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


Introducing: Chicken Riot!

By Leah White  |  October 20, 2016  |  Uncategorized

I have been organizing an arts event alongside my first semester in the MFA program (poet speaking here). Chicken Riot is a monthly event, a main goal of which being to draw a bridge between artists within the community and those occupying the academic space. The more connected artists are to each other, the more […]

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It Feels Like Coming Home…

By Kristin Macintyre  |  October 13, 2016  |  Uncategorized

It feels like coming home. That was my response when a stranger at the coffee shop asked what my first few weeks of graduate school felt like. It feels like coming home. I don’t know that the response was appropriate to the question. And I’m sure the polite gentleman wrinkled his eyebrows thinking hard about […]

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A Dialogue on Love, An Annotation

By Denise Jarrott  |  October 5, 2016  |  Uncategorized

As I write this annotation, it is the middle of August, near the beginning of my final year in this program, and I am beginning again to feel a sense of impending doom. It cannot be chalked up to the change in weather, I love watching the leaves turn and the air grow chill, but […]

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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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