About the Program

The MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics is a two-year, 48-credit graduate degree. Students typically enroll in 9 credit hours per semester and 12 credit hours in the Summer Writing Program (over two summers).

The program offers an open-genre curriculum within a contemplative academic environment, providing MFA students maximum flexibility within the degree. Graduate students are encouraged to take classes across genres, enabling them to investigate a personal, intensely original writing process and style. We challenge the notion of safe or generic works and create a space for radical exploration and experimentation.


  • 9 credits of writing workshops
  • 9 credits of poetics seminars
  • 12 credits of the Summer Writing Program (workshops, lectures, readings)
  • 3 credits of contemplative practice
  • 3 credits of professional development (teaching or publishing)
  • 6 credits of electives (workshops, interdisciplinary courses, etc.)
  • 6 credits of thesis (faculty mentorship on book-length creative manuscript and critical research poetics essay)


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and unlock your potential.


Graduate Instructors

After completing WRI700: Writing Pedagogy Seminar (offered each fall), graduate students can apply to teach Writing Seminar I (expository and critical writing), Writing Seminar II (research writing), Creative Writing and Literature (poetry and prose workshop), or SWP BA workshops (creative writing).

Writing Fellow / Naropa Writing Center

Graduate students can apply to work in the Naropa Writing Center, consulting graduate and undergraduate Naropa students on the writing process (while simultaneously completing WRI700: Writing Pedagogy Seminar).

Project Outreach Instructors

Project Outreach places students in local schools and other institutions to lead creative writing workshops. Both BA and MFA students can receive course credit while developing their teaching skills for the benefit of the larger community. Project Outreach is offered every academic year as an elective course and offers students the unique opportunity to go out into the world as literary activists, sharpening and extending their own pedagogical abilities.


Learning Outcomes