Children's Literature (MA)/Writing for Children (MFA)

Please visit the program page to learn about curriculum, faculty, careers, and more! You may also be interested in perusing our course descriptions. To request more information about this degree, please fill out our form.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Checklist

All candidates are required to submit the following materials:

  • A completed application form. Be sure to review your completed form carefully and provide your electronic signature.
  • Statement of purpose.
    You are welcome to write one combined essay addressing both programs, or two separate essays addressing each individual program. If you choose the latter, please save them as one document before uploading.
    • Children's Literature:
      In no more than 500 words, describe your intellectual goals in seeking this degree. Please be sure to highlight your academic or professional engagement with children's/young adult literature and discuss the questions about children's/young adult literature that have interested you and will influence your study at Simmons.
    • Writing for Children:
      In no more than 500 words, reflect on your personal writing process. Address your goals as a writer, your publishing history, and any works in progress.
  • Writing portfolio (There are no requirements for font size or spacing, and the portfolio can contain one piece or multiple, but please do not exceed 20 pages.)
  • Current résumé or C.V.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate-level courses taken, including official transcripts from all study-abroad programs.* Official transcripts can be mailed to the address below or emailed to For transcripts to be official, they must come directly from your college/university or sent through a service such as National Student Clearinghouse or Parchment. There is no section in the application to upload transcripts because transcripts uploaded by the applicant are considered unofficial.
  • Two academic or professional letters of recommendation. ‚ÄčApplicants who have earned their bachelor's degree within the past five years must submit at least one academic recommendation. However, it is strongly recommended that all applicants submit two academic recommendations. Supplemental letters may be submitted to if desired. We do not accept recommendations from those who have a personal relationship with you (such as family members, doctors, or clergy).
  • A non-refundable application fee of $35
  • Interview (strongly recommended). ‚ÄčIf you choose to have an interview, please call us at 617-521-2915 or email to schedule this appointment after your application has been submitted and all of your transcripts have been received. When you are ready to schedule your interview, we suggest that you contact us as soon as possible to ensure the best availability of appointments. Travel to Boston is not required; interviews are available via phone as well as in person.

    * International transcripts must be officially translated and evaluated for educational equivalency if they reflect conferral of a baccalaureate degree. Our preferred provider is WES (

In addition to the requirements listed above, international students must also submit the following:

  • An official TOEFL or IELTS score (Simmons' TOEFL code is 3761) - required only of applicants with a first language other than English; can be waived for applicants who hold a degree from a university where English was the primary language of instruction.
  • Upon admission, an International Student Supplement Form (ISSF), along with accompanying financial support documents.

When mailing materials to our office, please be sure to use the exact mailing address below:

Simmons University
Graduate Studies Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898

If you have any questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact our office by phone at 617-521-2915 or by email at

Application Deadlines

August 1st

December 15th

May 1st

International Students

For International Applicants

Simmons welcomes applications from international students. Faculty, alumni, and students exemplify global involvement in our profession, and are active participants in associations such as IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations.

Our alumni populate all continents; our students hail from many countries: Armenia, Romania, and Sri Lanka, to name a few. Of special note is our Vietnamese initiative: students from this program have become the first professional librarians in Vietnam. In the summer of 2004, we offered an institute to train professionals from various U.S. embassies around the world.

English Language Proficiency

The faculty requires that all prospective students for whom English is not the first language achieve a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum of 6.5 in each section is required for the IELTS test. The minimum TOEFL score is 213 (computer-based), 550 (paper-based), or 79-80 (internet-based). No exemptions will be considered. The SLIS institutional code is 3761; the departmental code is 90.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Contact your nearest English language testing center or:

TOEFL(R) Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA
Telephone: 609-771-7100

Applicants living in the Boston area should contact:

TOEFL(R) Test Center
27-43 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210 USA
Telephone: 617-345-8980

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Contact your nearest English language testing center or:

Find your nearest testing center and upcoming test dates on the IELTS websiteApplicants living in the Boston area should contact:

ELS Language Centers/Boston-Newton
IELTS Administrator
777 Dedham Street
Miller Hall
Newton, MA 02459
Telephone: 857-389-2892

Visa Requirements and Full-Time Academic Status

Due to immigration stipulations, international students requiring a student visa to study in the U.S. must be enrolled full-time in an academic program. Additionally, if you are currently in the U.S. and have any visa other than an F-1, you must check with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding procedures for changing your visa status.

