I'll shortly be adding an extremely preliminary
version of the 2009 P&W MFA Rankings
to my website (http://www.sethabramson.blogspot.com/
Just thought I'd post the initial results here, particularly as they're a little stunning--thus far there's only one New York City-based MFA (New York University) in the Top 25. While I'm sure this'll change dramatically over time, it nevertheless underscores the new ways of thinking about MFA programs that are encapsulated in this year's and last year's "Choosing an MFA Program" threads. In other words, folks are starting to consider funding (as Tom Kealey famously advised in his Creative Writing MFA Handbook
) a primary (if not the
primary) factor. As is now well-known, the New York City-area programs, while top-notch quality-wise, offer almost universally poor financial aid packages.
On my website you can find a score of 2007 and 2008 polls and rankings in the right-hand sidebar; a "master" P&W poll of nearly 300 respondents (along with the first-ever tiered ranking of MFA programs) will appear in the second edition of Kealey's The Creative Writing MFA Handbook
, due out later this fall (I also wrote a long essay for the book analyzing more than fifty MFA programs individually, and ranking the top fifty best-funded programs).
My goal is to have the 2009 P&W MFA Rankings include the largest respondent pool--and thus be the most accurate MFA popularity/reputation rankings--ever.
As I get new acceptance rate data for MFA programs, I'll be adding that to my website, also. MFA administrators should feel free to e-mail me at the e-mail address listed on my website if they'd like to supply acceptance rate data directly (as some MFA programs have already done, to their palpable benefit, I think--as the provision of accurate admissions information can only be an aid to applicants and admissions committees alike).
Those who'd like to be included in the poll can do so by indicating here, or on the "Choosing an MFA Program (2009)" thread, where they're planning to apply, or (if they've already applied in previous years) either which schools they applied to, or else which schools are the best in their opinion. As I know this is something folks would do (and do
do) on this discussion board anyway, I'm sure there'll be lots of data in any case.
Anyway, preamble over.
Here's where things stand now (NB: needless to say, in the early stages of this poll there will always be a lot of ties between programs; that said, you can already see some recognizable patterns emerging, including the continued popularity of several programs which made great strides in the 2008 rankings):
1. University of Michigan
2t. University of Virginia
2t. University of Texas
4. University of Alabama
5t. University of Iowa
5t. Cornell University
5t. University of Oregon
5t. University of Minnesota
5t. University of Notre Dame
5t. University of Houston
5t. University of Illinois
5t. Southern Illinois University
5t. Virginia Commonwealth University
14t. Syracuse University
14t. Indiana University
14t. University of Wisconsin
14t. University of Montana
14t. University of Washington
14t. New York University
14t. Arizona State University
14t. Vanderbilt University
14t. George Mason University
14t. Bowling Green State University
14t. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
14t. Virginia Tech University
14t. McNeese State University
Bubbling Under: University of California at Irvine; University of Florida; Johns Hopkins University; Washington University; University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Florida State University; University of Arkansas; Ohio State University; Sarah Lawrence College; University of Mississippi; Colorado State University; Hunter College [CUNY]; and 11 others.
Good luck to all applicants!
More info at: http://www.sethabramson.blogspot.com/