MFA Application

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Creative Writing, Photography, Visual Arts, Writing for Stage & Screen

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There is a graduate application fee of $75, which must be paid at the time of application. After you fill out the online form, please proceed to Slideroom to submit the body of your application.

Required Materials:

  • An official transcript from each college or university attended. Undergraduate degrees may be in unrelated fields if the student’s portfolio is of a standard expected of a graduate applicant and their written personal statement shows proof of sufficient understanding of history and contemporary practice in their field of study. Transcripts for institutions attended must be released directly to Graduate Admissions or sent with the application in institutional sealed envelopes.
  • Two letters of recommendation. For all programs, letters should be written by individuals who can speak from direct experience about your potential to thrive within a rigorous graduate environment. Letters of recommendation may also be sent electronically as an attachment from the recommender’s direct email to
  • A written personal statement. This should be a 3-5 page double spaced statement that describes your current work, what your biggest artistic influences are, where you situate your own work in the contemporary artistic scene and your goals for graduate study.
  • A full curriculum vitae - education, employment history, exhibitions, publications, honors, etc.


Please submit to Slideroom (

MFA Visual Arts and MFA Photography:

  • A portfolio of 15-20 images of applicant’s current studio work. At minimum, 10 images should demonstrate a sustained formal and/or conceptual exploration. Additional images may represent other bodies of work and/or represent alternative media or approaches described in the statement of purpose. Images uploaded into Slideroom should be in JPEG format, 72 pixels/inch, with no side longer than 1500 (pixel dimensions). Files should be titled: lastname_firstname_slide#.
  •  A numbered image list including title, medium, size, and date for each image.

MFA Creative Writing:

  • Submit 20-30 pages of prose. Your sample provides our committee with insight into your creative process and methods and is an indication of your creative capacities and strengths as a writer.

MFA Writing for Stage and Screen:

  • Two writing samples of at least 10 pages but not more than 20 pages each. These may be from plays or screenplays (one-act, short, or full-length), poetry, narrative fiction, non-fiction essay or article. It is not critical that script pages be submitted if theatre or film has not been an applicant’s area of concentration - we’re interested in evaluating your writer’s voice.


NHIA may accept applications to the MFA program from students who do not hold an undergraduate degree. In this case students must submit these additional materials:

  • All required materials including transcripts for any earned credits.
  • An application waiver form
  • A detailed separate essay which explains how the student’s life experience and/or achievement and/or engagement in professional work is at least equivalent to the level of achievement of an undergraduate degree.


A notification of the decision regarding a student’s application is usually made within three weeks and the candidate is notified in writing by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Notification of the decision for transfer or international applicants may take up to four weeks.


If you’re accepted to NHIA, you will find an enrollment deposit form included with your acceptance letter. This form must be completed and returned to the Institute with a $200 enrollment deposit no later than the due date listed on the acceptance letter. The enrollment deposit reserves your space in the next semester’s class, is applied directly to that semester’s tuition, and is non-refundable. A separate $200 deposit for housing may be required for some residencies offering on-campus housing.


Please visit our Veteran's Page for more information.


The MFA programs do not accept transfer credit.  MAAE or MAT applicants wishing to apply up to 6 transfer credits from another accredited graduate program should contact Graduate Admissions - ph. 603-836-2588


  • International applicants for admission follow the same application requirements described above and must, if appropriate, also provide proof of English language proficiency.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS) as evidence of English proficiency. Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/IELTS. Minimum score requirements are: TOEFL 71 IBT or 197 CBT, and IELTS 6.0.
  • Upon approval, the Institute will issue the Sevis I-20 entitling you to apply for the F-1 student visa. International students who have been accepted must provide official, certified documentation of funding available to support one year of study at the Institute. Although the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requires documentation of funding sources for only one year of study, we encourage you to plan funding for each year of study.
  • All submitted documents must be in English.

    Graduate Admissions Office 
    148 Concord Street 
    Manchester, NH 03104 
    Toll Free: 866-241-4918 
    Local: 603-836-2588

Get started at NHIA today - Apply Now