Interview Requirement

An interview with a SLIS representative is required for international applicants whose cumulative GPA is less than the equivalent of a US 3.0, for all dual degree applicants, as well as students applying to the doctoral program.

Application Deadlines

International applicants to the master's degree program are requested to apply for the term commencing in September only (exceptions can be made in special cases, please contact the Admission Office for more information); the application deadline is March 1, or February 1 for those wanting priority consideration for merit aid awards. The deadline for doctoral applications is January 15. All materials must be received by the posted deadline. An I-20 will be issued if admitted and the Declaration of Finances (see below) has been submitted. Please allow ample time for the pace of international postal services, obtaining visa documents, arrival in the U.S., and transitioning to a new environment.

Application materials may be submitted to the following address. The Simmons mailing address is the same for the entire University. Please specify in the first line of the address whether you are applying for the master's or doctoral program.

SLIS Office of Admission
Simmons University
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898

Required Academic Records

In the U.S., academic records or mark sheets are called "transcripts" (this is the term used throughout this Web site). All applicants who have studied abroad must submit official (signed in original ink and stamped with a seal) academic records for study completed at all universities (including schools where no degree or certificate was earned by the student). English translations and U.S. equivalencies of all transcripts are required. Please submit your transcript(s) to an organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Notarized translations are not acceptable. Photocopies or facsimiles are not acceptable.

A "college" abroad usually means a secondary institution whereas in the U.S., a college is an institution providing higher education. A college can be part of a larger university or represent a singular institution such as Simmons University. Academic records from overseas colleges, which are actually secondary schools (high schools in the U.S.), are not required as part of the application process. Courses taken at the secondary level do not fulfill the prerequisite requirements for application and admission to a graduate program. A baccalaureate in the U.S. is a first university degree. Many overseas systems award baccalaureates which represent the completion of secondary education or a year beyond.

Required Standardized Test Results

All applicants who do not have the US equivalent of a 3.0 cumulative GPA (undergraduate or graduate degree) must submit official GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores, taken within the past five years. All doctoral students regardless of GPA must submit official GRE scores. There is no required minimum score. Copies of student score reports are not acceptable. The Simmons GRE code is 3761 (you must also choose either Library Science 4701 or Archival Science 4702). Further information about this exam can be obtained by contacting:

GRE, Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000

Applications from international students will be considered only after Simmons University has been notified directly by the appropriate testing service that the candidates have been certified as fully-proficient in English. The achievement of a satisfactory score on an English language proficiency test is not, in itself, a guarantee of admission, as the credential file is considered as a whole. The School does accept testimonials as a means of establishing English proficiency.

Applications cannot be reviewed without the receipt of these test scores. It is very important that applicants register for these exams well in advance of applying for admission.

Required Financial Documentation

You are not required to submit financial documentation before you are considered for admission to the program. Once you are admitted to the program, we will send you a Declaration of Finances form. We cannot send registration information to you, nor issue the I-20 student visa application, until you have sent us the Declaration of Finances form indicating the source of funds you will use to meet your living and tuition expenses.

Please arrange with your bank, sponsor, and/or government to send an official statement indicating that you have sufficient funds in a bank for these educational expenses and/or that your tuition and expenses will be paid by your sponsor(s) or government. Please email or mail the documents, with signatures, to the address below. We ask that you apply to the program only if you are reasonably sure you will be able to meet the financial obligations.

Simmons SLIS
Office of Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898

All documents must be signed in original ink, written in English, and funds must be shown in U.S. dollars ($). Certain countries limit the amount of money which may be sent abroad. Thus, it is very important for the applicant to inquire about the regulations in the home country concerning transfer of funds. This information is required in order to process an I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa.

