»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
creative writing ph.d. ?
Edit your profilePrivate messages Search postsWho's online?
You are not signed in. Click here to sign in.
If you are not a member, Register here!
135802 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 84 Next page Last page  View All


gcsumfa


May 22, 2007, 12:33 PM

Post #176 of 2090 (16597 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] 2008? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Wait--how does the four year thing shake out when you're entering with a two or three year MFA?

How much time off for good behavior?


I think four-five years would by typical of a PhD Lit student entering a PhD Lit program with an MA as well. Most people who go straight from BA to PhD tend to take 6-8 years for a PhD in Lit, while most entering with an MA from another place tend to take 4-5 years.

I guess I answered my own question, really;-)


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on May 22, 2007, 12:34 PM)


hapworth


May 24, 2007, 1:00 AM

Post #177 of 2090 (16559 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] 2008? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, standard completion time for the PhD is four years, and I'd say that this is standard for creative writing programs since we are, in essence, writing our dissertation from the moment we enter, unlike our colleagues in lit or even comp who mus "find" their topic. Regarding the other poster's question about previous MFA work. You need to check each program's requirements. Every department will let you transfer in a certain number of hours. Most often, though, your MA or MFA work counts for two years of the six-year PhD program (there are people who are accepted into a doctoral program (typically in competitive lit programs) right out of undergrad, and they spend their first two years completing the equivalent of an MA (and if they quit at that point, they'll be awarded the MA even if the program doesn't have a master's program per se)). You might be able to cut corners if you sweet talk your adviser or the director of graduate studies: i.e. get out of your language requirement, make a great argument for why such-and-such class from your MA work should transfer over as a requirement. Some stuff doesn't take much haggling. For instance, I probably won't take an intro to theory type course because I already had one as an MA. But I'll be taking a history of the English language course, even though I took an Old English course that could qualify, but I took that course ten years ago, so, to be honest, I'd prefer to take the course, get a bit smarter, instead of trying to smooth talk my way into having the course transfer. Some stuff, like creative writing workshops, cannot be transferred obviously.

So, four years is standard, and if you are a sly dog, and you feel like breaking your back, you could possibly complete a PhD in three years, though I'm not sure why.


jrumford


Jun 16, 2007, 7:07 AM

Post #178 of 2090 (16455 views)
Shortcut
Re: [sonshineslocs] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the University of Nevada at Las Vegas also has a PhD in creative writing, and University of Houston has one of the best writing programs around (with a PhD).

If you are considering a low-residency MFA (I recently completed a low-residency MFA at Goddard College in Vermont), I think they are a terrific way for non-traditional students to work. Meaning, you can keep your job and family and not uproot your life. I feel one of the benefits of a low-residency is that you write the way you will write until you make your living from writing (whenever that may be!). You have to learn to write in the morning, or in the evening, or between going to the grocery store and picking up the kids. And this is how most of us have to write - until Oprah picks up our first book...

If you can find a program with a writer you admire, that may be the place to go, although I will warn you that a good writer is not always a good teacher of writing. You should also look to see if there are specific elements you are interested in - does the program include a literary journal experience, does the program require a semester or more of teaching, etc.?

A residency program with a great reputation can be found at Texas State University in San Marcos - for an MFA. And, oh, my, what a beautiful campus!

Good luck!

Jennifer


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jun 18, 2007, 10:45 AM

Post #179 of 2090 (16393 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jrumford] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just wanted to check in with people and see if anyone's still getting ready to apply for next year. I have more down-time now than I know I will have come September, so I am trying to get done as much as I can ahead of time. I think so far I've been pretty organized about this--have talked to some students and program directors, talked to some of my former profs from my MFA progam, am getting my recommendations lined up, am figuring out what I need to get done by when in order to meet deadlines, and I've started a budget that has me saving money more aggressively than I think I ever have before. I also have a couple of friends who are helping me consider which poems to put together as application manuscripts. I'm a bit nervous with all of these applications, though. I know that once i send things off I will just be a bundle of nerves. And I know that once I start studying and prepping for the GREs (and unfortunately the GRE subject tests, as 2 of my schools require the GRE lit. test), I will worry. I suck at standardized tests in a pretty big way.

