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
  • 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


An Evening with Mary Szybist

By Kylan Rice  |  September 21, 2015  |  Uncategorized

On September 17, Mary Szybist visited CSU campus by invitation and offered a reading of her poetry. If you weren’t able to attend, here is the introduction given for Szybist before her reading, which may provide some insight into the nature of her poetry.   “Still bride of your own armor,” writes Mary Szybist in […]

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From the Open Road to the MFA, in Search of Where Your Life Still Matters

By David Mucklow  |  September 9, 2015  |  Uncategorized

This summer I had the best job that I will probably ever have. I travelled around the country creating social media content for an awesome outdoor/adventure lifestyle apparel company called Howler Brothers (my only shameless plug, check them out, they make great clothing). My friend and I travelled from Texas, down the coast to the […]

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A Fiddler on the MFA Roof

By Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri  |  September 1, 2015  |  Uncategorized

Tevye refers to the fiddler on the roof, trying to keep his balance. It symbolizes every member of his community in tsarist Russia, but Tevye would undoubtedly say the same about the wonderful, fast-paced world of the MFA program here at Colorado State University, a world in which we all try to find our places […]

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The Dedicatory Blog Post

By Dan Beachy-Quick  |  August 28, 2015  |  Uncategorized

  I like to wake up early and read. The children are still sleeping, so is my wife. Not even the dog joins me. Even if I didn’t know the date school started, I’d suspect it was close, because the summer sun that rose so early to light the pages I read isn’t up anymore, […]

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