MFA Creative Writing


Poetry & Fiction

Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heights

Apply to the MFA now!
MFA Creative Writing

Upcoming Readers

Gregory Pardlo

poetry reading, Thursday October 13, 2016

Writers' Harvest Reading

featuring Tess Taylor
    & Harrison C. Fletcher

poetry and creative nonfiction, Thursday November 10, 2016

Mike Lala

poetry reading, Thursday February 23, 2017

David Shields

creative nonfiction reading, Thursday March 23, 2017


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
  • Graduate Advising Notes:MFA Program
  • 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


Be Nice to Graduate Students

By Katherine Indermaur  |  September 27, 2016  |  Uncategorized

After reading the title, you’re likely either saying to yourself, “Well, duh – I try to be nice to everyone,” or, “But do I have to be nice to that person?” Both fair points, neither of which I’m addressing today. Instead, I’m talking about you. Be nice to yourself! And yes, this applies to you […]

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Domestication and the Spontaneous Practice of Writing

By Christa Shivley  |  September 14, 2016  |  Uncategorized

As I write this, the sun warms the back of my shoulders and neck. I am sprawled out in a wood lawn chair. My daughters, ages 2 and 7, are squealing from one corner of the yard in excitement over the tracking of a large beetle bug. “Let’s name him Alfonso!” I hear them say. […]

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The “Welcome” Blog Post from MFA Director, 2017

By Dan Beachy-Quick  |  September 7, 2016  |  Uncategorized

In 1824, a 19-year old would-be artist came to meet William Blake, and the elder poet asked him a terribly simple question: “Do you work with fear and trembling?” It was for him, the young man claimed, a “formative” experience. In some way half-inexplicable to myself, I might want to ask each of us, students […]

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Year One of Three: Reflections on Intensity

By Catie Young  |  May 4, 2016  |  Uncategorized

That CSU’s MFA in Creative Writing offers three years of study is one of the primary reasons I wanted to come here. Another reason was to be alone. As I applied to schools, I was in the midst of my fifth year of being a person in the world (that is, the world outside of […]

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Writing When We’re Not Writing

By Alex Morrison  |  April 28, 2016  |  Uncategorized

We pay so much attention to the various writing schedules of ourselves and others that sometimes I worry we gloss over those critical moments of creative genesis. Instead of where does writing come from we often wonder how is writing made? Are you a morning writer? An evening writer? Are you a binge writer who […]

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