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Feb 14, 2006, 12:06 AM

Post #1 of 15 (7434 views)
Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Does anyone know anything about the quality of teaching, the post-graduation record, or the reputation of the MA program in creative writing (fiction) at the University of Colorado at Boulder?

I applied to other programs, but that's the only one I've heard back from thus far and I've been accepted with a fellowship that would make it feasible. I applied on a whim, without any knowledge of it, because I was sending applications out anyway and one more didn't seem like much and it's in Boulder and I'm a frustrated East Coast girl who's always wanted to live in Boulder. (Or California. Or Oregon. Or washington state. Or, you know, anywhere with things that are green or blue and not simply concrete gray.)

I realize it's only February, and that I'll eventually hear back from other schools, and that some of those schools may actually see fit to accept me, and that they might be schools I have more knowledge of, but I'm the worrying sort and some part of my brain has naturally concluded that this is the only acceptance I'll see.



I have a Bernese mountain dog, incidentally, and she has registered a pro-Boulder enthusiastic woof. I love her dearly, but I'm just I should place my writing career in her hands... er, paws.


Feb 14, 2006, 4:40 AM

Post #2 of 15 (7419 views)
Re: [orangegirl] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Hey orangegirl:
I don't know anything about the Boulder MA program, but I do know that lots and lots of people get a creative writing MA and then move on and get an MFA afterward. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two professors who did that route (which is more impressive when you realize that I only know the full educational history of two profs). An MA doesn't disqualify you from an MFA, and I know that some people consider it a time-honored way to improve your application.
Particularly if it would be a one year program, that's not a bad option to pursue.
Now, of course, as you said, it's still early, and you will probably hear from some other programs....
Good luck, and congratulations.


Feb 17, 2006, 4:46 PM

Post #3 of 15 (7350 views)
Re: [orangegirl] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

I read somewhere that Boulder and Brown are the top schools for experimental fiction writers. I can't recall where I read this--some article about MFAs that I found online months ago. But Boulder was described as "preeminent" or something similar.


Mar 12, 2006, 10:57 PM

Post #4 of 15 (7295 views)
Re: [orangegirl] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post


Boulder is an EXCELLENT program! Congratulations on your acceptance.

I lived in Boulder for several years while my husband was doing his PhD there. I am a graduate of the fiction program at OSU and also took degrees from Yale and Indiana.

The faculty at Boulder is outstanding. This is one of the most up-and-coming programs in the country and I think that its reputation shall blossom in the next few years. The faculty is excellent and excel both as writers and teachers. Within the creative writing community, those in the know highly respect this program.

Boulder is an awesome city. If you like to snowboard or climb or participate in any number of outdoor sports, this is the town for you. The downtown area is excellent, cosmopolitan and lively. The people are great, the population is diverse. Excellent literary scene.

My favorite college towns in America are Boulder, Madison and Iowa City. If you are able to attend Boulder, I highly recommend both the community and the Creative Writing department.


Mar 12, 2006, 11:42 PM

Post #5 of 15 (7279 views)
Re: [fionayale] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Boulder smells great, but what, you've never been to Austin? :)

I read a story recently by a Boulder writer and was very impressed. But my internet skills need a boost. Do they only offer an MA, and not an MFA?


Mar 12, 2006, 11:52 PM

Post #6 of 15 (7274 views)
Re: [poetastin] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

My two cents:

First of all, I believe it's an MA program at Boulder, but basically operates exactly the same way as an MFA program.

Second of favorite writing mentor did his graduate work in creative writing at Boulder...he's the best writing advice-giver (wow, I sound like a great writer, huh) I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Really knows his stuff. Great writer, too. He advised me to apply there (haven't heard a peep yet). It sounds like the people who graduate from that program get a lot of help as far as mentorship and connections as they make their way back into the world.

Third of all...I think he's living proof that you can get a good teaching job with just an M.(F.)A. degree in Creative Writing.

Austin is ok...but I have to say, I agree with Finyale...I prefer Boulder. It's got a really close-knit community vibe and is a lot of fun. Beeeeautiful part of the country... just love the scenery out there.

Congrats to the person who was accepted to Boulder. It's an awesome program.


Mar 13, 2006, 12:02 AM

Post #7 of 15 (7269 views)
Re: [emptymug] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

The University of Colorado at Boulder is a really good school. The town is way cool.