Financial Assistance

International students are eligible for merit based scholarships which are awarded to the top 20-25% of new students entering in the fall (September) and spring (January) semesters. International students may also apply for the Dean's Fellowships which are our most prestigious awards. International students are not eligible for need-based grants or federal loans.

There is minimal funding available for doctoral students.

International students with student visas may be able to work in the libraries of Simmons University, but may not count these earnings as income to pay for tuition and expenses. Students with a student visa may not work off campus.

Academic Year

For each academic semester, students receive grades for each subject (course) taken. The first (fall) semester generally begins in early September and ends in mid December. The second (spring) semester generally begins at the end of January and ends in mid May. A third term (summer) is generally held from June to August.

*Only Master's students are eligible for Scholarships, and U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for federal loans and most private loans. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for some private loans (contact Student Financial Services for more information).

Children's Literature Tuition

FALL 2018, SPRING 2019, SUMMER 2019

Tuition is calculated on a per credit basis each semester. Below you will find a listing of the tuition rates for your program. The activity fee is mandatory for all students, so it has been included below. For information on health insurance fees, please see "Health Insurance for Graduate Students".

Tuition $1,075 per credit hour
Activity Fee $57 per semester
Health Insurance for Graduate Students

Please note, health insurance is automatically added to the bill only if the student is enrolled full time (9 or more credits). If a full time student does not wish to use the school provided health insurance, they must complete the waiver form online, each academic year, at

Simmons University does not offer health insurance coverage to students enrolled in less than 9 credits OR the dependent(s) of any Simmons University student.

Health Insurance** $5,851 per year

**For more information on the Student Health Insurance Plan, please visit our Student Health Insurance Plan page.

Apply Now

To get started on your application, click one of the links below:

*Please access the application through a newer version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Users will not be able to access forms through Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 on Windows XP.

Application FAQs

Can I submit my online application before all of my required materials are received?

Yes, and we encourage it! Once you submit your application, you will be able to log in to the self-service center to check the status of your application and to see if your materials have been received. Prior to submitting your application, you will not be able to check your status online.

What should I do if my recommenders did not receive an email requesting a letter?

First, suggest your recommender check her/his spam folder. Since the notifications come from an automated system, the messages often end up in spam. Not there? Contact us and we can resend the notification. You can also resend invitations from your self-service center. And, finally, recommenders are always welcome to email a recommendation letter to us at We'll be glad to manually add it to your application.

How quickly are my application materials processed?

Once you submit your application, we will look for any previously received materials to attach to your application. It usually takes 1-5 business days for our office to process and attach materials. To ensure receipt of your materials in our office, please ensure that items sent by mail are issued to the following exact address:

Simmons University
Graduate Studies Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

How long will a decision take after my application is complete?

Admission decisions on master's degree applications are generally available within 2 to 3 weeks of application completion. Doctoral candidates will be contacted with an update from the admission committee within 2 to 3 weeks of application completion, and admission decisions are generally available within 6 weeks of application completion.

Will my decision letter be emailed or mailed?

Official decision letters are issued by mail. If you notice that your application status has changed to "Decision Mailed" please allow at least one week for the letter to arrive before contacting our office.

Can I take classes before I apply?

If you are unsure about enrolling in a graduate program, or just want to advance your educational experience, all of our master's degree programs offer the option to enroll in up to two graduate-level courses (eight credits) as a non-degree student before formally applying to a program. Additional details about non-degree registration, including current course offerings, can be found on our Non-Degree Options page.

Do I need to submit the FAFSA and Simmons University Student Information Form by the priority admission deadline?

No. Students interested in applying for federal financial aid, which is awarded in the form of loans, may do so at any point by submitting the FAFSA and the Simmons University Student Information Form to the Simmons University Office of Student Financial Services. For more details, please visit their webpage, or contact their office at or 617-521-2001.

Upon acceptance, eligible applicants receive automatic consideration for merit-based scholarships. Most merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the overall strength of an application for admission, and no separate application is required.