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
Since December, after reaching the end of my first semester of graduate school, I have been searching for something more from poetry. Largely because of my Poetry & Pottery course, I am coming to realize that the “something more” I crave is perhaps something less. Over winter break, I re-read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the […]
Whenever we see a film in theatres, my brother won’t let me leave until all the credits have rolled. “Respect your industry,” he still says, though I have left it. It’s astonishing how many names march past at the end of films—each a representation of the sliver of life that was given to try to […]
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 […]
I met Alice Notley about a year ago–at the end of my final undergraduate semester in the middle of December–one day after a reading from Certain Magical Acts at Boise State University. I hadn’t been able to meet her after the reading because we got to the gathering that followed it late (my friend Megan, […]
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 […]