Graduate Program in Creative Writing (GPCW) 3+2

Bachelor of Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Degree Type

Accelerated Degree Programs (3+2)


Graduate Program in Creative Writing

If you aspire to become a professional writer in a specific discipline, you’ll thrive in Western’s Creative Writing 3+2 pathway. In this program, you have the opportunity to earn an MFA in Creative Writing, paired with a B.A. in English or Environment & Sustainability.

Program Overview

Discover your niche as a professional writer.

In the Creative Writing 3+2 pathway, you’ll earn your bachelor’s degree in either English or Environment and Sustainability and your MFA in Creative Writing in just five years.

As an undergraduate, you’ll be able to explore your writing interests in a variety of classes that will prepare you for graduate-level work while you discover what form of writing you are most passionate about. In your fourth year, you’ll transition into the graduate portion of the program, choosing to work in one of four Creative Writing concentrations: Genre Fiction, Screenwriting, Poetry or Nature Writing. Whichever concentration you choose, you’ll work with world-renowned writers to hone your skills, learn the business of being a professional writer and create a portfolio of publishable work.

You’ll graduate with a B.A. in English or Environment and Sustainability, and an MFA in Creative Writing, in addition to gaining ample industry knowledge and the skillset to become a successful writer in a specific discipline.

Fast track your education

Students on the Creative Writing 3+2 pathway earn their bachelor’s degree in either English or Environment and Sustainability and their M.F.A in Creative Writing in just five years.


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


The GPCW is deeply committed to raising funds to support our students. Each year we offer substantial direct-funding scholarships.

The GPCW is currently offering several scholarships for new, full-time MFA / M.A. students who enroll for the next academic year. Scholarships range from $2,000/yr. to $5,000/yr., depending on available funding.

Applicants may fill out the scholarship application at the same time as they complete the application for admission. Scholarship applications will be considered only after a student has been admitted to the program. Please note that once you register, these scholarships are not refundable. Should you withdraw from the program or fall below full-time enrollment, your scholarship will be forfeited.

To apply, complete the application linked below:

Scholarship Application

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your network and apply your knowledge.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

  • Teaching Assistantships: Students help fellow students in challenging writing courses.
  • Writing Center: Work as a writing consultant for the greater campus community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: Submit your creative work for a chance to be published in Western’s annual creative work publication.

A helping hand

Writing Center consultants can help students at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to polishing final drafts.

News & Research

new nature writing faculty

Nature Writing Concentration Welcomes New Faculty

Read More

New Faculty in GPCW Nature Writing Concentration

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Newly Published Anthology

Western’s Publishing Grad Students Release First Anthology

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New partnership helps Red Rocks Community College students earn accelerated master’s degrees

New partnership helps Red Rocks Community College students earn accelerated master’s degrees

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Nature Writing MFA names new director

Nature Writing MFA names new director

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Genre Fiction Director, Fran Wilde

Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction

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Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

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Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

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Community invited to campus author presentation

Community invited to campus author presentation

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Additional Resources


The GPCW at Western offers several scholarships for full-time MA or MFA students each year, depending on available funding. Scholarships range from $2,000/yr. to $5,000/yr. and continue for the length …

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How It Works

Program Structure Prospective students apply to Western as traditional undergraduate students and choose either an Environment and Sustainability major (which leads into the Nature Writing MFA …

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Tuition and Aid

For their first three years on the 3+2 pathway, students in the program pay undergraduate tuition and are eligible for both undergraduate financial aid and program-specific scholarships.

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Department Information

Graduate Program in Creative Writing


Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Program Support Coordinator

Corinne Sublette

Program Support Coordinator

Contact Information


Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 117
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231