Whether you just graduated high school or you’ve taken a gap year (or more), if you have not yet attended college you should apply as a freshman. Even if you’ve taken college-level courses in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, you’re still a freshman.

Who We’re Looking For

It takes a certain nature to thrive at Purchase. While we seek to enroll academically qualified students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum, we also seek students with grit—the determination to strive and succeed.

Successful students at Purchase are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in our community as well as the world at large. Our students are passionate about their goals and persevere to achieve them. They are daring—willing to take calculated risks to achieve more when they create works of art, engage in research and scholarship, or take on internships. They are driven to succeed and exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit in creating that success for themselves. In addition, Purchase students are often socially aware and will take an active stand for what they believe in.

All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors and Advanced Placement coursework. The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your Think Wide Open Statement, and supplemental information. 

Typical Grades

Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a GPA of 3.0 (or 85 on a 100 point scale).

Purchase does not require scores from the SAT or ACT exam (with exceptions), though applicants are given the option to submit them. It is recommended that test scores be submitted only if it is believed to benefit the application. For applicants who are considering submitting scores, we typically prefer the following:

  • SAT: 1170 total score
  • ACT: 24 Composite

Students who are required to submit test scores include:

  • Applicants who are homeschooled
  • International students, who will need to provide a TOEFL score
  • Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale

Think Wide Open Statement

Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open.” It’s our way of learning, teaching and being and so much more. By choosing Purchase, students make a conscious decision to join an intense community with a deep respect for individuality and diversity and an unparalleled environment of creativity and innovation.

As an applicant, we want to know what Think Wide Open means to you. All students submit either an essay, video or other creative work (poem, song, visual artwork, etc.). It should be original and should connect to Think Wide Open broadly or specifically. Videos and creative works should include a brief introduction or statement that helps contextualize your submission for the viewer/reader.

Deadlines and Requirements: Creative Writing


    Early Action: November 15, 2024
    Portfolio Submission: November 20, 2024

    Fall Application: Coming soon!
    Portfolio Submission: Coming soon!

    Spring: November 1, 2024
    Portfolio Submission: November 8, 2024

    All applicants must first apply (using Common App or the SUNY App).

    Submit the Creative Writing portfolio online within your Admissions portal. There is a nonrefundable $5 portfolio fee.

    Portfolio Requirements:

    Please be sure to only submit PDF files for your portfolio submissions. 

    • Letter of Intent: A 500-word personal statement of your reasons for wanting to enter the program and an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
    • Creative Writing Samples: Applicants should submit either fiction or poetry as follows:
      • Fiction: 2-3 short stories or excerpts from pieces of fiction (8 pages minimum/ 30 pages maximum)
      • Poetry: 8-10 poems (15 pages maximum)
    • One Creative Writing Letter of Recommendation:
      • Creative Writing applicants must submit one additional letter of recommendation from an individual who is familiar with their writing abilities (teachers, writing instructors, advisors, counselors, etc.).
      • This letter will be separate from the one used for your initial application. Creative Writing students will submit a total of 2 letters of recommendation to Purchase College. 

    For additional information about the BA Creative Writing program visit Creative Writing Program


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

 Application Requirements:


Admission Decisions

All materials must be received in order for a decision to be rendered. Students are first reviewed academically for admission to the college and if a student is found academically admissible, their Creative Writing materials are reviewed by the department.

It is possible for an applicant to be found admissible to the college, but not admissible to the Creative Writing program. These students are offered admission to any other Liberal Arts and Science major, including Undeclared. If a student chooses to enroll through another Liberal Arts and Science major, they may reapply to the Creative Writing program internally in their first two years as a student.

major: Creative Writing