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How to Apply

Apply for our MFA in Creative Writing program as an international student.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Start Term: Spring
Deadline: November 15
After November 15, we'll review applications on a rolling basis as space permits.

Start Term: Summer
Deadline: March 15
After March 15, we'll review applications on a rolling basis as space permits.

We encourage you to apply by the deadlines for scholarship and space availability.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites

Check your program page for prerequisites.

Our graduate programs require that you have an undergraduate degree. Some programs have other prerequisite requirements, such as coursework, certification or license, or master’s degree in a specific field.

Application Form

Application Form

Apply online for your MFA program.

Create an account and password before you start your application. You can stop and save your application, and return to complete it later.

Apply online for 2022.

Submit Documents

Submit Documents

You'll need to submit the following supporting materials.

You can send the documents separately, but we won't be able to make an admissions decision until we've received everything.

Official Transcripts

Have each institution where you earned an undergraduate or graduate degree send us your official transcript.

If your transcript is not in English, provide a notarized translation of it.

If you’re enrolled in a degree program when you apply, submit your transcript of the courses you’ve taken to date. Submit your final official transcript once you’ve completed the degree program.

Your transcripts need to be:

  • Conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities
  • Original documents bearing the official institutional stamp
  • Received by Graduate Admissions Services in envelopes sealed by the sending institution, or sent electronically directly from the institution

Send transcripts to:

appstatus@lesley.edu or

Lesley University
Graduate Admissions Services
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Foreign Academic Credentials Evaluation

A credential evaluation helps us understand the courses you’ve taken, the grades you’ve earned, or the degree you’ve received from an institution outside the United States.

Get an independent credential evaluation of your transcripts to determine U.S. equivalency.

Graduate Students

You’ll need a document-by-document evaluation. Exception: Expressive Therapies master's degree programs require a course-by-course evaluation instead.

Evaluation Agencies

Contact one of these agencies to get your credentials evaluated.


If you’re submitting a foreign academic credential evaluation, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for your transcript requirement if official transcripts were provided to the evaluation agency.

2 Letters of Recommendation

Include 2 recent recommendations from those you’ve worked with closely in an academic or professional setting.

  • At least one of your recommendations should come from a present or former supervisor.

  • If you’re in school or are a recent graduate, one recommendation should come from a professor.

  • We don’t accept recommendations written by friends or family, or that were written more than 2 years before your application date.

Within your online application form, include the names and emails of the people writing your letters of recommendation. They'll receive an email from you with an electronic recommendation form, and they can upload a letter if they choose.

English Language Proficiency

We want you to be successful in your program. If your native language is not English, we require that you provide proof of your English proficiency.

You can show your proficiency in one of these ways:

Option 1

Duolingo English Test

  • We require a minimum score of 105 on this test.

Option 2

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

  • Minimum score of 80 on the Internet test.
  • Submit your score. Use Lesley University’s CEEB code: 3483.

Option 3

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

  • A score of 6.5 or higher
  • Contact the center where you took the test. Request that they send your official Test Report Form to Lesley University.

Option 4

Official Cambridge English Exam

  • C1 Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
  • C2 Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English)

Option 5

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Partnerships

We have partnered with several language schools to help you meet the English requirement. Complete the curriculum at one of the schools, at the specified level.

Then, get a letter from the program coordinator or teacher. The letter should explain that your English is proficient for college-level study.

Here are our partner schools and levels we require:

Option 6

English Language Requirement Waiver

If English is not your native language, but you’ve graduated from a school or program that was taught in English, you may qualify to have the language requirement waived.

If it’s not noted on your transcript, request a letter from your high school, college, or university stating your language of instruction was English.

Written Personal Statement

Your written personal statement gives us insight into your motivation, purpose in pursuing a degree program, writing skills, and communication style. It’s an important part of our review process.

Write a 750–1250 word (2–3 page) personal statement.

Use a narrative form and address the following questions.

  1. Discuss the work of a writer, in any genre, who has profoundly influenced your writing. Additionally, discuss several of the most memorable books you've read in the last year.
  2. What have you done creatively and critically to prepare for a master's program?
  3. What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of your work?
  4. What are your goals for your writing, and what do you hope to accomplish in the program?

Submit Your Statement

You'll submit your written personal statement, writing sample, and visual portfolio (Graphic Novels & Comics genre applicants only), via Slideroom.

  1. Create a Slideroom account
  2. Submit your written personal statement, writing sample (all genres), and portfolio (Graphic Novels & Comics only) to "Master of Fine Arts: Creative Writing."
  3. For film/video/new media, your submission should not be more than 5 minutes long.
  4. Pay the submission fee ($5-$10).

Writing Sample

In addition to your written personal statement, we require a creative writing submission with your application to the MFA in Creative Writing program.

The required writing sample will depend on the genre you're applying to, and if you're applying for the Graphic Novels & Comics genre, you'll also need to submit a portfolio.

How to Submit Your Writing Sample

You'll submit your written personal statement, writing sample, and visual portfolio (Graphic Novels & Comics only) via SlideRoom.

  1. Create a SlideRoom account.
  2. Submit your written personal statement, writing sample (all genres), and portfolio (Graphic Novels & Comics only) to "Master of Fine Arts: Creative Writing."
  3. For film/video/new media, your submission should not be more than 5 minutes long.
  4. Pay the submission fee ($5-$10).

Genres and Required Writing Samples

  1. Follow the requirements for the genre you're applying to.
  2. Format your written submission as a PDF or Microsoft Word document.
  3. Put your name and genre on each page.
  4. Title your file in this format: last name_genre (for example, Smith_poetry). If you're applying to more than 1 genre, submit a separate writing sample for each genre.

Fiction

  • Approximately 20 pages
  • Double-spaced with a 12-point, conventional font (e.g. Times New Roman)

Graphic Novel and Comics

This genre requires both of the following:

  • 4–10 comic book/comic script pages or approximately 12 script pages
  • A visual portfolio composed of 4–5 still images. Although these visual images may represent work in the comics medium, you may submit other types of work such as illustration, painting, photography, and graphic design.

Nonfiction

  • Approximately 20 pages
  • Double-spaced with 12-point, conventional font (e.g. Times New Roman)

Poetry

  • Approximately 10 pages of poetry
  • Single-spaced with a 12-point, conventional font (e.g. Times New Roman)

Writing for Young People

  • Write 10–15 pages of middle-grade prose, 10–15 pages of young adult prose, or 2–3 picture book stories.
  • Double-spaced with a 12-point, conventional font (e.g. Times New Roman).
  • You may apply in one or more of these 3 areas of children’s literature.

Writing for Stage and Screen

  • 15–20 script pages
  • Double-spaced with a 12-point, conventional font (e.g. Times New Roman)

Contact Admissions

Contact Admissions