Mar 11, 2008, 1:41 PM
Post #501 of 2090
First, Gcsumfa, I'm really sorry to hear about Ohio U. I know from your posts that was one you were really gunning for.
I'm blanking out about the Ph.d. coverage in the Atlantic article. Did they actually list/rank them or just mention that they exist?
I think what we might be seeing, finally, is the disparity between the number of M.F.A. programs and creative writing Ph.d. programs come to light. How many M.F.A. programs are out there right now? 300? How many creative Ph.d. programs? Maybe 26? AND, as has been pointed out in this thread, a large Ph.d. program might have six people per genre. Compare that to a large M.F.A. program like Iowa or Columbia. Add to this factors such as more jobs requiring (or strongly preferring) a Ph.d., a job market where only a handful of C.W. positions are advertised per year, and it may now be harder to get into any creative writing Ph.d. than any top 10 M.F.A. program.
I think for those who apply next year (and I'm likely going to be one of them) it will be necessary to apply both to more schools and also more types of schools--rhetoric/composition programs, traditional lit programs, educational doctorates, media studies, etc. While there are less than 30 C.W. Ph.D's, there are--as they say in technical terms--a crap load of other Ph.D's that we would be eligible for. What was your M.F.A. GPA? I bet it was either a 4.0 or damn close to it. Most lit Ph.D's only require a 3.5. The overall course work could be made very similar with the exception of trading out 3-4 workshops and the creative dissertation for a critical one. If traditional Ph.D's were targeted that were attached to M.F.A. programs (Oregon, Washington, Florida to name a few) then there is a guaranteed writing community and I strongly suspect a Ph.D. candidate with M.F.A. in hand could talk his or her way into a few writing workshops.
I'm just thinking out loud here. What it seems to me, though, is that there are some pretty damn qualified applicants not getting into programs due to a lack of space. To help make up for this I suspect that application nets are going to need to be cast both wider and deeper in the future.
Good points, Hamlet. I have critical interests that I could pursue at the doctoral level. Here's my concern with that, however: no matter what, my primary interest will always be fiction writing. Having to write a doctoral dissertation on my secondary interest would take time away from my fiction writing. In a way, I might be better off not entering such a program--seems like I'd get more fiction writing done than if I attended such pure lit crit program.
However, I’ll still probably take your advice next year and apply to lit programs in addition to CW programs.