Prospective Students


Though the official deadline for applying to NELP has passed, we understand that sometimes people hear about NELP late or simply, for whatever reason, weren't able to get their materials in on time, even though they'd intended to.  We want to do what we can to help you out.  Here are a couple ways that can happen:

First, contact Aric Knuth, the NELP Director, right away at

**If we can work you into the regular interview schedule, we will, and you'll be considered just like everyone else.  We're interviewing applicants January 16-24 this year.  

**If it's not possible to work you into the regular interview schedule, we'll still accept your late application materials and arrange for you to get interviewed--anytime through the end of March. However, a successful applicant after January 25 won't be accepted right away; you'd be added to the NELP waitlist, and then notified when a spot opens up for you after one of the original students accepted has had to withdraw.  (Each year at least a handful for students have to change their plans for the spring, and we always fill those spots from the NELP waitlist, so this is surely a viable way to get yourself into NELP if you missed the original application deadline.)

You can always wait to apply next year, too--but we usually encourage students, if they're interested NOW, to apply NOW.  NELP is such an extraordinary program, the kind of thing it usually doesn't make sense to wait for--unless you absolutely have to. And it can be hard for some people to schedule NELP into their lives--who knows when a wedding or a graduation will come up, or some internship that you decide you can't miss, making NELP impossible for you.  If the program would work for you this spring, seize that opportunity--and get your application materials in pronto!

Who Can Apply To NELP? 

All University of Michigan students are eligible to apply for NELP, as are special students, international students, and students from other colleges. Some seniors participate in NELP after they graduate from UM. You certainly don't need to be an English concentrator to apply--NELP students come from across the University and from many different disciplines: Business majors, art and music school students, engineers, folks who are pre-med come to NELP--and of course lots of English majors. The real question to ask is whether you're ready to be part of an academic community of people who are eager to explore and experiment with the life of the mind--a place where people take very seriously a world of ideas and language, poetry and ethics and logic, food and work and communal living and the wilderness. And where we work together to think carefully about all of these things--what they mean--and what they should mean--to us and in the world around us.

NELP is an intense, small, short-term experience. Because every day counts for a great deal, NELP requires continuous participation. If you have an important family event, a summer job, or another obligation that conflicts with any part of NELP's schedule—typically from late-April through mid-June—you should not apply to NELP this year.

Applications for NELP are due to the English Department the week UM students return from winter break in early January, usually during the first week of Winter Term.  At that time, all applicants sign up for a 20-minute interview with two NELP staff members, to be held later in the month.  Applicants who will not be on-campus in January can arrange for a phone interview and to submit their applications electronically.


See the application timeline for exact dates