The other thing I am nervous about is writing my statement of purpose. I tend to suck at writing things that are somewhat self-promoting like that. But, at the very least, I have the comfort of knowing that if I write one VERY good one it can become the foundation for the statement of purpose for each of the schools I apply to.

For anyone who has applied before--I know that some schools make you submit writing samples that are academic in nature as well. Do you know (ie has anyone told you...) how closely those are regarded? And do they need to be in literature, or can they be, say, history-based?

I'm nervous about that, too. Different schools require different page amounts (I could kiss the feet of Utah for requiring only about 6 pages of academic writing sample--especially for a school that promotes its program as being literature and creative writing focused and that seems SO academic from looking at its website). For Utah I am fine. For the schools that do not require the academic writing sample--I am totally fine. For the schools that require the 10-20 page academic writing sample, well, I have some work to do. And I am afraid of how nerve-wracking it will all be, because aside from something that shows my ability to think, analyze, and explore my own ideas, I don't know what "work" that writing sample will do for the overall application.

But anyway. I am giving myself this entire summer to think about it and to prepare for these applications. I know that if I wait until September my stress-level will be horrible (because my schedule will explode--40 hour per week office job, plus my ongoing freelance writing work, which is already in my schedule, but I am picking up again with my adjunct teaching at a local university on top of everything else...). If I add PhD applications to that mix, then I will be set up for complete disaster, I think...


jacarty
Jessie Carty
e-mail user

Jun 18, 2007, 10:55 AM

Post #180 of 2090 (16390 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jrumford] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

i'm pretty sure it doesn't exist but are there any low-res phd programs?

given that i am only half way through my low-res mfa don't even know why i am asking but just curious.

--jessie


http://jessiecarty.com


Rambler


Jun 18, 2007, 12:54 PM

Post #181 of 2090 (16381 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

What programs are you applying to, if I might ask?


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jun 18, 2007, 1:00 PM

Post #182 of 2090 (16378 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Rambler] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

At this point:

Florida State University
University of Houston
U. Missourri at Columbia
Georgia State University
University of Utah
University of Nebraska at Lincoln

I decided against USC because, even though I love the program (David St. John! He is one EXCELLENT teacher! And there are a lot of lit classes that interest me for non-workshop requirements...), I do not like the location (safety is a really big issue with me, and USC is in a pretty not-good part of LA). I also can't fathom living in LA on a small grad student salary.

I also decided against University of Southern Mississippi. Even though there's a LOT of great stuff about the program, and even though people here have written some very awesome things about it, I just don't have that gut instinct pulling me in that direction (gut instinct is really important to me. It pulls me in a lot of great directions). Also I know that if it's the only program I get into, while it's a GREAT program, it's not one that I would feel psyched to accept an admissions offer from. That's one of my guiding principles--if I only get into ONE program, and it is (insert school here), would I feel happy and excited to accept this admissions offer?

I thought seriously, for a while, about Goldsmiths College at the University of London, but even with my Greek citizenship and the relative ease it might give me in finding part-time employment outside of my studies, and EVEN with the chance to study with Lavinia Greenlaw (whose poetry I am quite enamored with), living in London and being that poor for 5 years there really isn't feasible for me.

So 6 programs. I'm also going to apply for the Stegner and for the fellowship at Wisconsin (unless by mid-February I have an admissions offer...), and I am going to apply for some teaching jobs, some of those full-year/contract/non-tenure jobs teaching freshman comp. I'm covering a lot of bases. I feel like I sort of need to...


ellen362


Jun 18, 2007, 2:54 PM

Post #183 of 2090 (16366 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, has one too.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jun 18, 2007, 3:02 PM

Post #184 of 2090 (16364 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ellen362] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I hear it's especially great for fiction--some of my friends and former classmates from my MFA program are all there...for fiction.

