Creative Writing (MA/MS in English)

Graduate Program

Students displaying old books


The MA/MS in English with a specialization in creative writing allows students to do advanced work in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Students accepted into the specialization complete workshops in these three genres and study scholarship about creative writing and literature. For their theses, students concentrate on one genre and work closely with faculty mentors who offer expert advice and guidance throughout the thesis-writing process. Hybrid theses that cross genre boundaries and include visual/ audio elements are also welcome. Appearing as poems, stories, essays, and graphic novels, students’ theses address environmental issues, personal challenges, and historical controversies, among many other topics.   

Please reach out to the director of graduate studies, Dr. Jared Colton (he/him/his), at for specific programmatic questions.

Career Application

The aim of this specialization is to allow students time after their undergraduate work to hone their craft, continue their apprenticeship as a writer, complete a substantial body of work, and pursue publication. The degree caters especially to those who plan to continue their studies by seeking a PhD or MFA in creative writing, as well as to future college instructors and secondary educators.

Students and graduates have won regional and national awards for their creative work, including The Norman Mailer Prize, The Utah Original Writing Competition prize, and The Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Prize. They have published essays, poems, and stories with literary magazines like Orion, Bellingham Review, Ninth Letter, The American Scholar, Sugar House Review, Cimarron Review, Mud Season Review, and Brevity, as well as book-length work with Finishing Line, SLAB, Dzanc, and The Cupboard Pamphlet presses. In addition to publishing work in books, chapbooks, and prestigious literary journals, graduates of the Specialization have been accepted into well-regarded MFA and PhD programs in creative writing at universities, such as The Ohio State University, University of Montana, and University of Tennessee.

Creative Writing News

Amber Caron Publishes in Bennington Review

Assistant Professor Amber Caron has recently published her short story, “Call Up the Waters,” in Bennington Review. In this haunting, beautiful story, a devastating drought leads a mother of two deep into the Colorado Rockies in search of water.

2022 Ken Brewer Festival of Writing Events

The first of two Ken Brewer Festival of Writing events will take place on Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at USU’s Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, featuring poetry readings, a live jazz ensemble, and an open mic. The main event will be a reading by wri...

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