Jul 13, 2008, 9:52 PM
Post #63 of 1018
Re: [whyGA77] Choosing an MFA Program (2009)
[In reply to]
Sorry to hear about the waitlist situation, I can't imagine being strung along this late into the game.
Regarding your list, I think it looks good, except maybe for N. Mich. I applied there this last year as my ultimate safety school, knowing that they receive maybe 40-60 applications a year. Those odds are much better than most programs, but range across three genres (Fic, NF, Poetry). As it turns out, I didn't get in, and was given a nice explanation as to why I didn't, via email:
Iím writing to thank your for applying to our MFA program and also to inform you of our admission decisions. It is my sad task to report that we were unable to admit you to our program for next year. The MFA program is quite small, which makes admission very competitive, and, as it turned out, we were able to admit even fewer people this year than usual. You will receive official confirmation of this decision by surface mail.
I do have, however, what I hope is some good news. We also have an MA program with a writing track. This program is similar to the MFA, though shorter, and it does not require a book-length thesis, as does the MFA. A (shorter) thesis is, however, one of the options for the MA. Our MA program is a bit larger than the MFA, and less competitive, and it also offers possibilities for funding. If this sounds attractive to you, we invite you to apply to our MA program. If you would like to be considered for admission, and for funding, please contact Dr. Raymond Ventre, our Director of English Graduate Studies. You should contact Dr. Ventre within the next few days, since the MA admission committee will be meeting at the end of next week to begin considering whom we can fund with teaching assistantships.
This was both very sad and somewhat exciting simultaneously, because I was eventually admitted to the MA program and was given serious consideration for funding until I was notified by SIUC of my admittance off the waitlist. So, I never did find out if I was going to be funded, but the MA program looked like a lot of fun and worth while. I guess what I am trying to get at, in regards to NMU's MFA program, is that it appears as if it is incredibly difficult to get admitted if you haven't already attended the MA program. I may be wrong on this, but it seems to me that anyone who just spent two years working closely with the admissions committee in writing workshops in the MA program would have a gigantic advantage over a candidate sight unseen. Not to mention the fact that it appears they are accepting fewer candidates than years previous. I may be mistaken, perhaps you should consult Seth Abramson's blog on the actual numbers, but I think they admit 6-8 students a year across three genres. So, probably 2 NF, 2 Fic, 3 Poetry; and keep in mind, the admitted students probably just finished with their MA from NMU.
Hope this helps!
I would add SIU-Carbondale to your list. GREAT funding.