»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Getting a Second MFA
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!
139030 registered users


eireann
Erin Fitzgerald

e-mail user

Aug 2, 2004, 10:32 AM

Post #1 of 14 (4590 views)
Shortcut
Getting a Second MFA Can't Post

Long time listener, first time caller. *wave*

I'm curious if there's anyone out there who has gotten an MFA, then decided to do it again -- in whatever residency/low residency combination. When I did mine the first time around there were one or two students in my classes who were working on their second one, so I know such people exist.

I've been toying with the idea of Round 2, and I'd love to hear about others' experiences.


iceq777
Shelley

Oct 24, 2004, 9:02 PM

Post #2 of 14 (4506 views)
Shortcut
Re: [eireann] Getting a Second MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi eireann,

Where did you get your first MFA and why are you thinking of a second? Do you feel that the first program didn't do enough for your writing?

Shelley


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Oct 25, 2004, 11:54 AM

Post #3 of 14 (4488 views)
Shortcut
Re: [iceq777] Getting a Second MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't speak for eireann, but I know that I got my MFA in fiction and have considered going back for another in poetry, since I started seriously writing poetry after the MFA.

dmh


thebeatbaby


Nov 5, 2004, 8:03 AM

Post #4 of 14 (4448 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pongo] Getting a Second MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I've actually heard there are a lot of people at iowa who already have an mfa from somewhere else. Lucie Brock-Broido told us she went to Hopkins and UVA after finishing at Columbia. I'm only in my first year at Columbia, but I would consider getting a second MFA if given funding. I think it's worth considering if you're like me in that you fail at doing anything else in the world.


poetastin


Feb 18, 2006, 1:03 AM

Post #5 of 14 (4348 views)
Shortcut
Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi folks...

Best I can tell, this question isn't covered here:

I'd like to know the etiquette for applying for an MFA when you're currently studying for an MA or MFA elsewhere. [EDIT - i.e. leaving one program for another, better program, not pursuing a second MFA]. Is this even acceptable? Do schools handle it the way they would a job search, somewhat secretly? Or would this effectively bar me from the top programs?

The application process is long, random, and scary. If I'm not picked the first go-round, then I'd at least like to rack up some teaching experience at my local university, where I could easily pursue an MA or MFA. People in other disciplines are allowed this. But the AWP crowd scares me; I've seen first hand various artists run through the meat grinder, where in the end, their focus is no longer on writing, but tied up in schmoozing and keeping tabs on perceived slights and publishing book reports in their buddies' journals just to hold onto the hope of a better job someday. These are tiny men. But I'm not rearing for a head start on anyone's shit list.

Thoughts?


(This post was edited by poetastin on Feb 18, 2006, 5:35 PM)


andfw


Feb 21, 2006, 6:51 AM

Post #6 of 14 (4238 views)
Shortcut
Re: [poetastin] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in an MFA program and applied to a few other programs for next year. I e-mailed the program assistants/directors and asked before applying, and they all said it wouldn't affect their consideration of my application. Not sure if that's the case, but that's what they said.

There are a few people in my current program who came here after getting MAs elsewhere. I know of at least one other who recently transferred from here mid-MFA, and have heard of a couple others, though I'm not sure if they went to better programs or not. So I don't think second MFAs are unheard of.


Texasfornow


Mar 9, 2006, 11:27 AM

Post #7 of 14 (4135 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jstgerma] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know people who have gone back for a second BA, in some other field, and I know people who've gone on from an MA to an MFA, a common occurance really. And I know people who've earned MFA's in two genres. But I 've never heard of someone getting a second MFA for the same genre.

Do you have to send a letter explaining your reasons with your application? Do you need extraordinary circumstances in order to be taken seriously?

Were you accepted anywhere for a second MFA?

