Apply to the MFA Program

Learn About:

MFA in Writing and Consciousness
MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts
Common Admissions Requirements
Art Sample
International Students
For More Information


The master of fine arts in writing and consciousness program offers a distinctive multigenre, multidisciplinary approach, focusing on diverse, international, contemporary literary models. The intensive weekend format, complemented by online conferences, immerses students in the art and craft of writing. The curriculum gives students the flexibility to emphasize their academic development or professional growth. Second-year courses prepare students to work in such fields as editing, publishing and teaching. The program culminates with the completion of a book-length literary project.


This Master of Fine Arts program attracts cross-disciplinary artists such as writer-performers and actor-musicians, plus artists who are interested in exploring other art forms.

Working closely with faculty-all of whom actively practice their craft-students put concepts into practice and develop critical reflection skills in workshops, seminars and classes. By participating in the Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop and completing a personal MFA project, students develop presentation skills and a professional portfolio.

Students can complete the equivalent of two full years of material through weekend intensives and online courses. The curriculum also gives students the flexibility to work more deeply in particular areas, and to take such professional development courses as teaching, arts administration and community arts.


Students can demonstrate appropriate levels of accomplishment and commitment to their art by means of work samples and personal statements. Applicants submit the following:

Application for Admission

Non-refundable $65 Application Fee

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended within the United States. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

Autobiographical Statement (5 to 7 pages) incorporating the following questions: What interests you about the MFA at CIIS and what prepares you for it right now? What project or projects are you currently working on? How would you describe yourself as a writer or artist and what influences or experiences have been central for you?

Vision Statement (1-2 pages): What would you like to accomplish during your MFA? Where do you see yourself five years after graduation?

Two Letters of Recommendation (one from an academic advisor, or someone familiar with the applicant's ability to do academic work, and one from a supervisor in a recent professional or volunteer setting).


For Writing and Consciousness:
15-40 page sample of imaginative writing (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed-genre work, or some combination of the above)

For Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts:
Submit a work sample from your arts practice (15-20 page manuscript for writers, CD or DVD for performers or visual artists).


For International students there are additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for additional information.


Please visit Applying to CIIS for more information.

For any questions about admission, please contact:

Jana Krezo
(415) 575-6246