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Who Should Apply?

Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing students live and work across the United States and come together in a collaborative online environment to write. Most students have majored in, worked in, or are interested in writing for a specific genre, such as romance, young adult, horror, and mystery/thriller. Our students are dedicated to their craft welcome constructive feedback from peers and mentors and have a solid understanding of the themes and writing types they want to focus on. The majority of our students aspire to publish their own novels and work in publishing, editing, or content creation.

Application Deadlines


  • Priority: March 1
  • Regular: May 1
  • Final: July 1


  • Priority: November 1
  • Regular: November 15
  • Final: December 1


  • Priority: February 1
  • Regular: March 1
  • Final: May 1

*Priority Decision Advantages: priority review for admission, first consideration for scholarships, and earlier receipt of an admissions decision.

For official term start dates please review our Academic Calendar.

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Admission Requirements

  • Online Application
    • After submitting your application, you will receive an email with your Admission ID. Please use your username and password to log in and check the status of your application.
  • Official Transcripts 
    • Official transcript requirements
  • 2 letters of recommendation
    • From persons best able to assess academic and professional qualifications, including motivations and goals.
  • Admission Essay
    • Emerson College's graduate programs form a vibrant and engaged community of creative artists, professionals, scholars, and clinicians who all believe in the power of language and communication to transform society. Your careful responses to the following prompts will help us determine if the program you are applying to is the right fit for you. Please answer each prompt as thoughtfully as possible.
      • How does the focus and curriculum of the program to which you are applying align with your experience and goals? What particular aspects of your current and/or future work do you hope to develop while in graduate school? 500 words. 
      • ​​Drawing on your personal, professional, creative and/or academic experience please share an example of a time that you overcame an individual or collective challenge and the approach you took to address that challenge. 250-500 words. 
      • The mission of Emerson College is the betterment of society through communication and the arts. With this in mind, what impact do you want your work to have? 500 words.
  • Writing Sample
    • You are required to submit a maximum of 15 pages (double spaced) of fiction in your preferred genre. Poetry, nonfiction, fan fiction, and screenplays or other dramatic scripts are not accepted. Send us the work you believe best represents your talent, skill and potential. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be clear, compelling and completely your own. Please, no work that has been co-written. Please make sure your writing sample is formatted according to industry standards. You can find the proper formatting here.
  • Resume
    • Include your professional and educational history.
  • English Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting official TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or Pearson test results.

View our graduate admission policies

International Applicants 

  • International students can complete this degree from their home country online. Emerson College is not able to issue I-20s for in-person studies as the program is fully online.
  • Review our International Student Checklist

The people at Emerson are amazingly passionate about what they do and are so friendly and wonderful. I found such a wonderful community here!

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