Isn't that what phd programs are for? Well, I guess there are more mfa programs than phd's, so that makes sense. Still, what's the argument for a second mfa that would justify taking the spot of a prospective student who doesn't have one? If programs were open to this idea, would it lead to professional mfa students, writers jumping from one mfa program to another?


andfw


Mar 9, 2006, 11:50 AM

Post #8 of 14 (4121 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Texasfornow] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

I applied to three MA programs, with the reasoning that an MA can be applied toward phd coursework later, if need be. MFAs usually can't, at least from what I've seen and heard. Basically, I'd be doing the MA/MFA progression, only in the opposite order of most who do it. I applied to one second MFA in the same genre and have yet to hear. I don't think I'll get in -- if I were on a committee, I probably wouldn't admit me -- but it was my dream school the first time, and I felt like doing it. I don't think I need to provide any "argument" for applying to a graduate program, and I don't think I'm setting off a chain of events that will lead to swarms of professional MFA locusts laying waste to programs nationwide. If it bothers you, you're welcome to lobby against my admission to Amherst, although I really don't think that will be necessary if I haven't heard by now. I think the rejection letter's just taking its sweet time in the mail.

Besides, if anybody could actually stomach getting multiple MFAs at different schools, God bless 'em. I doubt very many graduating MFAers would even consider the idea of doing so.


In Reply To
Were you accepted anywhere for a second MFA?

Isn't that what phd programs are for? Well, I guess there are more mfa programs than phd's, so that makes sense. Still, what's the argument for a second mfa that would justify taking the spot of a prospective student who doesn't have one? If programs were open to this idea, would it lead to professional mfa students, writers jumping from one mfa program to another?



Texasfornow


Mar 9, 2006, 1:18 PM

Post #9 of 14 (4094 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jstgerma] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

Argument is too strong a term. Maybe rational is better. I didn't say your applying to a second MFA would start a trend. I was just thinking about the precendent a program would set if it started accepting writers with MFAs. I wonder how serious a program would take an applicant who already has an MFA, or would they just tell them sure you can apply, and we'll pocket your fee too, even though you really don't have a chance. Seems like a program should have a stated policy on whether or not it would allow writers to seek a second degree.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 9, 2006, 1:39 PM

Post #10 of 14 (4084 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Texasfornow] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

Any program that started giving preference to, or accepting only, applicants who already had MFA's would soon find itself out of applicants and out of business. There just aren't that many people who want two MFA's.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


andfw


Mar 9, 2006, 1:55 PM

Post #11 of 14 (4069 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Texasfornow] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think what you described ("sure you can apply, thanks for the fee") is pretty much exactly how UMass handled it, not that I can blame them. There aren't any such students currently in my program, but I've heard that a few people from years past came here to get their second MFA in the same genre. Just hearsay, though.

I agree that it might be helpful if more programs would state a policy. I also agree that it's probably not a good idea for programs to take up the practice of admitting people who already have an MFA in that genre. Again, I applied mostly to MAs, because from what I've come to understand, there are some significant differences in how the two degrees are regarded. I think having both could be useful -- more useful, obviously, than two MFAs.

I kind of just applied to UMass on a lark, to see what would happen. I guess now I know (or I will when I finally get the rejection letter).


In Reply To
I wonder how serious a program would take an applicant who already has an MFA, or would they just tell them sure you can apply, and we'll pocket your fee too, even though you really don't have a chance. Seems like a program should have a stated policy on whether or not it would allow writers to seek a second degree.



clarabow


Mar 9, 2006, 2:11 PM

Post #12 of 14 (4060 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jstgerma] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you apply to fiction or poetry at Amherst. Interesting how many people on these boards haven't heard from them...


andfw


Mar 9, 2006, 2:18 PM

Post #13 of 14 (4055 views)
Shortcut
Re: [clarabow] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fiction. Haven't heard anything. My online page says my application is pending, but if people were getting acceptances two weeks ago, I'm not holding my breath. It does seem like the rejection letter is a long time coming, though.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 9, 2006, 5:29 PM

Post #14 of 14 (4022 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jstgerma] Applying to new programs...when you're already enrolled in one? [In reply to] Can't Post

There are a couple people at Iowa working on second MFAs. One who has an MFA in poetry from another school and is now getting an MFA in fiction (apparently he didn't really start writing fiction until he was in the poetry program, took a fiction workshop and decided it was something he wanted to pursue). There's someone getting her second poetry MFA, but I don't know much about the particulars of her situation. And there are a couple people who got MAs in creative writing, then applied here and got in. And there was one student who graduated last year who got an MFA in poetry and one in fiction at the same time, which meant he applied to both genres separately and was admitted to both genres separately (and took both a poetry workshop and fiction workshop each semester). I imagine that's pretty rare, though.

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