The Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing (MFA) program has the following application deadlines:

Spring 2021 (January start):

  • Priority Decision: November 1*
  • Rolling through: December 1

Summer 2021 (May or July start):

  • Priority Decision: March 1*
  • Rolling through: April 15

Fall 2021 (September start):

  • Priority Decision: May 1*
  • Rolling through: July 15

*Priority Decision Advantages: priority review for admission, first consideration for scholarships, earlier receipt of an admissions decision, and additional time to find housing and for international students to secure their visa.

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After submitting your application, you will receive an email from Emerson College with an Admission ID. Please use your username and password to log in and check the status of your application. Please keep in mind that processing your supporting credentials may take up to 7 to 10 business days.

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View Domestic/U.S. Application Requirements View International Application Requirements

Admission Requirements

U.S. Applicants

All applicants are required to submit the following credentials. The GRE/GMAT is not required for this program.

Transcripts

For application review, unofficial transcripts will suffice and can be uploaded directly to your application prior to submission. Official, signed transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended must be sent to Emerson College prior to matriculation. If the transcript is for less than 8 credits, we don't require it to be sent. ​Degrees completed outside the U.S. will require an evaluation (please see the International Applicants tab for more information).​

Send official, signed transcripts to the following address prior to matriculation:
Emerson College Graduate Admission Processing Center
PO Box 870
Randolph, MA 02368-0870

If you are using a mailing or shipping service that does not allow for delivery to a PO Box, you may use our alternate application mailing address of Emerson College Graduate Admission, 120 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116.


Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess academic and professional qualifications, including motivations and goals. The preferred method of submission is directly through the application site since it ensures the most efficient processing of your application. Electronic submissions coming directly from the applicant will not be accepted.


Essay

There is one required essay for this program, which can be submitted online with your application. The prompt for the 2021 application is:

We designed the MFA in Popular Fiction for writers who want, first and foremost, to write and publish genre fiction. How would this program help you achieve your goals in this area? What strengths and abilities would you bring to the program and to the larger genre community of your choice?

Essay length: 2 pages, double-spaced (500 words) 


Required Writing Sample

You are required to submit a maximum of 15 pages (double spaced) of fiction in your preferred genre. Poetry, nonfiction, and screenplays or other dramatic scripts are not accepted. Send us the work you believe best represents your talent, skill and potential. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be clear, compelling and completely your own. Please, no work that has been co-written.


Professional Résumé

Include your professional and educational history.

International Applicants

Below are the credentials and additional steps required by international applicants. The GRE/GMAT is not required for this program.

Transcripts

All non-U.S. transcripts must be sent to a evaluation agency. Your evaluation should include a course-by-course evaluation, GPA and degree-equivalency. On a case-by-case basis, some applications can be reviewed prior to receipt of the official evaluation. 

Please contact one of the credential evaluating agencies listed below to receive an "Application for Evaluation of Foreign Credentials." Requests for evaluation are usually honored within 20 working days of receipt of all required materials and fees. You must include instructions on the application to send a copy of the evaluation to the Office of Graduate Admission at Emerson College. You must provide the agency of your choice with copies of transcripts from all previous educational institutions and certified English translations.

Be sure to check with credential evaluating agency to confirm what documents are needed to complete the evaluation.


English Language Proficiency 

Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting official TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or Pearson test results.

Successful applicants typically have scores within the following ranges:

TOEFL:       95-115
IELTS        6.5-7.5  
Duolingo:   115-135
Pearson  65-80

Scores will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and may require additional submissions to demonstrate English proficiency.

Proof of English proficiency is not required of students:

  • Whose native language is English
    • Note: Supporting documents may be required for approval of English proficiency test waiver
  • Who have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where the language of instruction was English or the institution is in a country where English is the native language (the U.S. and its territories, the United Kingdom and its territories, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada).

Emerson College TOEFL Code: 3367


Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess academic and professional qualifications, including motivations and goals. The preferred method of submission is directly through the application site, as it ensures the most efficient processing of your application. Electronic submissions coming directly from the applicant will not be accepted.


Essay

There is one required essay for this program, which can be submitted online with your application. The prompt for the 2021 application is:

How will an Emerson MFA help you achieve your short- or long-term goals as a genre writer? Reflecting on any relevant work and educational experiences, describe how you would contribute to the program and to your genre(s). ​

Essay length: 2 pages, double-spaced (500 words) 


Required Writing Sample

You are required to submit a maximum of 15 pages (double spaced) of fiction in your preferred genre. Poetry, nonfiction, and screenplays or other dramatic scripts are not accepted. Send us the work you believe best represents your talent, skill and potential. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be clear, compelling and completely your own. Please, no work that has been co-written.


Professional Résumé

Include your professional and educational history.


I-20

Due to the online nature of the program, we are not able to offer I-20s to international students to come to the United States. International students may participate in the program from their home country.