Any applicant to the graduate program must have earned a bachelor’s degree. Apply online for either the MFA in Fiction or the MFA in Poetry by December 15. The application fee is $75.

Supporting documents

  • Three recommendation letters
  • Writing sample
  • Statement of purpose (critique of work)
  • Transcripts
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (for those applicants whose native language is not English)

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must ensure that three former teachers (or editors familiar with the applicant’s writing) write letters of recommendation. At least one letter should specifically address the applicant’s writing.

Writing Sample

MFA poetry applicants must submit 10 poems (not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages); MFA fiction applicants must submit a maximum of three short stories or a self-contained section of a novel (25 double-spaced pages maximum). The writing sample must be sent electronically as part of the online application.

Statement of Purpose (Critique of Work)

The statement of purpose (critique of work) should consist of a double-spaced, two-page (at most) introduction and critique. This statement should give admissions faculty a view to the scope and thoughtfulness of the work submitted and a sense of the student’s ability to identify both its strengths and weaknesses.  It should convey a sense of the tone and approach by which the applicant hopes to contribute to the writing workshops. It must be sent electronically as part of the online application.


The Writing Seminars requires transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work (including overseas study and college work which may be shown as transfer credits on another transcript).

International Applicants

International applicants should visit the Office of International Services website for pertinent information. All application documents must be provided in English (either the original or translations of the original documents).

Additional Information

Please consult theĀ Graduate Admissions and Enrollment website for additional information on applying to graduate programs at Johns Hopkins University.

Part-time MA Writing Program

Applicants interested in obtaining information about the part-time Master of Arts in Writing program should visit the Advanced Academic Programs website, which is an entity at Johns Hopkins separate from The Writing Seminars.