MFA Creative Writing

CSU's MFA

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

Welcome

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

Program
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

Blog

Meeting Dinty Moore

By Sarah Hansen  |  November 13, 2014  |  Uncategorized

It seems like in the creative nonfiction world, we can’t get away from Dinty Moore, and it’d be fruitless to even try, because the man is simply everywhere. Moore was the winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2008 for his memoir Between Panic and Desire, and his other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, [...]

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Odd Job

By Mandi Casolo  |  November 5, 2014  |  Uncategorized

The first week in Fort Collins, I was turned down for a job selling artisan cheese at farmers’ markets. Two weeks prior, I had quit my comfortable, salaried position at Yale University Press, running galleys around the campus’s two hundred year old brick-laid alleyways, scheduling book events, and fielding visits to Harold Bloom, who didn’t [...]

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Things that Quicken the Heart, or The Generous Critic

By Denise Jarrott  |  October 14, 2014  |  Uncategorized

Disagreement is one of the greatest things about being a person who interests themselves in poetry. I love the nit-picky, technical, sometimes telling, and often illuminating conversations that sometimes emerge in workshop. These conversations force everyone to reveal exactly what is important to them, and what kind of poet they want to become. I begin [...]

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“The End,” or Three Voices Is Bonkers

By Drew Webster  |  October 7, 2014  |  Uncategorized

It wasn’t so long ago—about two years and some change—that I sat down in a room full of people I didn’t know. I knew exactly no one in that classroom. It was the MFA orientation, and I’ll be honest, I was intimidated. I had no idea why I was in that room—except maybe a quiet, [...]

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An Apology for Poetry

By Kylan Rice  |  September 29, 2014  |  Uncategorized

This week, in the midst of grading papers for my own classes, I’ve been invited to guest teach a lesson on poetry in a colleague’s Intro to Lit course. My colleague was very forthright: “I just don’t speak poetry.” So far, she admitted, her main line-of-attack in teaching the unit has been to offer a [...]

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