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fleurdelis44


Mar 8, 2007, 11:13 PM

Post #76 of 2090 (15936 views)
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Re: [fuzen] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

To Fuzen and everyone else concerned: when Mark Winegardner called to tell me I'm accepted, I asked about funding, but he said it so fast I didn't catch the number, and I didn't want to squawk, "how much?" and ask him to repeat. In the same breath, though, he said, "if money becomes a problem, you can also teach summer classes--although I wouldn't recommend that. If I were in your shoes, I would hoard my writing time like gold." Also, he said the official acceptance letter with all the funding/fees info will be out in a few days, so the wait should be short.

About Ohio University. I applied there, and haven't heard back. Though at this point I don't care much b'c Florida State is my dream school. I did my undergrad at OU. I minored in English and so know a bit about the fiction faculty. Joan Connor is moody but intriguing, and more often than not astute with her discernment. Zakes Mda, however, is, frankly, mediocre. He is a big name, but everybody who's taken him has said that he is unhelpful as a teacher. Athens is a great little town, though--picturesque and secluded and unpretentious. Overall, I'd give the OU program a thumbs-up.

I know this is an unpopular opinion here, but I love the notion of getting a PhD instead of an MFA. Here at my current English department, creative writers are sometimes seen as second-class citizens b'c our discipline is supposedly less rigorous and our job prospects much dimmer. With the FSU program, though, it is the best of both worlds: structured, rigorous seminars plus the opportunity to write a creative dissertation that might actually be read by people other than other dissertation-writing lit students. Plus, the beach is 20 miles away from Tallahassee. Plus the living costs are cheap... I should stop, really, I'm starting to sound smug even to myself.


fuzen


Mar 9, 2007, 2:52 AM

Post #77 of 2090 (15919 views)
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Re: [bktv] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a very small number. Almost makes me proud to hear they had a "favorable review" of my application though they turned me down.



In Reply To
I should have said two per genre. So yes, four total.


gcsumfa


Mar 9, 2007, 3:45 PM

Post #78 of 2090 (15873 views)
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Re: [fuzen] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a friend in the PhD CNF program at OU. She said letters were mailed on Wed, so people should hear something soon.

I'm not really hopeful though, because they usually only accept 1-2 per genre at the PhD level, from what I hear.


rpc
ryan call

Mar 10, 2007, 12:33 AM

Post #79 of 2090 (15833 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

do you know how many they typically accept at houston phd?


<HTMLGIANT>


fuzen


Mar 10, 2007, 2:13 PM

Post #80 of 2090 (15790 views)
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Re: [rpc] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

FWIW, a friend of mine here at USM got into Houston Ph.D. last year but said that when she visited she didn't like the department/faculty. Very cold, was how she described them.



In Reply To
do you know how many they typically accept at houston phd?



fleurdelis44


Mar 10, 2007, 6:05 PM

Post #81 of 2090 (15764 views)
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Re: [fleurdelis44] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Got letter from Ohio U today. Waitlist.


gcsumfa


Mar 12, 2007, 9:21 AM

Post #82 of 2090 (15698 views)
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Re: [fleurdelis44] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was waitlisted by Ohio U too. PhD/Fiction. Email. Today, 3/12.

Snailmail letter should arrive today confirming the same thing.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Mar 12, 2007, 9:32 AM)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 12, 2007, 9:36 AM

Post #83 of 2090 (15692 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello,

I know it is a bit early, but I am starting to research PhD programs (for poetry...) and figure out where I want to apply next year. So far, FSU is at the top of my list, as is Utah and Goldsmiths College at the University of London. I'm thinking about applying to GSU and U Missourri Columbia and have heard that Texas Tech has a pretty good small program and am wondering if any of you know much about any of these programs?

(I am debating Houston--I have heard so many mixed things about the program. One of my mates from my MFA program just defended his dissertation there, but another friend of mine attended for a year and then high-tailed her way out of that place as fast as she could...all of the other experiences I have heard on their program are equally mixed--and I am unusre whether or not I want to make that a possibility for me. But I might...just to apply and see what happens...)

