A few months ago I was at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, perusing their selection, trying to remember what it was that I went in there for, overwhelmed by their extensive selection and fuzzy green carpet, when I had the panicked feeling of writing an introduction for Cheryl Strayed, quickly reminding me to buy […]
Poetry & Fiction
Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heightsApply to the MFA now!
Piano, Spoken Word, Electronics November 3
& John Woodward
Richard McCannFiction, January 30
Poetry, April 24
& Brenda Hillman
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
~ Toni Morrison
Study WithDan Beachy-Quick Leslee Becker John Calderazzo SueEllen Campbell Matthew Cooperman Judy Doenges Camille Dungy Stephanie G'Schwind EJ Levy Todd Mitchell Steven Schwartz Sasha Steensen
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]