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The Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, a 3-year program. It’s an intensive immersion in the writing life, with workshops in poetry, fiction, in nonfiction writing, screenwriting, writing for digital media and others. Our mission is to emphasize the creation and critical analysis of literature, so that our students can be part of the national conversation about writing, graduating with a publishable manuscript. Our graduates have gone on to careers in the media, education, and publishing. Dozens of books have been published, numerous awards and fellowships have been awarded, and  since the degree’s founding in 2001, we prepare our MFA students to contribute to their communities as writers, publishing professionals and teachers. 
Western Interstate Commission on High Education

Western Interstate Commission on High Education

New Mexico State University participates in WICHE, the Western Interstate Commission on High Education, a tuition exchange program. Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible for in-state tuition. For more information: 


Application Requirements

Application Requirements

  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Resume or CV
  • Minimum of 3 Reccomendation Letters
  • Application Deadline : Admit for Fall semesters only with a February 1st deadline.

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GA Information

Graduate Assistantship Information

The deadline to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must be submitted as part of the application in SLATE by February 1.

All applications for assistantship support should include a statement of teaching interest, should be addressed to the Creative Writing Faculty, and should provide whatever additional information and supporting documentation for consideration. The standard assistantship is for 6 consecutive semesters.

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About the Program and What to Expect

The MFA is for dedicated students who want to hone their writing with the support of their professors and the community of writers at NMSU. Since joining the Creative Media institute, creative writing students have increased opportunities to engage with genres of writing for digital media such as for a web series, animation and for television. Our distinguished faculty are active in their fields, have won numerous awards and are committed MFA mentors. For three years, you will write, read, participate in our Nelson Boswell Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, work on our internationally recognized literary journal Puerto de Sol to develop artistically and professionally.  


MFA Program Requirements

  • complete 54 hours of graduate-level coursework,
  • present a book-length thesis of original work with an introduction or afterward,
  • perform a public reading from the thesis, and
  • pass an oral examination in the final semester.


Course List



Required Coursework 1

MFA workshop in the major genre (poetry, fiction)


FDMA 570 - MFA Workshop (subtitles will vary)

At least one will need to be a workshop in a second genre


FDMA 550 - MFA Form & Technique (major genre)


FDMA 592 - MFA Theory, Practice and Profession


FDMA 594 - MFA Thesis Workshop


FDMA 599 - MFA Thesis Hours


Graduate Elective courses*


Total Credits



*Students will take 21 credits (7 classes) in various areas of study of interest. A student might take a mix of graduate level classes in other genres within the Creative Media Institute (Writing for Television, Playwriting, etc.) to develop a solid subspecialty, scholarly classes in the English Department, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program or the Borderlands and Ethnic Studies Program. Others have taken graduate History classes, Geography classes, and Art classes. Internships are available with small presses (Zephyr Press), literary nonprofits (Zoeglossia, an organization for disabled writers) and Film and Digital Media projects on campus when available. These electives can be used to build creative writing training that will be unique to your own interests and a coherent program of study should be developed with your advisor.