ALSO I am wondering from those of you who have applied and are, well, more experienced with this stuff than I am, some of the things that you thought about when writing your personal statements? Those are, for me, the hardest things to write. I know that with CRW PhD programs they're secondary to the poetry manuscript, but I also know that on the PhD level they tend to matter more than on the master's level (when I applied to my MFA programs, it seemed that people didn't look at my personal statements that much, if at all).

Does anyone here have a program other than what I have listed that, on the poetry side, you think is SO good and worthwhile that I should consider that as well?


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 11:43 AM

Post #84 of 2090 (15658 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,

I am in the same position. I am planning to apply next year. Have you heard about the Ph.D. program at the U of Manchester in the UK? I heard it’s a new program. People say a CW Ph.D. degree is more of an academic degree, different from an MFA; and that I should get one from a English grad program with some reputation. USC is the only highly ranked English program in the US, I think, and in a good location. And like you said, the retention rate is a very important factor I have to consider when I selects the right program for me. I read about some people leaving the FSU program for whatever reason, which is not a good sign.


In Reply To
Hello,

I know it is a bit early, but I am starting to research PhD programs (for poetry...) and figure out where I want to apply next year. So far, FSU is at the top of my list, as is Utah and Goldsmiths College at the University of London. I'm thinking about applying to GSU and U Missourri Columbia and have heard that Texas Tech has a pretty good small program and am wondering if any of you know much about any of these programs?

(I am debating Houston--I have heard so many mixed things about the program. One of my mates from my MFA program just defended his dissertation there, but another friend of mine attended for a year and then high-tailed her way out of that place as fast as she could...all of the other experiences I have heard on their program are equally mixed--and I am unusre whether or not I want to make that a possibility for me. But I might...just to apply and see what happens...)

ALSO I am wondering from those of you who have applied and are, well, more experienced with this stuff than I am, some of the things that you thought about when writing your personal statements? Those are, for me, the hardest things to write. I know that with CRW PhD programs they're secondary to the poetry manuscript, but I also know that on the PhD level they tend to matter more than on the master's level (when I applied to my MFA programs, it seemed that people didn't look at my personal statements that much, if at all).

Does anyone here have a program other than what I have listed that, on the poetry side, you think is SO good and worthwhile that I should consider that as well?



stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 12, 2007, 12:09 PM

Post #85 of 2090 (15639 views)
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Re: [gogogirl] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, you know, I know that Manchester has a program but I don't know much about it. I think, first and foremost, I need to read work from the professors there and then proceed with research on the program (I think, also, that as I learn more about the PhD program at Goldsmiths College/University of London it will give me a sense on how to research Manchester).

USC--David St. John is there. He's a GREAT teacher and a really nice man. Carol Muske is also there. I hear she's a good teacher. It's a good program and one for me to consider applying to, but I have heard of one of my MFA classmates who is pretty unhappy there. I can't imagine that the location is that great--it's in a pretty shitty area of LA from what I have heard that isn't exactly safe to be in after sunset. I heard it's not so bad if you have a car, but right now I don't even have a car (cars are more of a frustration than anything else if you live in Boston). But it might be worth the application. It's one of the ones I have not yet made up my mind about.

One of the things that attracts me to University of London is that Lavinia Greenlaw is there (and, to be honest, that I am a Greek citizen, so there are government funding for education benefits there that could be quite nice for me). I really love her work (check out her collection MINSK--I find it absolutely beautiful). But my gut instinct says, um, fsu--fsu--fsu...so we'll see. I still have a lot of research to do...


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 12:28 PM

Post #86 of 2090 (15619 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the other reasons I am drawn to USC is the size of the program. I’d rather avoid any huge writing programs like FSU. Do you happen to know why your friend was unhappy at USC?


In Reply To
Yeah, you know, I know that Manchester has a program but I don't know much about it. I think, first and foremost, I need to read work from the professors there and then proceed with research on the program (I think, also, that as I learn more about the PhD program at Goldsmiths College/University of London it will give me a sense on how to research Manchester).

