Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not Enough English Undergrad Classes?

Howdy, Tom,

I am a recent (2006) grad with a BA in history and little academic
background in English. Writing had been a back-burner hobby during
school since I intended to pursue a law career, so thinking about it
in a professional sense is somewhat new to me.

So, here are my questions: 1. Will the fact that I have only three
English classes on my undergraduate transcript be a problem with my
MFA application? 2. What should I do about programs like George Mason
(http://creativewriting.gmu.edu/) that require a critical literary
analysis as a part of the application package? Do I send a
lower-level English class poetry critique that was received well? Do
I write something completely new? Do I forsake GMU and other
lit-crit-app. programs?

Thanks for the help,

Flailing in Fairfax

-------------------------------

I guess it depends on what you want. Do you want a program with a strong literature track? If so, then go for it. Use what you have, as far as the critical writing sample.

If you don't care about the strong lit track, then yes, stay away from those. Most MFA programs want strong readers and writers and the whole, "Does he/she have an English BA?" is not that relevant. Three classes will be fine at most places. Rock on.

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Raysen said...

I was an engineering major in undergrad, but that was over 20 years ago. Since then, I went to law school and did a lot over time. I do NOT have ANY English Lit courses in my background. None. I've taken a couple of Adult writing classes here and there, but in college, I had NO English classes. Nevertheless, I read all the time and I feel like I'm a good writer.

How will the lack of English courses in my formal academic background hurt me, if at all?

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