I just have no specific desire to live in Ohio (too many personal reasons), so I didn't spend much time researching the program. But my friends who are there all seem happy with the program!!


gcsumfa


Jul 1, 2007, 3:33 PM

Post #185 of 2090 (16259 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] creative writing ph.d. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hapworth,

You're familiar with OU's program, so let me ask you a question. OU seems to go out of its way to state that its program is a "five year program," so I'm wondering if admitted,would I be discouraged from completing the degree in 4 years? I already have an MA AND an MFA, so I don't feel like I should have to spend more than 4 years to complete a PhD in CW.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Jul 1, 2007, 3:35 PM)


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jul 24, 2007, 10:24 AM

Post #186 of 2090 (16178 views)
Shortcut
Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey there...

So the reality of "application season" dawned upon me in a REALLY BIG WAY last weekend. It's no longer just some concept. It's no longer some thing for me to research. It's no longer something for me to make pretty little folders for and find nice applications to print out and get ready. It's almost here. As in--holy moly, where did all of that time go? It feels like February, when I sent e-mails to people basically saying, "ack, I don't know anything about your program except that it has a stellar reputaiton, can you tell me more?", was really just yesterday. The time is coming up for me to budget my money to allow for application fees. And the time is coming up for me to write a statement of purpose. And the time is coming up for me to register for, and take, the mother-frakking GREs (which scare me to death, because all standardized tests scare me to death).

Holy moly, hot mama! Application time is here! One of my best friends is appling to PhD programs in music composition, so on the one hand it's a comfort--I have a friend in my real life and pretty much in my neighborhood who is going through the same shit that I am with all of this--and on the other hand it feels like a healthy little competition or race. Me with all of the passion that I throw into everything I do and show to the world and her with all of her perspective that she emanates and all of her quiet, internal perfectionism. We both want to get into programs in academic fields that are HIGHLY subjective, and we both want to get good funding.

Is anyone else starting to feel the onset of application time? Has anyone else started to get organized? Please, I hope so!! If it's just me, then I will be, like, Queen Neurotic. I feel like I have gotten a lot of leg work done (I have some friends who are Way Smarter Than Me helping me figure out my poetry manuscripts, and I have chosen 2 different academic papers--one short, for schools like Utah that are cool with short papers, and one longer, for schools like Missouri that want the long stuff--for critical writing samples, and I have secured 4 people to write my recommendations even though each school requests just 3 letters). But I am scared shitless for writing the statement of purpose, for taking those damn GREs, and for just that whole psychological thing of sending out the applications, releasing them from me, and then that really hard thing of waiting and waiting and waiting.

One thing I can say that I am really quite grateful for is that Creative Writing PhD application fees seem to be less expensive than the American Studies PhD applications I sent out (with thankfully unsuccessful results) in 2005. I think the most expensive school fee is like $50 or $60. That's sort of nice. And I do like that FSU has a very inexpensive fee of $30 (makes sense that FSU has the lowest application fee, since it gives its admitted students the least amount of money of all the schools to which I am applying and is in a town with one of the highest apartment rental costs of my desired programs...).

One more question--is anyone else sort of biting their nails over the fact that Missouri accepts, well, 2 people a year per genre? I know it shouldn't mean much to me, but it's sort of a mental block. Egads. As imperfect as the program is, it's one that, for some reason, has become one of the ones that I would be entirely over the moon about getting an acceptance letter from.


gcsumfa


Jul 24, 2007, 10:45 AM

Post #187 of 2090 (16175 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


One more question--is anyone else sort of biting their nails over the fact that Missouri accepts, well, 2 people a year per genre? I know it shouldn't mean much to me, but it's sort of a mental block. Egads. As imperfect as the program is, it's one that, for some reason, has become one of the ones that I would be entirely over the moon about getting an acceptance letter from.


Doesn't surprise me. Ohio U only accepts two per genre. Last year I made the top 5 but the first two fiction writers accepted.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jul 24, 2007, 1:16 PM

Post #188 of 2090 (16154 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gcsumfa] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's funny to me how the 'big' programs acceot 4-5 per year and the rest accept, oh, 2 per year. I mean I appreciate it from a funding standpoint--better to have a small funding where everyone is guaranteed their money than to have something big and let the funding be a shaky thing--but, well, from an APPLICATION standpoint, it just makes it seem a bit frustrating. There is a voice that says, "why bother," and there is this feeling in my gut that tells me I will regret it if I do not apply, that an acceptance from that super-selective program would just be awesome.