USC--David St. John is there. He's a GREAT teacher and a really nice man. Carol Muske is also there. I hear she's a good teacher. It's a good program and one for me to consider applying to, but I have heard of one of my MFA classmates who is pretty unhappy there. I can't imagine that the location is that great--it's in a pretty shitty area of LA from what I have heard that isn't exactly safe to be in after sunset. I heard it's not so bad if you have a car, but right now I don't even have a car (cars are more of a frustration than anything else if you live in Boston). But it might be worth the application. It's one of the ones I have not yet made up my mind about.

One of the things that attracts me to University of London is that Lavinia Greenlaw is there (and, to be honest, that I am a Greek citizen, so there are government funding for education benefits there that could be quite nice for me). I really love her work (check out her collection MINSK--I find it absolutely beautiful). But my gut instinct says, um, fsu--fsu--fsu...so we'll see. I still have a lot of research to do...



(This post was edited by gogogirl on Mar 12, 2007, 12:30 PM)


gcsumfa


Mar 12, 2007, 12:40 PM

Post #87 of 2090 (15610 views)
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In Reply To

USC is the only highly ranked English program in the US, I think, and in a good location; and that I should get one from a English grad program with some reputation.


I wouldn't say that at all. Houston is very highly regarded.

As for USC’s location, while it is certainly good, I can’t imagine living in LA on a graduate stipend.

Also, keep in mind that only a handful of schools offer the Phd in CW. Because of this, all of the programs are very selective, even if they aren't at "prestigious" institutions. I would focus more on the reputation of the actual program than the reputation of the university.

Southern Miss, for instance, isn’t a prestigious institution, but tons of their PhD Creative Writing grads have published books and have landed tenure track jobs.

Houston isn’t a prestigious institution, but they have a ridiculous star-studded faculty, a who’s who of American Letters. Having a PhD in CW from Houston is like having an MFA from Iowa.

Finally, another reason why I wouldn’t get too wrapped-up in attending a “prestigious” university is that your chances of landing a tenure track job at a prestigious university teaching creative writing are less than winning the powerball lottery. Realistically, your more likely to land some job at an out-of-the-way university that will just be happy that you have a PhD and some publications.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Mar 12, 2007, 12:46 PM)


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 1:00 PM

Post #88 of 2090 (15596 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, thanks for your comments. I have been to the Southern Mississippi website, but it kind of looks sad. I mean the alumni publication list and the current students they call "inmates." If that looks like tons of published books and great alumni, that's a program for you, but not for me. FYI I meant the academic reputation in literatire at USC, not in CW--that's what counts more when you apply for a teaching job, I heard.

In Reply To

In Reply To

USC is the only highly ranked English program in the US, I think, and in a good location; and that I should get one from a English grad program with some reputation.


I wouldn't say that at all. Houston is very highly regarded.

As for USC’s location, while it is certainly good, I can’t imagine living in LA on a graduate stipend.

Also, keep in mind that only a handful of schools offer the Phd in CW. Because of this, all of the programs are very selective, even if they aren't at "prestigious" institutions. I would focus more on the reputation of the actual program than the reputation of the university.

Southern Miss, for instance, isn’t a prestigious institution, but tons of their PhD Creative Writing grads have published books and have landed tenure track jobs.

Houston isn’t a prestigious institution, but they have a ridiculous star-studded faculty, a who’s who of American Letters. Having a PhD in CW from Houston is like having an MFA from Iowa.

Finally, another reason why I wouldn’t get too wrapped-up in attending a “prestigious” university is that your chances of landing a tenure track job at a prestigious university teaching creative writing are less than winning the powerball lottery. Realistically, your more likely to land some job at an out-of-the-way university that will just be happy that you have a PhD and some publications.



gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 1:23 PM

Post #89 of 2090 (15575 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Really? No, that doesn't sound right to me. Getting into a CW Ph.D. program are not as competitive as getting into one of the top MFA programs. For example, I heard the MFA students at Houston are better than the Ph.D students there, most of whom come from lesser known programs.


In Reply To


Also, keep in mind that only a handful of schools offer the Phd in CW. Because of this, all of the programs are very selective, even if they aren't at "prestigious" institutions. I would focus more on the reputation of the actual program than the reputation of the university.



