MFA Creative Writing


Poetry & Fiction

Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heights

Apply to the MFA now!
MFA Creative Writing

Upcoming Readers

Oni Buchanan
    & John Woodward

Piano, Spoken Word, Electronics November 3

Richard McCann

Fiction, January 30

Robert Hass
    & Brenda Hillman

Poetry, April 24


The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is for students with advanced abilities in the writing of fiction and poetry. The nationally ranked program offers a balance of intimate and intensive writing workshops with courses in literature, form and technique, and related electives. CSU also offers a Master of English in Creative Nonfiction, and our MFA students regularly enroll in Creative Nonfiction Courses. Course work culminates in a thesis—a collection of poetry, short stories or a novel—and the completion of a comprehensive Portfolio.

Applicants to the program should request application information from our Graduate Programs Assistant; contact information is available on the M.F.A. application page. Though GPA is considered, we pay the closest attention to your writing sample: 12-20 pages of poems for poets, or two short stories or a chapter or two of a novel in-progress for fiction writers. For full consideration for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, and for any University fellowships, we must receive all of your application documents by January 1st.

Learn More About Fort Collins

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are available on a competitive basis, as are assistantships for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing. Students with Teaching Assistantships or Colorado Fellowships usually complete the M.F.A. in three years; those who don't need financial aid can finish in two.

If you're applying for a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA), make sure to provide a written statement that speaks to your qualifications and enthusiasm for college teaching. Remember, most GTAs will be teaching freshman composition. In your application, emphasize anything that speaks to your formal teaching experience (paid or volunteer), such as tutoring, writing center counseling, or even coaching or outdoor recreation. In addition, remind those who are writing your letters of recommendation to speak to your potential for college teaching.

MFA Internships

Internship Opportunities

We offer a variety of for-credit internships (some paid) in such areas as college teaching, public education, arts administration in literature, and literary editing (including the Center for Literary Publishing, the Colorado Review, and the Freestone, the Department's alumni magazine. A paid internship as editor of Garden Level, a literary magazine staffed by CSU undergraduates, is also available.

M.F.A. candidates can also take a course in Teaching College Creative Writing, which allows them to teach Introduction to Creative Writing.

Learn about our Colorado Review graduate internship.

MFA Requirements


  • Completion of forty-eight semester credits including twelve credits of thesis work
  • Completion of the following required core courses:
    • E513 Form & Technique in Modern Literature: Fiction or Poetry (3 credits)
    • E640 Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction or Poetry (12 credits)
    • One course (300-level or above) outside the English Department (unless your bachelor's degree was not in English—3 credits)
    • E699 Thesis (12 credits)
    • Pre-20th Century E500+ literature course (3 credits)
    • For a brief overview of all major requirements, see M.F.A. Program Requirements
  • Completion of portfolio
  • For additional details, see:
    The Book

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

~ Toni Morrison


Doing Nothing A Lot

By Matt Truslow  |  March 23, 2015  |  Uncategorized

A lot of my time in the MFA has been spent doing nothing. It’s my fault that I spend a lot of time doing nothing and it makes me feel bad, failed, and lazy. Doing nothing may not make me a better poet but it’s been part of me writing poems since I took up […]

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The Defense

By Anitra Ingham  |  March 19, 2015  |  Uncategorized

I didn’t know what to expect from an MFA thesis defense—I even embarrassed myself a little by asking my advisor if I needed to prepare a PowerPoint presentation. (Hey, that’s what my partner had to do for a thesis defense in mechanical engineering!) As it turns out, no one had to sit through a PowerPoint. […]

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Fort Collins, A Year Ago

By Alex Morrison  |  February 24, 2015  |  Uncategorized

Just over a year ago, I visited Fort Collins for the first time as a prospective fiction student. I wanted to attend a graduate workshop, acquaint myself with the program in person, and get a sense of what it would be like to live in Fort Collins. I arrived from New York City on a […]

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Moby Dick: An Annotation

By Neil FitzPatrick  |  February 9, 2015  |  Uncategorized

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. 2nd Norton Critical ed. New York: Norton, 2002. Print. I should have annotated Moby Dick two summers ago. I had read the monstrous novel slowly, in pieces, allowing it to define those months of my life. I imagine I didn’t annotate it then for the same reason that I hesitate to annotate it now: the task […]

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New Year, New Start for the Alumni Newsletter

By Abby Kerstetter  |  January 27, 2015  |  Uncategorized

Happy New Year! 2014 was an exciting year here at Colorado State University. Third-year student Kristin George Bagdanov has had poems published (or accepted & forthcoming) in The Laurel Review, Word Riot, Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, and Image Magazine. Her manuscript was a finalist in the 2014 Cleveland State Poetry First Book Award. Matt Truslow, also […]

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