Poetry, Fiction & Nonfiction
Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heightsApply to the MFA now!
Lauren Haldeman and Emily PérezPoetry Reading, January 25
Ross GayPoetry Reading, April 26
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is for students with advanced abilities in the writing of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. The nationally ranked program offers a balance of intimate and intensive writing workshops with courses in literature, form and technique, and related electives. Course work culminates in a thesis—a collection of poetry, short stories, essays, or a novel or memoir—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; and two short essays or a chapter or two of a memoir in-progress for nonfiction 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 for fiction and poetry and January 15th for creative nonfiction.
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 Greyrock, 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, Creative Nonfiction or Poetry (3 credits)
- E640 Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction 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:
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
~ Toni Morrison
Sufjan Stevens has a really good song called “Futile Devices.” You should listen to it. * In my classes, we talk about “speaker language” when addressing another piece of work. As a creative non-fiction student, this makes a lot of sense: as we read and discuss the work of other authors, our peers, it is […]
I am writing this post with two bags of apples— one red, the other green— on my countertop. I have sincere plans to make apple butter, cranberry apple-sauce, apple turnovers, and no fewer than three apple pies. Likely, though, I will feed both bags of apples to the doe deer that steps delicately through my […]
The first time I went to grad school I was 24. I had a GTA position and felt like a little kid playing dress-up. The heels I wore on the first day of class were thrift store treasures that were one size too big and two inches too high. The director of the program saw […]
The first few days of the semester have been crisp and cool, as if the Colorado landscape itself has been doing its part to usher in our Fall semester. It has been a whirlwind of a beginning for me, as I sent my oldest off to middle school, my youngest off to fourth grade, and […]
It would be nice if I knew three years ago what I know now. Then I would have been able to forge that knowledge under the cauldron of being an MFA student. It’s like, as an undergrad, when you write a paper the day before it’s due, and as you’re reading it just before you […]