(This post was edited by gogogirl on Mar 12, 2007, 1:31 PM)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 12, 2007, 1:45 PM

Post #90 of 2090 (15556 views)
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Re: [gogogirl] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to say I'm really with GCSUMFA when it comes to ideas of "prestigious." When it comes to PhD programs--where there aren't that many CRW programs and there isn't a HUGE history of the degree option--it is, perhaps, more important than EVER to look at what the program offers as opposed to what the university offers or what the university's reputation is. Just like in looking with MFA programs it's important to think about how you will be mentored and guided in your writing and how you will be encouraged and challenged to produce, revise, and then send out into the world your new work, it's super-important to look at that stuff with PhD programs.

At least for me it is.

(sorry if this will seem a bit long--I just have so much on my mind because of all the research I am doing with programs myself and my own figuring out of what it is that I need/want from a PhD program...)

Funding, yes I need that; a sense of community, yes I thrive with that (as introverted as I am in my day to day life I just seem to do better when I am in a community-minded environment); a faculty that will believe in me enough to keep on poking and prodding me to take risks with my writing and to keep on becoming more and more self aware with my revision process--that is absolutely non-negotiable. And having the faculty understand that I need to not only generate enough work to fill that first book manuscript but to be there with me as I go through the steps of arranging a manuscript, considering my themes, and sending out to contests? Priceless. Absolutely priceless. So for that it's such a matter, for me, of finding schools where I can sense, from research, that the faculty will guide me in great directions and will also give me enough freedom to try out a bunch of different things and find a good many of my own directions. That has nothing to do with a school's reputation.

I know that to be marketable for good jobs (read: with job security, at least over the course of an academic year...) teaching comp I need the PhD. I also need teaching experience--right now I have over 5 years of that and in a variety of writing and lit classes, and the time I spend in a PhD program will give me even more--but really, because of the way the market is going, without a PhD I am going to have a tough time finding good jobs teaching comp. In an ideal world I will get a job teaching creative writing--but that will come with publication and time. But for now I know that I work hard at what I do. And I believe that being in a program that will be right for me for my writing and that will give me opportunity to keep on teaching will do a LOT for me, on a functional and professional level, to round out what I already have--doggedness, a pretty strong work ethic, a great bachelor's degree, an MFA from a top 20 program and a program that REALLY affected me positively, a good handful of publications, a residency with a Boston-based writing center under my belt, teaching experience (and good student evaluations...and my own sort of teaching philosophy...), and a few people who I trust who have been pretty amazing, so far, in giving me advice and in telling me when I don't need advice and I just need to trust my own instincts.

(end)

PHEW--I just needed to get that out. Sort of my raison d'etre with this PhD stuff. Now y'all can just ignore the stuff that came from my mouth and go back to your lives!


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 1:55 PM

Post #91 of 2090 (15544 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Stephanie, that's a long post. I did some research on the FSU program and learned that the funding there is not as good as that of the other Ph.D. programs. $10K per year for two comp classes per semester? Right?


In Reply To
I have to say I'm really with GCSUMFA when it comes to ideas of "prestigious." When it comes to PhD programs--where there aren't that many CRW programs and there isn't a HUGE history of the degree option--it is, perhaps, more important than EVER to look at what the program offers as opposed to what the university offers or what the university's reputation is. Just like in looking with MFA programs it's important to think about how you will be mentored and guided in your writing and how you will be encouraged and challenged to produce, revise, and then send out into the world your new work, it's super-important to look at that stuff with PhD programs.

At least for me it is.

(sorry if this will seem a bit long--I just have so much on my mind because of all the research I am doing with programs myself and my own figuring out of what it is that I need/want from a PhD program...)

Funding, yes I need that; a sense of community, yes I thrive with that (as introverted as I am in my day to day life I just seem to do better when I am in a community-minded environment); a faculty that will believe in me enough to keep on poking and prodding me to take risks with my writing and to keep on becoming more and more self aware with my revision process--that is absolutely non-negotiable. And having the faculty understand that I need to not only generate enough work to fill that first book manuscript but to be there with me as I go through the steps of arranging a manuscript, considering my themes, and sending out to contests? Priceless. Absolutely priceless. So for that it's such a matter, for me, of finding schools where I can sense, from research, that the faculty will guide me in great directions and will also give me enough freedom to try out a bunch of different things and find a good many of my own directions. That has nothing to do with a school's reputation.

