Aug 15, 2007, 1:04 PM
Post #110 of 454
Hi, I am entering an MFA program in the fall and visited a couple schools last spring after getting admissions offers.
Re: [MissEsquire] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)
[In reply to]
My advice: don't bother visiting. This early in the application process, You should be considering programs more global factors (funding, reputation, faculty, class size, etc.). You should also ask some basic questions, "What part of the country do I want to live in? Small town, big town?" Stuff like that.
Once you get into the program, that's when you should be really fine tuning your criteria, visiting campus and gauging the mood of the department. Some of the posts I've been reading sounds like people are already asking themselves, "Is this program the right fit for me?" Shoot, if you like a program, or are vaguely interested in it, JUST APPLY. Then once you're accepted, you can agonize over "fit".
Personally, I don't think programs should be judged upon how welcoming they are to prospective applicants, being that 90% of the people who apply don't get in. It's almost, in a sense, like applying to a program because you like their website or that you saw their cool ad in the Atlantic Monthly. (Hey, I fell for it too. I applied to the Michener Center.)
I know the name of the thread is "Choosing an MFA Program" but right now, the most important thing every applicant should be doing is making sure their writing sample will showcase the best work they have ever produced. Hold your draft up to a page of your favorite author's latest book and ask yourself, "What do I need to do to approach this?" Even though almost all of us won't get published, the harsh reality is that once you leave your MFA program, you will be competing in a marketplace with many fine writers, even your favorite.
(This post was edited by adg4s on Aug 15, 2007, 1:06 PM)