ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicants must meet the general admissions requirements CIIS. Questions not answered below can be addressed in a phone call or in-person visit with Christopher Ho, the program's Admissions Counselor at 415-575-6155 or cho@ciis.edu.
  • Students must complete their bachelor's degree before beginning the programs; there is no requirement as to the field of study of the undergraduate degree. Students can demonstrate appropriate levels of accomplishment and commitment to their art by means of work samples and personal statements. We welcome students from all backgrounds; however, the Admissions Committee may ask students with limited arts or writing experience to supplement their degrees with some additional CIIS coursework.
  • The program admits students in the fall (beginning in late August) and spring (beginning in late January) semesters.

Please visit Applying to CIIS for application deadlines and other important information.

Click here to view application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

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

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.

Autobiographical Statement: A five to seven page essay incorporating some or all of the following questions:  What experiences, interests, goals, and preparation do you bring to the MFA at CIIS? What projects are you currently working on? How would you describe yourself as a writer, artist, performer, community arts activist or inter-artist?  What influences and experiences have been central for you? What do you hope to accomplish during your time with us? What do you hope to achieve artistically and professionally in the next five years?

Art sample: Depending on your practice, please submit a 15-30 page manuscript or collection of writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, mixed-genre) or links (with URL and Password)  to performances or artworks.  You may also arrange to submit CDs or DVDs.

CV or Resume

Two letters of recommendation: one from an academic advisor or someone familiar with your ability to do academic work, and one from a professional artist in your general field.  Alternatively, one of the letters may be from a  supervisor in a recent professional or volunteer setting.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu.

International Students

Please note: International students and individuals who have studied at institutions outside the US and Canada have additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for addtional details.

Contact us

For any additional admission questions, please contact our admissions counselor:

Christopher Ho
(415) 575-6155
cho@ciis.edu

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