I know that to be marketable for good jobs (read: with job security, at least over the course of an academic year...) teaching comp I need the PhD. I also need teaching experience--right now I have over 5 years of that and in a variety of writing and lit classes, and the time I spend in a PhD program will give me even more--but really, because of the way the market is going, without a PhD I am going to have a tough time finding good jobs teaching comp. In an ideal world I will get a job teaching creative writing--but that will come with publication and time. But for now I know that I work hard at what I do. And I believe that being in a program that will be right for me for my writing and that will give me opportunity to keep on teaching will do a LOT for me, on a functional and professional level, to round out what I already have--doggedness, a pretty strong work ethic, a great bachelor's degree, an MFA from a top 20 program and a program that REALLY affected me positively, a good handful of publications, a residency with a Boston-based writing center under my belt, teaching experience (and good student evaluations...and my own sort of teaching philosophy...), and a few people who I trust who have been pretty amazing, so far, in giving me advice and in telling me when I don't need advice and I just need to trust my own instincts.

(end)

PHEW--I just needed to get that out. Sort of my raison d'etre with this PhD stuff. Now y'all can just ignore the stuff that came from my mouth and go back to your lives!



gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 2:09 PM

Post #92 of 2090 (15532 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did more research and found this comment from a former FSU student at the MFA blog. I don't know whether she was in the Ph.D. program or not, but it says something about the program, I guess.

"STAY AWAY from the florida State program. I was there for one yr and left b/c faculty were so unhelpful, funding was pathetic in comparison as to what it takes to actually live in tallahassee where rent is mucho expensive! those so called big guys (and gals) are never around for office hours and everyone ends up stroking their ego in workshop anyway. i applied to PItt, INdiana, and Michigan and notre dame and picked Michigan and i couldn't have been happier. students AND faculty work fabulous together and compared to FSU's TOTAL LACK OF ORGANIZATION, Michigan rocked!"


In Reply To
I have to say I'm really with GCSUMFA when it comes to ideas of "prestigious." When it comes to PhD programs--where there aren't that many CRW programs and there isn't a HUGE history of the degree option--it is, perhaps, more important than EVER to look at what the program offers as opposed to what the university offers or what the university's reputation is. Just like in looking with MFA programs it's important to think about how you will be mentored and guided in your writing and how you will be encouraged and challenged to produce, revise, and then send out into the world your new work, it's super-important to look at that stuff with PhD programs.

At least for me it is.

(sorry if this will seem a bit long--I just have so much on my mind because of all the research I am doing with programs myself and my own figuring out of what it is that I need/want from a PhD program...)

Funding, yes I need that; a sense of community, yes I thrive with that (as introverted as I am in my day to day life I just seem to do better when I am in a community-minded environment); a faculty that will believe in me enough to keep on poking and prodding me to take risks with my writing and to keep on becoming more and more self aware with my revision process--that is absolutely non-negotiable. And having the faculty understand that I need to not only generate enough work to fill that first book manuscript but to be there with me as I go through the steps of arranging a manuscript, considering my themes, and sending out to contests? Priceless. Absolutely priceless. So for that it's such a matter, for me, of finding schools where I can sense, from research, that the faculty will guide me in great directions and will also give me enough freedom to try out a bunch of different things and find a good many of my own directions. That has nothing to do with a school's reputation.

I know that to be marketable for good jobs (read: with job security, at least over the course of an academic year...) teaching comp I need the PhD. I also need teaching experience--right now I have over 5 years of that and in a variety of writing and lit classes, and the time I spend in a PhD program will give me even more--but really, because of the way the market is going, without a PhD I am going to have a tough time finding good jobs teaching comp. In an ideal world I will get a job teaching creative writing--but that will come with publication and time. But for now I know that I work hard at what I do. And I believe that being in a program that will be right for me for my writing and that will give me opportunity to keep on teaching will do a LOT for me, on a functional and professional level, to round out what I already have--doggedness, a pretty strong work ethic, a great bachelor's degree, an MFA from a top 20 program and a program that REALLY affected me positively, a good handful of publications, a residency with a Boston-based writing center under my belt, teaching experience (and good student evaluations...and my own sort of teaching philosophy...), and a few people who I trust who have been pretty amazing, so far, in giving me advice and in telling me when I don't need advice and I just need to trust my own instincts.

