Admissions Requirements

The postmark deadline for submitting an application is January 3.

Applicants are only accepted for entry into the Fall semester. Please send manuscripts between November 1 and January 3. Decisions on admissions and financial aid awards are made in March or early April for the following academic year.

How to Submit Your Application
Since the graduate applicant must be accepted by this program and the University of Iowa Graduate College, application materials should be sent to two separate offices. Application instructions follow in detail below; our admissions checklist provides an overview.

Department application
Please send the following materials to:

The Writers' Workshop
102 Dey House
507 N. Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000

1. A manuscript
The applicant should submit a manuscript of his or her best work.

For poetry: please submit ten to twelve poems.

For fiction: please submit two or three short stories, a section of a novel, or both. Fiction manuscripts should be double-spaced; they typically range in length from 30 to 80 pages. Please do not send more than 100 pages.

These samples of writing may be a typed manuscript, copies, or pages from periodicals. It is not sufficient for the applicant to furnish only a bibliographical citation of published work.

Include a manuscript coversheet (available to download*), the manuscript, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of your manuscript. Manuscripts will not be returned without an SASE.

If applying to both fiction and poetry, send both manuscripts in the same envelope. Please include a manuscript coversheet for each program

Nonfiction prose or critical writings, though of some interest, are not acceptable as the basis for admissions decisions. Those people interested in playwriting should not apply to our program, but directly to the Playwrights Workshop, Department of Theatre Arts; those with an interest in literary nonfiction should apply to the Nonfiction Writing Program.

2. Personal statement
Include your purpose in pursuing graduate study, any research you wish to pursue, and your future vocational goals.

3. An official copy of transcripts from universities and colleges reflecting all undergraduate and graduate work.

4. A copy of Graduate Application Form
Applicants who opt to download and mail the Graduate Application Form (see below for more information), should send a copy of this application to the Workshop along with their other application materials. Applicants who submit the Graduate Application online do not need to send a paper copy.

5. Application for Graduate Awards
Fill out the downloadable form (.pdf).*

6. Supplement to Financial Aid Application
Available to download (.pdf) * or as a part of our application packet.

7. Letters of Recommendation
Three letters should be written by instructors or colleagues who are best able to assess your potential for graduate study and teaching. They should be sent on the recommenders' letterhead in sealed envelopes.

We do not require recommenders to use the "Recommendation Form" from the Graduate College website.

We prefer that recommendations are included with your manuscript and financial aid application; however if your recommenders choose to send their letters directly to us, they should be made aware of the January 3 deadline.

Letters should be sent directly to the Workshop, at:

The Writers' Workshop
102 Dey House
507 N. Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000

Alternately, letters may be submitted to the Workshop by the recommendation service, Interfolio.

8. General GRE scores (optional)
Admission to the Workshop is based on your writing sample and not your GRE scores. The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop does not require GRE scores for admission. However, student applications that include GRE scores may be more competitive for a greater range of financial assistance. Please use the following codes to send your GRE scores to the Workshop:

INST: 6681 DEPT: 2503

9. A self-addressed stamped postcard (optional)
If a self-addressed stamped postcard is included with the application materials, we will send it to confirm that your materials have been received.

Application to the Graduate College

The current requirements for admission to the Graduate College are possession of an undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university, and achievement of an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0, based on a 4.0 scale.** Applications from students who have graduated from foreign universities are considered individually by the Graduate College.

Please direct the following materials to:

The Graduate Admissions Office
107 Calvin Hall
University of Iowa, IA 52242

1. Application to the Graduate College

This can be done in one of two ways:

Download the Graduate College Application* and return one copy to the Graduate Admissions Office and one copy to the Writers' Workshop.


Submit an application online. Students who apply online pay by credit card when they submit their application.

2. $60 application fee ($100 for international students). Please make checks payable to the University of Iowa.

3. Official copy of transcripts of undergraduate and graduate work

Please see the Graduate College's website for more information about this application.

International Applicants: Please closely review the admissions requirements on the Graduate Admissions website, and contact the Graduate Admissions office if you have any questions.

**Students who can present other substantial evidence of probable success in graduate work are sometimes admitted provisionally in spite of a lower grade-point average.