Thankfully I know much better than to give in to the "why bother" voice. If I were to give in, well, I don't think I would do anything in my life unless it seemed "safe." I most certainly would not be writing and seeking publication the way that I do. And that sort of a life absolutely does not appeal to me.


gcsumfa


Jul 24, 2007, 1:53 PM

Post #189 of 2090 (16150 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's funny to me how the 'big' programs acceot 4-5 per year and the rest accept, oh, 2 per year. I mean I appreciate it from a funding standpoint--better to have a small funding where everyone is guaranteed their money than to have something big and let the funding be a shaky thing--but, well, from an APPLICATION standpoint, it just makes it seem a bit frustrating. There is a voice that says, "why bother," and there is this feeling in my gut that tells me I will regret it if I do not apply, that an acceptance from that super-selective program would just be awesome.

Thankfully I know much better than to give in to the "why bother" voice. If I were to give in, well, I don't think I would do anything in my life unless it seemed "safe." I most certainly would not be writing and seeking publication the way that I do. And that sort of a life absolutely does not appeal to me.


In your contacts with programs, do you have a ballpark figure of how many students each program accepts? If so, could you post? That would be helpful. Thanks!


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jul 24, 2007, 2:01 PM

Post #190 of 2090 (16145 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gcsumfa] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know about Utah or Georgia State (because I have yet to contact GSU and I spoke very briefly with Utah and mentioned that I would follow up with more stuff in August through e-mail), but:

Missouri--2
Houston--about 5 (plus I think 5 for the MFA programs)
FSU--about 4-5 (plus I think the same amount for MFA program)
Nebraska--around 3-5

...that's all I know. I mean there are schools I have left out. I didn't look too closely at Cincinnati, Ohio U, USM, USC (even though I know they only accept 2 per year), or Texas Tech, because I don't think those programs are really right for me (it would be a different matter if I were fiction--then Cincinnati and Ohio might be good fits for me).

GCSUMFA--how goes your prep for applications? Have you heard anything in your research that you would like to share?


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Jul 24, 2007, 4:39 PM

Post #191 of 2090 (16127 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Stephanie,

Do you mind sharing what your research has turned up on the financial situation at Missouri? Their website lists general numbers for taships and mentions a couple other stipend/scholarship sources as well, but I'm unclear how it all adds up for the doctoral students.

Thanks


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jul 24, 2007, 11:22 PM

Post #192 of 2090 (16092 views)
Shortcut
Re: [GDClark] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

GD Clark--you could always e-mail Mizzou yourself and ask that and whatever questions you have of the program director! We are all responsible for doing our own research...

BUT, that said, I will say that I was told that the stipend is in the mid-teens. It's certainly more than FSU, which is around $10 K/year. It seems like all the other schools I have been researching hover between 12-14K for stipend.

What have you heard? Do you have any research you have done on any PhD programs that you are willing to share?


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Jul 25, 2007, 6:07 PM

Post #193 of 2090 (16065 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, of course we're all responsible for our own research, but hopefully some of that research can be done informally on boards like this one where we're likely to find others going through the same application process. If you have specific questions that I or anyone else might be able to help with please don't hesitate to ask them.

I appreciate the Missouri figures. That's about what I'd gathered from their website, but I'd hoped I was missing something and thought you might be able to clear it up for me.

As my own research on the topic of funding, I'll mention here that there are a few programs out there that might not be on most people's radar but have very competitive packages. UGA, for example, pays year round without requiring you to teach a summer course. A lot of schools are beginning to offer these creative PhDs now and simple rankings like a "top 5" from The Atlantic are certain to miss many fine programs.

