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katelauren
Kate

Jul 2, 2009, 11:15 AM

Post #376 of 1018 (15042 views)
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     Re: [Tabby] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Great thanks!!!


Queen Ivana


Jul 4, 2009, 2:01 PM

Post #377 of 1018 (14908 views)
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     Applying to MFA for first time [In reply to]  

I have been considering attending a MFA program for a couple of years. One of my undergrad professors has strongly encouraged me to apply -- and still holds out hope that I will follow through even though it has been two years since I graduated college.

I didn't realize the application process would be so time consuming. I'm still considering my options. But my first priorities are location and full funding. I prefer to stay relatively close to family or friends, so I am looking for schools within a 5 hour drive of Washington, DC, Orlando, FL and Chattanooga, TN (all places where I have family). I may consider places a little farther away if they have good funding.

So here is my current list -- please let me know your thoughts on these schools, and feel free to suggest other programs:
Johns Hopkins
Penn State
University of Virginia
University of Alabama
University of Florida
West Virginia University
UNC-Greensboro
University of Central FL
American University
George Mason University


alamana



Jul 4, 2009, 3:45 PM

Post #378 of 1018 (14898 views)
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     Re: [Queen Ivana] Applying to MFA for first time [In reply to]  

Queen Ivana -- Virginia Commonwealth University is only 2 hours from DC, so you might want to look into that school's program.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


belgium


Jul 4, 2009, 3:47 PM

Post #379 of 1018 (14895 views)
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     Re: [Queen Ivana] Applying to MFA for first time [In reply to]  

Queen Ivana, you might also want to look at Virginia Tech. It's about 4 hours from DC, and the funding's good



Ridiculous Words


stewiecares


Jul 5, 2009, 1:14 AM

Post #380 of 1018 (14862 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

hey everyone - i am trying to get feedback on a peculiar situation...
i am applying to film schools in the fall. there are also some creative writing programs i will be applying to, because writing (both film and fiction) is my primary interest.
in the case of two universities - columbia and nyu - both the film and writing programs are very appealing. officially, on the website, it is not against the rules to apply to both programs.
my question is - in your opinion(s) - if it would reflect poorly on my commitment as a student (which is don't think is quite fair because funding is a big wild card, but they have the power and it's their call really). i can't imagine that they would accept a student into both programs and let him/her pick...has anyone ever heard of this happening?
i want to apply to both and see what kind of offers i get (funding is a lot more available for writing programs, which also have cheaper tuition) - but not at the expense of admission to either school.
i guess i'm just afraid of shooting myself in the foot.
advice most appreciated!!!


jamie_mu


Jul 5, 2009, 3:42 PM

Post #381 of 1018 (14814 views)
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     Re: [stewiecares] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

I don't think you have too much to worry about. Both NYU and Columbia get a lot of applicants, but many of the candidates who are accepted turn down the offer because of the poor funding. So you won't be hurting anyone's feelings choosing one program over another. As to the question about two programs at one school, I doubt the two programs have anything to do with each other--what I mean, the admissions committee for the creative writing program would not have anything to do with the adcom at the film school. Many people applying to MFA programs will apply to both fiction and poetry, or nonficition, without any problems. Most schools don't mind students submitting mulitple applications because they make money off the applications.

I have read many conversations/complaints about the lack of funiding at the NYC schools. Columbia is the most notorious in this regard. I have heard of some new scholarships they are offering to MFA students, but it's difficult to hand out significant funding when the cohort is 50+. I have no info about the film side. So, if you get accepted in both film and creative writing, and you get funding, great! decide which you want to do and go for it. But also be prepared to get accepted without signicant funding.

Remember this: acceptance into a program has nothing to do with other programs (whether or not they are at the same school) that you applied to. At no time will someone on the adcom think, This person got into the film/critical/history program, so we might as well reject them. Your writing sample is what gets you in or keeps you out. And if they think you deserve funding, then it will be offered.

I think I answered your question. Is this the type of answer you are looking for?


stewiecares


Jul 5, 2009, 10:32 PM

Post #382 of 1018 (14786 views)
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     Re: [jamie_mu] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

thanks so much, jamie_mu - yes, that makes a lot of sense.

i know the odds in ny are stacked against me, funding-wise, but i have to try or i'll always wonder....


jamie_mu


Jul 5, 2009, 11:51 PM

Post #383 of 1018 (14774 views)
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     Re: [stewiecares] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Honestly, there's no reason not to apply to as many schools as fiscally possible. The only thing limiting you is your wallet. If you have multiple interests then might as well apply to multiple programs/genres. You have better odds at the big NYC schools (Columbia in particular) just because they have large cohorts, and not as many people apply compared to the top-tier fully funded schools (Michner, Michigan, Iowa, etc.). And if you get accepted and can afford to go to Columbia or NYU, those programs are nothing to scoff at.


