Posted on

Oregon state creative writing mfa

Creative Writing

Become a member of Portland’s vibrant community of writers

Portland State University’s Creative Writing Program offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Located in the center of one of the country’s most vibrantly literary cities, the Creative Writing Program provides writers with opportunities for creative development with a core faculty of prominent authors: Diana Abu-Jaber, Janice Lee, Gabriel Urza, and Leni Zumas in Fiction; John Beer and Michele Glazer in Poetry; and Paul Collins and visiting writer Justin Hocking in Nonfiction.

Bachelor’s in Creative Writing

Our BFA in Creative Writing provides students with the skills and experience to enter the creative field or graduate study as writers, editors, and teachers. We feature a comprehensive curriculum of workshops in craft/technique and opportunities for students to work closely with peers and published authors.

Master’s in Creative Writing

Our MFA in Creative Writing emphasizes workshops and close mentorship by core faculty, while providing the flexibility of a part-time option and the rich course offerings of PSU. Our program is distinguished by the diversity of its student body and by the accomplishments of its alumni.

Upcoming events

Sam Roxas-Chua

Add to my Calendar 2022-05-13 16:00:00 2022-05-13 17:00:00 Sam Roxas-Chua Sam Roxas-Chua is the author of Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater, Echolalia in Script, and Fawn Language. His poems, artworks, and asemic writings have appeared in journals including Narrative, December Magazine, Cream City Review and an essay/review of his two recent books appears in the Georgia Review and Rhino Poetry. His poetry sequence Diary of Collected Summers was awarded the Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize and most recently he was interviewed by Gulf Coast Journal. In his writing process, Sam is interested in discovering the invisible poem. These are images and thoughts conjured up by asemic or open-form writing, a writing practice using non-sensical script. Here’s how he described it in an interview: “In between stanzas of a poem, or when I can’t quite get to an image or a phrase, I pull out a piece of paper and start writing this nonsensical script. When I do this script and feel the texture of my wrist on the page, images open like a deck of cards.” Eventually, this work became an art form on its own for Sam, one that exists in conversation with his poetry. His books talk to each other across mediums as well, with the poems in Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater resurfacing in the poem that concludes Echolalia in Script, which is made up of phrases drawn from the poems in that book, making a new thing. And each visual art piece in Echolalia is, in turn, in conversation with a line from that work. Sam is a poet, multimedia artist, transracial/transcultural adoptee. He has exhibited his visual works, read for PEN International, and has appeared in literary radio shows. His current project is an 8-week artist/writer residency at Portland Chinatown Museum. FMH 302 NOTE: This is an in-person event. We ask that all attendees be vaccinated and wear a mask. [email protected] [email protected] America/Los_Angeles public

Creative Writing

The deadline to apply to the fall 2022 Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing cohort is June 1, 2022.

  • Admissions Appointment
  • Request Info
  • Download MFA Flier
  • Application


“Anxious Attachments” by core faculty member Beth Alvarado is a 2020 Oregon Book Award Winner.


We are #4 on the Best College Reviews list of Top 20 Master’s in Creative Writing Online for 2021.


Our faculty members create an individualized program of study for each student mentee.

Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program Philosophy

What’s unique about OSU-Cascades’ ecological approach to the craft of writing is its investment in the whole writer. The geographies — social, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, political — each writer negotiates to get to the page are as various as the texts that give each one of us a purchase on this art. Together in the MFA in Creative Writing program we teach ourselves to work — at least some of the time — outside our comfort zones. By cultivating a passion for what’s difficult about this art, as well the courage to celebrate our own and each other’s adventures in self-expression, we tend the practical skills and whimsical experiments that grow writers with healthy writing lives.

Program Details

This two-year program is divided between intensive ten-day residencies at OSU-Cascades in Bend, and term-length individual mentorships you complete long distance from home. Supported by faculty mentors, you will master the techniques of craft in your genre, develop a sustainable writing praxis, practice what it means to be a literary citizen, and learn about what’s really exciting in contemporary literature. You conclude the program with a thesis, a creative piece of publishable quality and literary merit.


MFA students select a genre, but write and study across genres to deepen their craft and understanding. Students may also write cross- or hybrid-genre theses.

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Non-Fiction

Contact Us

Gillian Harper | Graduate Student Recruitment Coordinator
Make an advising appointment

OSU Corvallis Partnership

The MFA in Creative Writing at OSU in Corvallis has a long tradition of excellence. Recognizing the need to bring an outstanding education to students with different life stories, faculty on both campuses partnered to bring a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing to Central Oregon in 2013. Here in the OSU-Cascades low-residency MFA, we continue that tradition of excellence, growing creative writers with exemplary publication records, and a passion for loving this world, through art.