Mar 13, 2006, 3:11 PM

Post #8 of 15 (7233 views)
Re: [emptymug] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

thanks for all the encouraging notes! i actually *just* got a call from jeffrey deshell, offering me a chancellory fellowship at boulder (during the previous call he let me know i'd been accepted and nominated), with $16-18K funding, no tuition, and no teaching for the first year. i'm thrilled, of course, and very torn between boulder and the university of minnesota's program, while still waiting on a few schools. without having ever been to either, i suspect i prefer the city of boulder (the weather, mountains) and definitely prefer a two-year program. but it seems like there's a greater emphasis on the production of written work at minnesota and the chance to take non-fiction workshops as well is intriguing.

thoughts, anyone? and thanks again for all the help!


Mar 13, 2006, 3:31 PM

Post #9 of 15 (7223 views)
Re: [orangegirl] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Which schools are you waiting on?


Mar 13, 2006, 4:02 PM

Post #10 of 15 (7208 views)
Re: [clarabow] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

of those that haven't already, to my knowledge, notified acceptees: uva, university of oregon (given the outcome of other programs, i'm not hopeful, though either would be a dream both because of location and program specifics), arizona state (seems similarly unlikely and i'm not sure i want to live in arizona... but ask me again if i'm accepted) and american.

got the rejection from montana today. sigh.


Mar 13, 2006, 6:32 PM

Post #11 of 15 (7179 views)
Re: [orangegirl] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Normally, between Minnesota and Boulder, I'd say go with Minnesota (more selective, full funding, Charles Baxter), but considering Boulder is basically handing you a briefcase full of cash... I say go with the money.


Mar 18, 2006, 11:50 PM

Post #12 of 15 (7147 views)
Re: [viviandarkbloom] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

I also got into Boulder--I was not as lucky as orangegirl with funding--a few thousand with a fellowship and three classes a year (though I taught communications at a university last year, and I was teaching FIVE classes a semester--gotta hate the adjunct life). I love teaching, so I'm happy, but I am really confused and lost as to Colorado versus Arizona, my other "yes." MA versus MFA? Boulder versus Tucson? I love the insight that you all are giving on CU's program--keep it coming!


Mar 19, 2006, 1:11 PM

Post #13 of 15 (7126 views)
Re: [mmsosu] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

I lived in Boulder for four years and started my undergrad at CU. I love it there, and if I was given a choice between Boulder and Minnesota or Boulder and Tucson, I'd go with Boulder. For me, Minnesota is too cold, and Tucson is too hot. I was just in Boulder a week ago for my spring break. For the first four days, it was 70+. It snowed overnight during the rest of the week, but when it snows in Boulder, most of the snow disappears by noon.

Boulder also has a lot of neat little areas. The Hill is the CU area - mostly populated by CU undergrads. It can get a little crazy there (read: riots.) The non-CU residents are very hostile to the students and the university. Pearl Street Mall is great. It's an outdoor pedestrian mall with street performers and local artists. There are a lot of great bars and restaurants. There are also many buildings with lofts for rent in this area. They're a little pricey, but I think it would be a cool place to live. If I were to move back, and I'm considering it, I'd probably go to the southwest end of Boulder (off of Table Mesa and Broadway.) It's affordable and close to CU. Plus, it's a short hop onto 36, which takes you down to Flatiron Crossing - a huge shoppping area - and then into Denver.

I think orangegirl's offer is fantastic; I'd have a hard time turning it down. A few years in Boulder could give you an edge into an MFA somewhere else. If the money was less great, I'd have to compare it to the offers everywhere else.

I don't know anything about the MA program. During my time there, I mostly took creative writing courses from adjuncts over the summer. Still, my experience was very positive.

Just my .02. Obviously, I'm very biased. Congratulations on some very great offers.

(This post was edited by kcole7 on Mar 19, 2006, 1:14 PM)


Aug 15, 2010, 3:18 PM

Post #14 of 15 (6193 views)
Re: [kcole7] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

This board hasn't been updated since 2006. I am curious about the MFA at CU - Boulder. I look at their website and it gives very little information. It also says for admissions you have to have a BA in English or at least 18 credit hours....that surprises me considering most MFA programs don't require you to have a degree or a minor in English to apply...I'm graduating with a degree in technology...I took some lit classes in college but definitely not 18 credits worth.

Does anyone have any insight to the program? Their website says "new MFA in creative writing"...has anyone received an MFA from here? Should I email them and see if I can still apply without a degree in English? Also, it doesn't give details on how long the writing sample should be, etc. Maybe I am not looking hard enough?

If anyone has ANY info on this "new MFA in creative writing" please fill me in. I'd like to add it to my list of places to apply.


Aug 15, 2010, 3:21 PM

Post #15 of 15 (6191 views)
Re: [kneelis] Boulder MA Program? Can't Post

Oh, nevermind. I am blind! I found the list of application requirements....but still, if anyone has any insight on this program please share! :)


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