As one of the top creative writing doctoral programs in the country, we offer motivated poetry and fiction writers the chance to refine their creative work while building a portfolio of literary criticism and scholarly writing. Our workshops integrate contemporary literature with creative exploration. In addition to poetry and fiction, we offer workshops and literature courses in areas such as nonfiction, travel writing, oral literature and narratology.

Our PhD is a theoretical doctorate: an experience that builds creative thinking alongside critical reading and research. Writers go on to publish novels, poetry collections and critical literary works. They hold tenure track positions at notable universities, edit long-standing journals and are represented by major presses. 

Learn more about the program.

Our Program Offers:

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    A small community of engaged writers selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. We accept six or seven writers per year, totaling about 20 writers in the program at a time.

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    Creative dissertation options that allow writers to spend time working toward a book-length manuscript of publishable quality as part of their time in the program.

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    Teaching opportunities in creative writing workshops and literature courses as part of the Graduate Teaching Assistant Professional Development Sequence.

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    Editing opportunities with the Denver Quarterly, a premier journal for American and international poetry, fiction, reviews, essays and cross-genre works.

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    A core group of actively publishing creative writing faculty, as well as a dedicated group of literary faculty who specialize in areas such as African American literature, Latin@/x literature, Native American literature and Digital Humanities.


Explore contemporary and historical literatures while refining your own creative voice.

Are you ready to learn more about the Creative Writing concentration at DU?

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Degree Requirements

  • Students in the Creative Writing concentration will complete 90 graduate-level quarter hours. 
  • 48 of these hours will be in formal classes (excluding tutorials, independent study and independent research courses).
  • Non-coursework includes comprehensive exams, dissertation proposal and prospectus, a dissertation of publishable quality that makes a significant contribution to its field, and an oral defense.

See the DU Graduate Bulletin for full requirements. 

Featured Faculty

  • Graham Foust

    Graham Foust

    Associate Professor

  • Joanna Howard

    Joanna Howard

    Assistant Professor

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  • bin ramke

    Bin Ramke

    Professor and Phipps Chair

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