Graduate Admissions

Application Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Deadline for 2018-2019 Academic Year:

December 4, 2017

We do not have Spring Admission.

Creative Writing Program Genres

Every year, the Creative Writing Program accepts applications to the M.A. or Ph.D. programs only in a specific genre. Admissions in "poetry" or "fiction/nonfiction" alternate in each subsequent year.

Fall 2017


Deadline has passed

Fall 2018


Deadline: Dec 4, 2017

Application Process

The application process requires two parts. Students must apply to the Office of Graduate Studies (Step 1) and to the English Department (Step 2). For international students, there are a few additional steps required.

Graduate Studies Application Requirements (Step 1)

After completing the form you will soon receive an NUID that allows you to sign in to MyRED, the University’s online personal records system where you can view a list of application materials received or still needed by the Office of Graduate Studies.

English Department Application Requirements (Step 2)

All application materials must be submitted electronically. We are no longer able to accept paper applications!

Within 24 business hours of your receiving your NUID from the University, you will receive a welcome email message asking you to login to GAMES (Graduate Admissions Management and Evaluation System) and provide additional materials and information required by the English Department.  GAMES is a secure, web-based system that allows you to provide materials online.
You will be asked to provide basic information including:

  • Three references who will be asked to submit letters of recommendation electronically through GAMES
  • Writing sample: 15-20 pages of a critical paper in English that you have written. 
  • If you are applying for the Creative Writing program, you should also submit a creative writing sample in the genre in which you are applying.  Depending on whether you apply as a Creative Writing Poetry student or as a Creative Writing Fiction/Nonfiction student (see note at the top of the page), the sample should include 12  poems, or no more than 30 pages of fiction (a short work or part of a novel) or creative non-fiction.
  • Statement of educational goals (1-3 pages) including why you want to get a graduate degree from the University of Nebraska.
  • Vita or resume.
  • A commentary about your teaching experience or a discussion of your teaching potential (no more than 2 pages).
  • You do not need to submit GRE scores with your applications.

International Applicants

International applicants should send all the information requested above, plus:

A TOEFL or IELTS score.  A score of 100 or higher on the internet-based TOEFL (ibT) or 600 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL is required for admission to English Department degree programs.  An equivalent score from IELTS is also accepted. (Students who have graduated from a U.S. college or university or from a university outside the U.S. in which English is the official language of instruction are exempt from the TOEFL requirement for admission.

Important notes:

  • It is important to realize that MyRED reflects your application status at the university level.  Though materials required by Graduate Studies may be complete, this does not mean your application is complete as far as department requirements are concerned.
  • You must submit application materials on-line through GAMES.  Be sure to finalize and “Submit” your application when you are satisfied with all materials provided. To be included in the review, the application must be completed by the December deadline date above. Those who begin the application on or near the deadline may not be complete enough for the review and will not be considered for admission.
  • The English Department does not have Spring admissions. Our admissions are for Summer and Fall terms only.
  • Reference letter writers can be contacted automatically through GAMES and they will be able to electronically upload their letters through a secure web link.  There is no need to have them send a hard copy. Do not contact them before you complete the application.
  • GAMES reflects your application status at the department level.  After you have provided all materials required by the department and finalized your application, GAMES will also be a valuable source of information on your application’s status.
  • Students with a B.A. may apply for the M.A. or for direct admission into the Ph.D.; check the appropriate box on the application.  Students with an M.A. or M.F.A. may apply for the Ph.D..
  • If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Starks at