Graduate Admissions

Creative Writing - Nonfiction MFA

How To Apply

When applying to the CREATIVE WRITING - NONFICTION MFA program, you will need to submit the following:

  • ONLINE APPLICATION, with application fee
  • SELF-ASSESSMENT ESSAY: Your essay should describe your background, your interests in studying literary nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago, the kinds of work you see yourself pursuing, and why an MFA program in Nonfiction is the best course of action for you right now.
  • THREE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (Note that recommenders are notified via email once the online application process has begun.)
  • An OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT  from any and all colleges/universities attended
  • WORK SAMPLE: 20-30 pages of nonfiction prose, consisting of at least two samples of work from applicant. These should be creative, not critical essays. Submissions should be typed and double-spaced.

Work Sample Submission Method: You may upload one file to our online portfolio submission portal at*  Permitted file type and size limits are:

> WRITTEN DOCS: .pdf — 10 MB per file maximum

Our SlideRoom portal offers additional instruction for submitting work. For technical assistance, visit SlideRoom Support. Please direct any other questions about work samples to the Graduate Office at 312-369-7260.

*SlideRoom charges users a $5 transaction fee. By using SlideRoom, applicants avoid the expense of copying and mailing their work samples and avoid the risk of corrupted files, lost mail, broken discs, or cross-platform issues. Additionally, applicants can rest assured that the Graduate Committee on Admissions will experience their portfolio exactly how they intended.

International Students

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS must submit all of the above materials, as well as an official TOEFL score and a credential evaluation. Additional documents are required of admitted students. Please visit our International Students page for more information.