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
Before I came to the MFA program at CSU, I wrote in a room with a lake to my left and a shut door to my right. With a notebook balanced on my blanket-covered knees, I would write my stories. They were the ones I hoped would get me into a program, but also stories […]
That’s where I am right now. Do I want to sell art—my art, my writings, stories of my life—and in the process sell out all the people I’ll invariably write about? I might be skipping a few steps here. There are no publishers banging down my door for a manuscript that doesn’t exist, but I’m […]
Dear Mom and Dad, I bought an old wooden ladder from a flea market last week and placed it near my fireplace. Mom, you’ll have to tell me what color paint to use. Dad, your old letterman’s jacket is hanging from the top step. It’s nearly falling apart but I can still wear it. The […]
Attempt to study for the LSAT. Fail all of your Logical Reasoning practice tests. Decide that your Reading Comprehension score is okay, but that your Analytical Reasoning score is pathetic. Don’t mention any of this when your parents ask how the studying is going. Tell them it’s going well, tell them you’re making progress. Don’t […]
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 […]