Nonfiction Writing Program

Applying to the Program

Applying to the Nonfiction Writing Program

We are pleased that you are considering joining the Nonfiction MFA program at The University of Iowa. Our next admissions cycle is for Fall 2018 applications are accepted between September 1, 2017 through December 29, 2017. Online application and all documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, writing sample, and statement of purpose) must be submitted by Friday, December 29, 2017. All admitted applicants will be contacted by phone or email on the first business day in March. We do not accept applications for spring semester admissions.

Application Procedures

To apply to the Nonfiction Writing Program, you will need to upload your documents directly to the University of Iowa’s Office of Admissions.

All applicants must meet the Admission Requirements of the Graduate College.

Application Procedures  - All documents listed below are due no later than December 29th, 2017

  • You will apply online at the Admissions Website by clicking here.
  •  After you submit your application, you will receive email instructions (within 24 hours) on how to establish your HawkID and password in order to access your Admissions Profile on MyUI, our online portal for students. You will then upload the required supplemental documents through a secure portal. 
  • Required pdf documents are listed below:
  1. Your unofficial academic records/transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. If you are formally admitted, you will need to submit official transcripts prior to entering the program.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, you will be asked to provide the contact information of your recommenders on your Profile. The recommender will then receive an email from the Office of Admissions instructing them on how to upload a recommendation letter.  Letters should be written by persons familiar enough with your intellectual attainments to evaluate your potential as a graduate student in English (preferably instructors of your college English courses or professionals familiar with your writing abilities and work habits). Letters of Recommendation are accepted through a dossier service (such as Interfolio), please send letters to cherie-hansen-rieskamp@uiowa.edu.
  3. A brief statement of purpose (no more than 500 words) explaining your reasons for choosing this degree program.
  4. We do NOT require GRE scores. However, if you happen to have taken the GRE and scored exceptionally well, it is in your best interest to send those scores to us.  Often we can find extra funding for applicants who score well on the GRE.  (The University's institutional code is 6681).
  5. Official TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English. Applicants whose native language is not English score at least 111 on the TOEFL iBT; 273 on the CBT; and 640 on the TOEFL or IELTS PBT, with a minimum iBT speaking score of 26 for teaching.*
  6. A 20 to 30-page writing sample that represents the best of your work in literary nonfiction.  These can be in any forms of nonfiction and may be a single sustained work or a series of shorter pieces.  Please be sure you double-space your pages and use a 12-point font with 1-inch margins all around.
  7. CV/Resume

*Non-native speakers of English should note that most students are funded through teaching, and the Iowa Board of Regents mandates that all non-native speakers of English pass an oral English test in order to teach; the equivalent of an iBT speaking section score of 26 is required. If you are a non-native English speaker, we consider your TOEFL scores and, additionally, we will conduct a telephone interview with you at an appropriate time in order to discern mastery of spoken English.

Please send direct questions about applications to cherie-hansen-rieskamp@uiowa.edu.  We look forward to receiving your application.

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. For additional information contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, (319) 335-0705. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in these programs, please contact the English Department at (319) 335-0440.