(end)

PHEW--I just needed to get that out. Sort of my raison d'etre with this PhD stuff. Now y'all can just ignore the stuff that came from my mouth and go back to your lives!



stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Mar 12, 2007, 2:18 PM

Post #93 of 2090 (15522 views)
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Re: [gogogirl] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I know it was long. I did claim, though, that my post would be long.
10K/year in Florida is, though a bit tight, something that one is able to live on, assuming that tuition is 100% paid for and health insurance is free. And Tallahassee strikes me as a town where one can get some part-time work if need be to supplement.


bktv


Mar 12, 2007, 2:41 PM

Post #94 of 2090 (15499 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

If anyone has questions about USC's program, I think I am fairly well-qualified to answer, since I am finishing my MFA there this semester. The faculty (both writing and lit.) are incredible, the classes small, and the opportunities in the wider university great. (Note, the above describes the PhD program only. The MFA program has a different set of faculty, and is very, very large.)

The stipend at 'SC it actually $9,000/semester, or $18,000/year. Typically grad students teach two sections of a class (or discussion) and take two-three classes. It's not a lot for LA, but I am a TA this year (funding for the MFA is the same as for the PhD, just much harder to get if you are in the MFA program). I have been able to live comfortably off of my stipend in a house with roommates. Health/dental is included, as well as tuition remission.

As for the area, you do need a car, but that is true of any school in/around LA. I actually take the bus to/from campus two days a week. It's not that bad. Campus is 100% safe, but walking around more than a block or so off-campus late at night and alone is not smart. But most grad students don't live right next to campus anyway. Most live in better areas. On the other hand, developers in LA are really trying to turn around the inner city, with luxury high-rise condos/apartments. USC just built the Galen Center (basketball arena/convention center) across from campus. I wouldn't be surprised to see that area only continue to improve in the coming years.

USC was my first choice for the PhD, over FSU and Houston.


(This post was edited by bktv on Mar 12, 2007, 3:14 PM)


fuzen


Mar 12, 2007, 3:19 PM

Post #95 of 2090 (15479 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

You're going to hear from detractors for every program. The detractors are also going to be louder than the supporters. I'd think harder before making decisions based on comments made by people you don't know. It could well be coming from someone you wouldn't trust to pick out a sandwich for you.

USM's Center for Writers, by the way, has been very generous with its students. Rick can be intimidating, but he cares about the students and looks after them. I know this sounds vague, but I'd rather not go into too much detail in a public forum. I'll just say that I see, time and time again, the Center doing what it can to help the students with their careers. These aren't just the strong writers, either. It's a small program, and you're on first-name basis with everyone, including the visiting writers when they come. I had lunch with Ann Beattie along with two other students. Tony Earley sat down next to me at his reception and shared his thoughts on writing and publishing. Amy Hempel whispered to me a private thought about metahpors in fiction after her Q & A. The year before I came we had Tim O'Brien, Percival Everett, Francine Prose, others.

Re: CW PhD programs in general, I'd suggest looking into as many as possible. University of Denver, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Hawaii, Texas Tech, Ohio, Louisiana Lafayette, Houston, FSU, USC, USM, whoever else is out there. Unlike some MFA programs, most PhD programs can only accept a few people (viz. USC's two or four spots this year), and all applicants already hold MAs or MFAs. Give yourself some backups when you apply.

After you've heard back from the programs, if you can, try paying them a visit. I think it says a lot how the faculty treats you - you can tell if they really want you there or not, and how you might get along with them on a personal level. You can work with the best writer in the world, but if that person doesn't care about you as a student, as a human being, then it's not going to be a helpful experience.

I also agree with the general sentiment on "prestige." It comes down to which program is the best fit for you, really. James Kimbrell, who was the director of the FSU program, graduated from USM. Stephen Graham Jones, who directs Texas Tech, graduated from FSU. Angela Ball, who once directed the program at USM, graduated from Denver. Michael Knight, who (I think) directs the program at Tennessee, graduated from USM. It's a pretty small circle, each feeding into each other.

