form, and the $25.00 application fee. Updated references and transcripts are optional.
Students who are accepted into the program should complete the Summer Housing form for the summer (July/August) residency here: Summer Housing Form.