MFA Creative Writing


Poetry, Fiction & Nonfiction

Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heights

Apply to the MFA now!
MFA Creative Writing

Upcoming Readers

Lauren Haldeman and Emily Pérez

Poetry Reading, January 25

Daryl Farmer

Fiction/Nonfiction Reading,

February 22

Ross Gay

Poetry 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.

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, 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:
    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


The MFA has given me a reading complex.

By Kristin Macintyre  |  March 2, 2018  |  Uncategorized

Not the kind of complex where I feel insecure and acutely aware of my own limited perspective of the literary world (okay, I guess yes this kind of complex), and not the kind of complex where I’ve suddenly turned averse to reading and find myself Netflixing compulsively (although I dream of having this one), and […]

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Lately I only want to write tiny stories

By Alice Stopher  |  February 9, 2018  |  Uncategorized

I read everything aloud as I’m writing, read it again when I’m through, walk circles around my dining room with my laptop nestled in my arms like a baby, talking to it, or talking at it when the work is slow and difficult. Words feel substantially less real on the page to me. They’re static […]

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Stranger than Fiction

By Megan Clark  |  January 26, 2018  |  Uncategorized

When my dad was a kid, his family owned a not particularly successful ranch on, in, and around which strange and ill-fated things tended to happen. One time, Irish, a man who worked on the ranch and lived in a tiny, one-door cabin with my dad’s uncle, Gene, died in his sleep, causing his horse […]

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Vanilla 5

By gmc  |  December 1, 2017  |  Uncategorized

I should probably say, right up front, that I might be an intensely boring sort of person. I strive for a vanilla existence. It isn’t that I want to be vanilla, per se, but that I’d like life to be a bit more vanilla. I want life to return to the vanilla of baking Christmas […]

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Considering "The Portable MFA"

By dgunnar  |  November 17, 2017  |  Uncategorized

A friend of a friend is a veteran of an MFA program (not CSU), and is the sort of veteran not especially fond of her service. On hearing that I was going to apply, she sent along a book wrapped in butcher paper: “The Portable MFA.” In it, one finds in the way of introduction […]

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