On another topic, how interested are you guys in faculty at this point. When I was looking for an MFA a strong faculty topped my list of priorities, but as I think about the PhD I'm less concerned with who will be leading the workshops and more interested in things like location, funding, and teaching load (3 units of written comp a semester for the first two years?) and the like. Anyone want to weigh in on how your priorities have changed since selecting an MFA?


gcsumfa


Jul 25, 2007, 7:29 PM

Post #194 of 2090 (16058 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

GD,

I have a general observation that I've noticed during my research over the last year or so: some PhD programs seem to send the "we-will-let-you-write-your-cute-little-creative-dissertation" vibe whereas other programs seem to emphasize creative writing as an integral component of the English department.

This fact was somewhat implied in the Poets & Writers article, "Is The PhD The New MFA," a few months ago. Of course, I certainly have no illusions of the Phd in CW being a studio degree, nor do I desire it to be such, but some programs seem to care more about CW than others. My concern would not be taking more literature classes, but being a “PhD” creative writing student in a department that isn’t very CW friendly.

I have a feeling that some programs "offer" the creative dissertation option more to attract students (i.e. cheap labor) to their departments more than out of a commitment to the discipline.

Just my two cents on that matter; others might disagree.


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Jul 25, 2007, 7:45 PM)


gcsumfa


Jul 25, 2007, 7:47 PM

Post #195 of 2090 (16053 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gcsumfa] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Steph,

I know this sounds crazy, but I'm probably only applying to OU. I don't have the time to devote to studying for the GRE LIT and I have some contacts at OU. I came really close to getting in last year and like my chances this year with a better writing sample and SOP. According to their grad director, last year was the first time in a long time that their top two choices in fiction accepted right off the bat…just my luck…sigh. So I feel that if I can make top 5 again, my chances will be decent.

If I don't make it into OU this year, I'll go all out next year and apply to a bunch of places. I have a decent teaching gig right now so I don't mind waiting another year if OU doesn’t pan out.

My genre is fiction. I like OU for their fiction faculty, 1/1 teaching load, decent funding, the opportunity to teach a variety of courses, the opportunity to work for a decent journal, and a fairly easy move to Southern Ohio from NC (where I currently live).

I’d love to attend Houston and have some contacts there but at the end of the day I don’t want to live in a major city on 12-14K a year.


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Jul 26, 2007, 4:26 PM

Post #196 of 2090 (16013 views)
Shortcut
Re: [GDClark] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't necessarily consider research asking people who have gone to schools to do research questions that you could ask the school yourself. *shrug* But I do think that when it comes to information you CAN NOT find from conducting your own independent research or bouncing questions about applications and the whole process off each other, then heck year--this is a great forum for it. This is one of the things that I get very stickler-ish about, more because I think that contacting program directors and spending as much time talking to people in the program and scouring a website are really awkward--and to go through all of that awkwardness and to then have other people consider conducting their OWN research a means of benefitting off of the awkwardness you endured--not fun. Not fair. Sorry. It's not that I'm competitive or secretive or anything, it's really just that I think stuff that can be found out from contacting programs should be found out that way. Program directors don't keep this stuff secret, and they don't go out of their way to NOT respond to your questions. They're there to be a resource and to attract new and quality applicants.

*shrug*

But onto your question about how strongly we are considering the faculty members of programs--I don't know. In early March I had a phone call with one of my former MFA program professors who has advice that I tend to listen not because I agree with it but because I know that he will never bullshit me. Our opinions are different on many things, but his perspective has been known to challenge mine in quite healthy ways. Anyhow, with PhD programs, he steered me strongly towards considering what faculty members at programs are poets that I can *really* get excited about. I didn't talk about it with him in that phone call--he was giving me a lot of his time in the middle of informing applicants to HIS program that they had been accepted, and he was beginning thesis defense season--but one of the primary beliefs I have is that a good poet does not a good teacher make.

But that said, I think, now, that it is an important consideration as to whether or not you can respect the faculty members as writers. I think perhaps moreso than applying for an MFA because of the fact that in the PhD you will spend far more time with these people. If I were at a PhD program that had 3 poets--and if one of them was the woman who really made my last poetry workshop in my MFA program the most miserable workshop experience ever--and I knew I had to spend 4 years learning from and with these people--would I choose that program? I don't know. Funding, location, and the interest I have in the other faculty members would play a huge role in my decision, but the fact that I can not respect one of these poets (as a poet and as a mentor) would be a HUGE detriment.