Re: LA, I'm from LA, grew up there. You cannot live in LA without a car. No way. USC is indeed in an unsafe neighborhood, and you wouldn't want to walk around the area. Most students commute to USC. That said, I think the city gets a bad rap. I don't think it's the best place in the world, but it's got a diverse culture, amazing restaurants, a great music scene, plenty of museums, all the positives of big cities. You just have to find your own little niche there.


gcsumfa


Mar 12, 2007, 4:21 PM

Post #96 of 2090 (15459 views)
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Re: [fuzen] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gogogirl, I find your smug little posts amusing, especially when all of your claims are based on what "you've heard" from someone posting on a blog, or from someone on the other side of the pond.

If you think PhD programs are so easy to get into, and if USC is the only program good enough for you, then why didn't you apply to any this year? You know, just for kicks—so you could hold your nose above all of those “lower tier” schools by declining their offers, which I'm sure would come pouring your way. Why didn't you apply to Tennessee or Ohio, where they accept 1-2 per genre? Are those “prestigious” schools?


In Reply To
Really? No, that doesn't sound right to me. Getting into a CW Ph.D. program are not as competitive as getting into one of the top MFA programs. For example, I heard the MFA students at Houston are better than the Ph.D students there, most of whom come from lesser known programs.


Yeah, once again, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I don't care what you’ve "heard." Most of the PhD CW students I know would write most MFA students under the table. Furthermore, the MFA is pretty much no longer terminal—no matter what MFA programs try to sell you—so most MFA students who are serious about teaching creative writing actually pursue PhD’s, and everyone knows that in order to get hired as a creative writing professor, one must be published, so it's a combination of the PhD + publications.


Quote
FYI I meant the academic reputation in literature at USC, not in CW--that's what counts more when you apply for a teaching job, I heard.


Would you like me to produce a list of all of the CW tenure track faculty from PhD programs other than USC?

I think you need to extend your research beyond blog postings and Myspace.


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 5:29 PM

Post #97 of 2090 (15433 views)
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Re: [gcsumfa] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Uh uh, gcsumfa is pissed off at my comments. I’m in no hurry because I have a cushy fellowship right now. FYI I am planning to apply to Ph.D. programs in literature and am considering adding a few CW Ph.D. programs to my list. I graduated from one of the top MFA programs you seem to have a lot of hostility towards. As a matter of fact, none of my friends are interested in the CW Ph.D. programs you’re so enthusiastic about. So you may have more knowledge about such programs but you don’t have to be so condescending about it. Maybe I am just looking at the MFA programs you wouldn’t even consider, where most of CW teachers are writers with a MFA or no writing degrees. We may look at different directions, you look for a job at an “out-of-the-way” university and I at other jobs at schools where I’d feel more comfortable.


In Reply To
Gogogirl, I find your smug little posts amusing, especially when all of your claims are based on what "you've heard" from someone posting on a blog, or from someone on the other side of the pond.

If you think PhD programs are so easy to get into, and if USC is the only program good enough for you, then why didn't you apply to any this year? You know, just for kicks—so you could hold your nose above all of those “lower tier” schools by declining their offers, which I'm sure would come pouring your way. Why didn't you apply to Tennessee or Ohio, where they accept 1-2 per genre? Are those “prestigious” schools?


In Reply To
Really? No, that doesn't sound right to me. Getting into a CW Ph.D. program are not as competitive as getting into one of the top MFA programs. For example, I heard the MFA students at Houston are better than the Ph.D students there, most of whom come from lesser known programs.


Yeah, once again, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I don't care what you’ve "heard." Most of the PhD CW students I know would write most MFA students under the table. Furthermore, the MFA is pretty much no longer terminal—no matter what MFA programs try to sell you—so most MFA students who are serious about teaching creative writing actually pursue PhD’s, and everyone knows that in order to get hired as a creative writing professor, one must be published, so it's a combination of the PhD + publications.


Quote
FYI I meant the academic reputation in literature at USC, not in CW--that's what counts more when you apply for a teaching job, I heard.


Would you like me to produce a list of all of the CW tenure track faculty from PhD programs other than USC?