taraberyl



Jul 7, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #384 of 1018 (14690 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

has anyone noticed that when you google "brooklyn mfa writing," the first hit to come up is hunter's mfa program? whom do they know at google?
:)


QuinnK
Quinn

Jul 8, 2009, 5:18 PM

Post #385 of 1018 (14608 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

I am so glad I found this post! (It was actually the first result when I Googled "Northwestern MFA program reviews and rank.") I have been looking into MFA programs for two years now and I've decided that now is the time to move forward with the application process (I'll be applying to fiction programs). This is my first post on this site but I have devoured everything written here on MFA programs. Despite all efforts to research and gather information, I still feel lost in my application process in terms of where to apply and why. You might call it information overload, that is, if the symptoms of informatin overload are anxiety, frequent doubt followed by absolute certainty followed by greater doubt, discouragement and chronic headaches. I recently spent a week in Chicago and fell in love with the atmosphere; compared to where I am now (Kansas City), I felt a general sense of community and, most importantly, opportunity. As a result, I've been focusing my efforts on finding a program in the Chicago area. I had planned to apply to Northwestern, overall it has a solid reputation, but after reading this post I am, of course, having second thoughts. Columbia College (Chicago) sounds like a good program, but I am now realizing that programs in big cities struggle with funding. I really like how Columbia College offers a joint MFA/MA degree, but I'm unclear, so far, about their funding limitations and I when contacted the program director to see if I could meet with her in August (when I plan to be back in Chicago) I sort of got the cold shoulder ("please read our FAQ section carefully" - as if I hadn't), which was accompanied by a side of tough shit ("I'll be out of town"). So, not a great start in terms of an introduction/first impression.

I graduated from college two years ago, so I don't have access to university resources, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a course, workshop or something geared towards helping you through the MFA application process...? I'm living in a vacuum now, so when it comes to samples, what to submit, etc., I don't have a resource to turn to for help, guidance, or even a valuable opinion. I already own all the books, but I think I really just need to go over everything with someone who knows what they are talking about and will answer my likely stupid questions before my head explodes. Anyway, this post is starting to sound like a Dear Abbey letter so I'm going end it here before things get out of control.

Sincerely,
Looking to be Less Lost


browng700

e-mail user

Jul 8, 2009, 7:23 PM

Post #386 of 1018 (14593 views)
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     Re: [QuinnK] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Hi Quinn,

I know that the UCLA Writers’ Program offers an MFA prep course online.

http://creative-writing-mfa-handbook.blogspot.com/2008/09/uclas-mfa-preparation-courses.html

Also, the MFA Blog in general has a ton of information you might find helpful. Best of luck.


Greg Brown
http://www.gregory-brown.net

(This post was edited by browng700 on Jul 8, 2009, 7:32 PM)


bighark


Jul 8, 2009, 11:56 PM

Post #387 of 1018 (14556 views)
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     Re: [QuinnK] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.

---

Take a look at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. If you're determined to live in Chicago despite the lack of funded MFA programs, this school's worth a look. They have some money--a couple of 50% scholarships--but not a lot. Still, it's better than nothing. I should note that I go here. I'm very happy.

Another option is DePaul University's writing program. It's an MA, not an MFA, and the focus is on writing and writing pedagogy, not just fiction and poetry. DePaul has some money, too. I believe they remit tuition for their TAs. The only issue is not every writing student gets to be a TA.

There are a couple of other options in town. The University of Illinois at Chicago has a well regarded M.A. in Creative Writing. Chicago State University (on the way, way, way, way south side) has a damned fine program. Roosevelt University also has an MFA in Creative Writing. They're right between Columbia and SAIC in terms of location. I don't know much about them.

Anyway, good luck with your search


raqueltio

e-mail user

Jul 9, 2009, 3:19 AM

Post #388 of 1018 (14540 views)
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     Re: [bighark] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Dear QuinnK,
I agree w/most of what bighark is saying.
Columbia is a dicey place, people, even professors can never agree on it's goodness iofar as the MFA. A close friend went there and wd. not spend the $$$ again.
Chicago State is a troubled placed. Don't even think of going there. Bad rep.
The three solid choices I see, besides NU with its drawbacks are:
  • Art Institute --- probably the best!
  • University of Chicago---new MFA program w/small cohorts. Don't know about the funding. Call Kate Soto, the Director. You might be able to talk to other participants.
  • UIC MA program. May have some funding. It is a State school and cheaper if you qualify for in-state tuition.

Good luck getting to Chicago and the right program.
Raquel


(This post was edited by raqueltio on Jul 9, 2009, 3:21 AM)


umass76


Jul 9, 2009, 7:09 PM

Post #389 of 1018 (14463 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Raquel,

I have hunted high and low--everywhere I can think of--for any evidence, of any kind, of a new MFA in creative writing (of any duration/residency) at the University of Chicago. If true this would be enormous news. Can you direct us to a link?