One of the things that's really tough to know is who's coming and going. I noticed on Mizzou's website that Aliki Barnstone is now a professor there (I think Lynn McMahon retired?). It's hard to know who will be sticking around and who will be retiring when (or who will be on sabbatical when). So I think it's hard to place TOO much weight on faculty until you get accepted to a program and can start asking questions in the realistic sense of what your life would be like at that program over the next 5 years. I think program directors would be more forthcoming with you over what they really know than they would at application time.

(On that note--I have heard rumors that Sherod Santos is going to be retiring from Mizzou somewhere in the next few years, but I don't know how verifiable that is.)

And I have to say, um, that knowing that Aliki Barnstone is at Missouri now--HOLY SHIT. OK. Her book WILD WITH IT has meant a lot to me, and her translation work is *really* important to me (I translate from modern Greek as well as write my own poems). My interest in Mizzou--which has already grown to ridiculous proportions over the last few months--has doubled. Which scares me significantly, since they only accept 2 poets per year.

Oh my goodness...


fuzen


Aug 5, 2007, 9:26 PM

Post #197 of 2090 (15942 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gcsumfa] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
In Reply To
I know this sounds crazy, but I'm probably only applying to OU. I don't have the time to devote to studying for the GRE LIT and I have some contacts at OU. I came really close to getting in last year and like my chances this year with a better writing sample and SOP. According to their grad director, last year was the first time in a long time that their top two choices in fiction accepted right off the bat…just my luck…sigh. So I feel that if I can make top 5 again, my chances will be decent.


gcsumfa, are you sure you really want to apply to just one school? FSU doesn't look at GRE Lit scores, neither does TTU, and though people here seem to dismiss USM (it must be the old stereotypes re: Mississippi, but man, I'm from California and lived there for two years just fine, and Hattiesburg is only about 100 miles away from New Orleans), they don't require them either. I guess if OU really is -your- school, and if you don't mind sitting out a year if you don't get in, then sure, yeah. I don't know, I just tell everyone to apply to a bunch of places because you never know what might happen. Anyway, good luck to you.

Steph, some schools don't require an academic sample. I don't think FSU asked for one. As for the others, I'd say just put in your best work and not fret about it too much. If they care that much about the literature side, and if you can't put together something as heavily academic as they'd like, then you wouldn't have been happy there anyway, right?


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Aug 13, 2007, 9:29 AM

Post #198 of 2090 (15868 views)
Shortcut
Re: [fuzen] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Fuzen, thanks for the words (and sorry for how long it has taken me to respond! I have been away...). I wish you luck with OU--I hear that it really is a good school. If I may ask a question, though, what will change in your SOP this year from what you wrote last year? I'm just now starting to sit down and figure out what I want to write, and it is giving me more anxiety than, I think, any other part of this application process. I know that there are some parts of my statement--the parts that really focus on what i want to get out of a program--that are more or less "template"-able, especially since I feel like I have spent enough time really considering why I want to go to a program and choosing programs that seem to be similar ENOUGH when it comes to fulfilling my hopes for a PhD, and I am pretty thankful for that. It will save me some work, I think, in the end. And then I will need to just personalize my statements for each school, which will not, I think, be TOO hard since I've done a good bit of research.

FSU doesn't require an academic sample, that's right. I think it's the only school of the ones I am applying to that does not require one. What is interesting, to me, is that Utah--which makes a fairly strong statement on their program's website about being a PhD program that is as much about literature as it is about creative writing and should be considered as such--only requires a 6-10 page academic writing sample (which is so much smaller than the usual 10-20 page requirement). Interestingly enough, Nebraska at Lincoln seems to have the highest page requirement for academic samples with 15-20 pages required.

Hmm.

