Graduate Program Creative Writing

two Portland State University graduate creative writing students studying in a park

Creative Writing Master's Degree Overview

Make your literary mark with PSU’s master’s in Creative Writing. Our two-year, flexible program offers both full-time and part-time options for earning your MFA. You will graduate with a manuscript, your thesis, in your genre (fiction, poetry, or nonfiction).

We will also guide you into your literary life by teaching you the critical reading and analytical skills you will need as a teacher, editor, publisher, literary agent, journalist, or arts administrator, and the list goes on.

The MFA is a terminal degree in the field of creative writing, which qualifies our graduates to apply for tenure-track teaching jobs at the university level. The program's strengths include distinguished faculty who bring their real-life experience and expertise as published authors into the classroom, faculty mentorship, a thesis project experience, and small class sizes with a supportive community of peers that extends beyond the classroom.

Our creative writing program also hosts an annual reading series that brings writers of national and international reputation to campus and gives students the opportunity to edit, design, and market the literary journal Portland Review.

Degree Details

  • M
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Creative Writing Master's Degree: Why PSU?

Located in the urban center of one of America’s most vibrant literary cities, the Portland State MFA program provides emerging writers with opportunities for creative and intellectual exploration while working closely with a faculty of distinguished writers.

Our program is committed to a hybridity that crosses aesthetic and social boundaries and to a diversity that reflects the progressive spirit of its surroundings.

Consistent with PSU's mandate to serve our city's cultural and professional needs, engagement in Portland's vibrant local community of writers is central to our students' movement from academic to creative careers.

What can I do with a master's degree in Creative Writing?

The program regularly offers professional-development info sessions, career advising, alumni networking, advertisement of job, and internship opportunities. Internship opportunities have included Literary Arts, Tin House, Hawthorne Books, Fishtrap, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Oregon Humanities, Entropy, Earthzine, and the Portland Tribune.

Graduates of the program go on to pursue the following careers, among others:

  • Teacher, all levels (university, secondary, elementary, community)
  • Book Editor
  • Magazine Editor
  • Publisher
  • Journalist/Reporter
  • Screenwriter
  • Literary Agent
  • Copywriter
  • Copyeditor
  • Grant writer
  • Proofreader
  • Arts Administrator
  • Tutor
  • Advertising

Featured Courses

  • WR 521 Core Workshop in Fiction
  • WR 522 Core Workshop in Poetry
  • WR 523 Core Workshop in Nonfiction: Writing as Survival
  • WR 407 Seminar: “The Apocalypse”
  • WR 456 Seminar: “Forms of Nonfiction”


  • WR 416 Screenwriting for Film
  • WR 459 Memoir Writing
  • WR 458 Magazine Writing
  • WR 328 Media Editing


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).