Best,
Seth

Now Available on Amazon: The Suburban Ecstasies (also @ B&N, Abebooks, Alibris, etcetera)


moomoocow42


Jul 9, 2009, 8:02 PM

Post #390 of 1018 (14453 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Seth,

I believe the program Raquel is referring to could be University of Chicago's MA in Humanities, which has a Creative Writing specialization. From this link, if you scroll down the page a bit, you'll find it. I knew a beginning writer some years ago who enrolled in the program, but have since lost touch with him, so I unfortunately don't have any hard firsthand knowledge of the program. But based on the material from the website, it seems very much like a hybrid degree. It's definitely not your typical MFA.


My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.

(This post was edited by moomoocow42 on Jul 9, 2009, 8:08 PM)


jaywalke


Jul 10, 2009, 11:06 AM

Post #391 of 1018 (14390 views)
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     Re: [QuinnK] Northwestern University [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I contacted the program director to see if I could meet with her in August (when I plan to be back in Chicago) I sort of got the cold shoulder ("please read our FAQ section carefully" - as if I hadn't), which was accompanied by a side of tough shit ("I'll be out of town"). So, not a great start in terms of an introduction/first impression.


I agree. That's not a great first impression.


aiyamei

e-mail user

Jul 10, 2009, 11:41 AM

Post #392 of 1018 (14382 views)
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     Re: [jaywalke] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

But then again, it strikes me as a bit entitled to expect the program director to meet you. Is the program director supposed to meet with every potential applicant who drives into town during summer vacation? Is this part of the program director's job description? I honestly don't know and would be interested what others say. Just strikes me as incredibly exhausting for the director, and I for one would never be so presumptuous.


(This post was edited by aiyamei on Jul 10, 2009, 11:42 AM)


raqueltio

e-mail user

Jul 10, 2009, 11:52 AM

Post #393 of 1018 (14378 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Dear Umass76,
I am so sorry, but I'm away from home studying in Europe for a month and don't have the info w/me.
Besides that---I am working on a new netbook so don't have my list of favorites---and their site was one of them.
So I can't help right now, but will be home first week of August.


jaywalke


Jul 10, 2009, 2:00 PM

Post #394 of 1018 (14363 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Northwestern University [In reply to]  


In Reply To
But then again, it strikes me as a bit entitled to expect the program director to meet you. Is the program director supposed to meet with every potential applicant who drives into town during summer vacation? Is this part of the program director's job description? I honestly don't know and would be interested what others say. Just strikes me as incredibly exhausting for the director, and I for one would never be so presumptuous.


I agree that it's presumptuous. First impressions work both ways. :-]


QuinnK
Quinn

Jul 10, 2009, 2:43 PM

Post #395 of 1018 (14348 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

While it's not clear from what I wrote in my earlier post, I was by no means demanding a face-to-face meeting with the program director, I was only asking if there was someone, anyone, I might be able to meet and discuss the program with while I would be in town. I didn't think it was unreasonable to request some sort of face time with someone who can answer your questions prior to forking over a hefty application fee. I guess this is just another instance of me not knowing the ropes and how to go about my application process. I'm certainly embarrassed to realize that by asking for some interaction with the program I'm applying to I managed to come off as entitled and presumptuous.


QuinnK
Quinn

Jul 10, 2009, 2:46 PM

Post #396 of 1018 (14347 views)
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     Re: [browng700] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Thanks, Greg! I really appreciate it - I will look into the prep course.


bighark


Jul 10, 2009, 2:47 PM

Post #397 of 1018 (14346 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Creative Writing at the University of Chicago is for undergraduates. There's a writing track in the MAPH, but as others have noted, it's not an MFA.

In my opinion, it's also not much of a writing program: two required writing classes during the course of one-year degree.

I think the MAPH is great for personal enrichment or vitae-building for students with less than impressive undergrad credentials, but there are much better options out there for writers.


QuinnK
Quinn

Jul 10, 2009, 2:50 PM

Post #398 of 1018 (14341 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Thanks, Raquel - this information is helpful.


aiyamei

e-mail user

Jul 10, 2009, 3:07 PM

Post #399 of 1018 (14338 views)
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     Re: [QuinnK] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Just to be clear -- I don't know anything! I was just saying how it struck _me_. I'm only one person, and maybe this is not presumptuous at all, but totally standard. It does seem like something that would be great to have before forking over an admission fee, only somehow very hard on the people that run the program, assuming in many cases 500+ applications.


bighark


Jul 10, 2009, 3:15 PM

Post #400 of 1018 (14333 views)
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     Re: [aiyamei] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

From Columbia College's Fiction Writing Website: The Graduate Program Director is happy to meet with prospective students....

Anyway, I don't smell any entitlement or presumption here: just an eager student who's curious about the program.

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