I think you need to extend your research beyond blog postings and Myspace.



(This post was edited by gogogirl on Mar 12, 2007, 6:06 PM)


fuzen


Mar 12, 2007, 6:10 PM

Post #98 of 2090 (15421 views)
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Re: [gogogirl] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd think a little harder about listening to someone incapable of writing with correct capitalizations, spelling and grammar.

On the other hand, maybe this does prove something, that FSU requires their students to know how to write...


In Reply To
I did more research and found this comment from a former FSU student at the MFA blog. I don't know whether she was in the Ph.D. program or not, but it says something about the program, I guess.

"STAY AWAY from the florida State program. I was there for one yr and left b/c faculty were so unhelpful, funding was pathetic in comparison as to what it takes to actually live in tallahassee where rent is mucho expensive! those so called big guys (and gals) are never around for office hours and everyone ends up stroking their ego in workshop anyway. i applied to PItt, INdiana, and Michigan and notre dame and picked Michigan and i couldn't have been happier. students AND faculty work fabulous together and compared to FSU's TOTAL LACK OF ORGANIZATION, Michigan rocked!"


gogogirl


Mar 12, 2007, 6:26 PM

Post #99 of 2090 (15409 views)
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Re: [fuzen] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Fuzen, that was a blog comment. I don’t know, but it sounded more authentic than the carefully prepared comments I saw in that blog.


In Reply To
I'd think a little harder about listening to someone incapable of writing with correct capitalizations, spelling and grammar.

On the other hand, maybe this does prove something, that FSU requires their students to know how to write...


In Reply To
I did more research and found this comment from a former FSU student at the MFA blog. I don't know whether she was in the Ph.D. program or not, but it says something about the program, I guess.

"STAY AWAY from the florida State program. I was there for one yr and left b/c faculty were so unhelpful, funding was pathetic in comparison as to what it takes to actually live in tallahassee where rent is mucho expensive! those so called big guys (and gals) are never around for office hours and everyone ends up stroking their ego in workshop anyway. i applied to PItt, INdiana, and Michigan and notre dame and picked Michigan and i couldn't have been happier. students AND faculty work fabulous together and compared to FSU's TOTAL LACK OF ORGANIZATION, Michigan rocked!"



fuzen


Mar 12, 2007, 6:26 PM

Post #100 of 2090 (15409 views)
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Re: [stephkarto1] Starting this up again, seeking your thoughts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Stephanie, what are you looking for in your SOP you didn't already use for your MFA application? The PhD SOP isn't any longer than the ones for MFA, and you more or less talk about the same stuff - namely, how you came to love writing and pursue writing and what you want to do with your writing and why XXX University is the perfect place for you to continue your pursuit of great writing and what you bring to XXX University etc. etc. etc. while sounding unique and original and interesting.

If it's not so much of a drain, I'd also suggest applying to more schools, unless you're absolutley sure you'll get in somewhere, or if you don't mind waiting another year.



In Reply To
Hello,

I know it is a bit early, but I am starting to research PhD programs (for poetry...) and figure out where I want to apply next year. So far, FSU is at the top of my list, as is Utah and Goldsmiths College at the University of London. I'm thinking about applying to GSU and U Missourri Columbia and have heard that Texas Tech has a pretty good small program and am wondering if any of you know much about any of these programs?

(I am debating Houston--I have heard so many mixed things about the program. One of my mates from my MFA program just defended his dissertation there, but another friend of mine attended for a year and then high-tailed her way out of that place as fast as she could...all of the other experiences I have heard on their program are equally mixed--and I am unusre whether or not I want to make that a possibility for me. But I might...just to apply and see what happens...)

ALSO I am wondering from those of you who have applied and are, well, more experienced with this stuff than I am, some of the things that you thought about when writing your personal statements? Those are, for me, the hardest things to write. I know that with CRW PhD programs they're secondary to the poetry manuscript, but I also know that on the PhD level they tend to matter more than on the master's level (when I applied to my MFA programs, it seemed that people didn't look at my personal statements that much, if at all).

Does anyone here have a program other than what I have listed that, on the poetry side, you think is SO good and worthwhile that I should consider that as well?


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