Is anyone in a situation like me where I flip-flop a bit over where I want to go? I mean there is an undeniable attraction to Missouri, and my gut instinct tells me that if I happen to be one of the lucky TWO people to get in there it would take something pretty damn insane to get me to not accept that offer, but my thinking of PhD programs is more or less "besides" Missouri. Because--well--they accept TWO people a year for poetry. Some days I think Utah. Other days I think FSU. And other days I think Houston. Interestingly, though, I never think GSU or Nebraska. That might have something to do with the fact that I have not researched those programs as much as the others.


fuzen


Aug 13, 2007, 10:39 AM

Post #199 of 2090 (15860 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stephkarto1] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it's just harder for you to get excited about Lincoln? Haha.

Actually, I was responding to gcsumfa re: applying to one school. I applied last year and was lucky to get into a few places, and ended up choosing FSU. So I'm now in Tallahassee, waiting for the school year to start. It's kind of mind-boggling sometimes, how long it'll take and how I'll be by the time I'm done with my Ph.D., but, it'll all be worth it.

I wouldn't think too much about where you're going right now. Just research all the schools and apply. Honestly, apply to as many as your patience and perseverance will allow. You really don't know what might happen - you can get rejected by a school that is generally held to be not as prestigious as the school that ends up accepting you. This happens to pretty much everyone. Don't apply blindly, of course, but do apply to as many as you can, would be my suggestion.

Another thing about professors - it's very, very hard, nearly impossible, to find out who would be the best match for you, unless you attend a workshop in person. It's not just about the writing style or how many books they've published. At Southern Miss I got to workshop with visiting writers, some very famous ones (Amy Hempel, Ann Beattie), but I learned the most from the faculty. Steve Barthelme has published exactly one book of his own, is very much unknown to most people, even literary people, but I found him to be a marvelous teacher who genuinely cares about making his students as good writers as he can make them. (Which is why he publishes so little - he spends much of his energy on classwork.) In fact, a lot of the sexy names are baits to get people to go to a program, and you might not actually get to work with that person. For example, I hear Ted Kooser teaches one class a year at Nebraska. Also, there are writers I love but who I hear are not so great as teachers. If you can, get in touch with grad students at the programs you're interested in and find out about what the teachers are really like. Or, if you do it my way, just fly by the seat of your pants and make the best of whatever situation you end up in. Haha.

In any case, good luck...


stephkarto1
Stephanie Kartalopoulos

Aug 13, 2007, 4:15 PM

Post #200 of 2090 (15836 views)
Shortcut
Re: [fuzen] Application time is coming up!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I learned a lot about that--the whole thing about great writers being shitty teachers and not-so-interesting writers being good teachers, about not "equating" writing with teaching, about being careful about the expectations you have from faculty--from my MFA program. I really, really know how that goes, and that's something that's been a huge consideration for me as I have been researching programs.

But I think there's another side of it. At least, it seems that way to me. I have a sense of what personality types I tend to get along with and I tend to just relax around and open myself up to. I think it's so hard to know that right off the bat, but some things, such as sending e-mails back and forth with professors and program chairs, can give me even the smallest glimpse into personalities and can give me even the slightest sense of how comfortable I may be with any one program.

I'm applying to 6 programs this year. I know there are more than just the 6 that I am applying to, but these are programs that excite me (at least, in case of 2 of the programs, excite me "enough") to apply to. I think that there's a lot of validity to what you are saying--apply big and wide across the field, because with these programs accepting so few people you really don't know where you will get accepted or even IF you will get accepted--but I think it's also important to think about whether you feel like you could possibly commit to that program for the next 5 years of your life if it is the ONLY place that accepts you. And to me, it's important to feel like wherever I am applying I could feel good, happy, excited about uprooting my life, giving up my job and my part-time teaching job, and say goodbye to all the people I love who are very much in the northeast should it be the only place to get in.

*shrug* It's what works for me. And I know that there are so many different ideas out there about how to apply, how to choose where to apply, and how to deal with it all. For better or worse, this is my plan of attack.

I hope that you're enjoying Tallahassee before your classes begin. My closest friend from my MFA program, Sharla, is part of a bluegrass/folk/alt country/americana trio in town called The Mayhaws. They play around a good deal. If you have a chance to hear some music and if that type of music fits your tastes, check them out!

First page Previous page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 84 Next page Last page  View All

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs

 


P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved