: A Creative Writing Community
Lomo,Before I answer your question--moved up here from the long comment thread several posts below--I need to know whether you have geographic restrictions, and if so what they are. Several of those Virginia/Maryland-area schools are great calls in poetry--both for reputation and funding--like Virginia, Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins, and (a little further out) Wilmington, which has a roughly 40% coverage for funding (approximately 40% of students get full funding). Iowa is obviously a solid choice. Maryland has fairly poor funding but a good reputation, so it's a strong higher-odds choice if you're willing to roll the dice re: whether you get one of their fairly limited funded spots (of course, you already noted the bad funding, so it seems you're all caught up there). Given the area you're looking at, I'd add Greensboro--excellent in poetry, and apparently the funding is even better than they've been advertising, students there say--and also VCU, which again has both funding and looks promising in poetry. Baltimore I don't know as much about, though I think it'd probably be the lowest-tier program on any list you ultimately create for application. The good news is, the area you're looking in has tons of other great poetry options besides those you mentioned. George Mason is excellent for poetry, as is Hollins, and both are between 40% and 55% funded, I'd say. The great thing is that you're looking at one of the best concentrated areas for strong poetry programs. I'd point out that, if you are willing to apply to an unfunded, higher-odds option, I'd put American University well above U. of Baltimore. So, I could actually see a very healthy, very balanced, albeit geographically-restrained list in poetry of:VirginiaVirginia TechVirginia CommonwealthMarylandGeorge MasonHollinsAmericanUNC GreensboroUNC WilmingtonJohns Hopkins+ IowaWhile it'd be a somewhat short list, and I'd expand it--still roughly within that geographic node--to include Penn State, West Virginia U., and perhaps even Rutgers at Newark, it's a good start.Best of luck,Seth
Seth,I know you've been busy and the first thread got cluttered, so I'm reposting my list here. I've also revised it a little.For Poetry:AlabamaColumbia CollegeColumbia UniversityFloridaGeorge MasonHollinsHoustonIowaJohns HopkinsLSUNYUNC StateTexasTexas StateUniversity of New OrleansUNC GreensboroVirginiaVCUVirginia TechWash UI'm still looking to cut at least 3-5 schools but I don't know which ones. I'd also be open to adding any other good poetry options in the South.Please tell me what you think I should do to balance out my list. Thank you!
Seth,Many thanks for the advice. As per your suggestions, I have addedAmerican, Virginia Commonwealth and Hollins to my list. I am geographically restrained, mostly for personal reasons, but Iowa has always been my dream school I would move to Iowa City in a heartbeat if they accepted me. From everything I've heard, the experiences there is just completely unique and inspiring.I appreciate the feedback more than you can imagine.Take care!
I am applying for fiction to a total of nine programs--seven regular MFAs and two low residency MFAs. Ideally I would like to add three, possibly four, more schools to my total list, either regular MFA programs or low residency. I know less about low residency programs but would be interested to know more, particularly about the one at Nebraska. This is my list--first to last in terms of personal desirability1. University of Iowa2. University of Virginia3. Hollins University4. University of North Carolina, Greensboro5. NYU6. Western Michigan University7. Portland StateLow Residency1. Warren Wilson2. Bennington College
Lautreamont, He has compiled a list of acceptance rates on his blog, Suburban Ecstasies. It's listed as "Acceptance Rates" and you can find it on the right hand side. Cheers!
Thanks Shiloh.I should also mention--apart from the fact that Columbia is one of the easiest schools to get into in America (especially off the waitlist) of those programs with known acceptance rates--that it has taken months and months and months to compile this acceptance-rate data. I think Lautreamont (and others) should know that the programs do not want this data out there in many instances, so creating that table on my blog was a huge effort.If anything was easy in the field of MFA data collection, L., we wouldn't really need blogs like this one, or mine, etcetera(!) As it is, there's no one out there nationally trying to gather this information except, well...Seth
Re Posting from another thread: Hello Seth, Have been reading the blog and the book since I started this whole application process. You guys do an amazing job! I have registered for the GRE, sent away for transcripts and now I want to draw my line in the sand by sharing with the world the schools I´m applying to. FictionIn no particular order: NYU UT Michener UC Irvine Virginia Columbia UMass Amherst Brown OregonBrooklyn Maryland UC San Diego San Diego State BU I also considered: Northwestern Chatham Uni Washington Location was the major deciding factor for me. I would love to hear your opinion on the mix of schools. Especially regarding actual possibility of funding at some of them. (I know Columbia is not very highly regarded in this respect but read that this might change this coming year. Any truth to this?) Thanks!!Vicky
Vix,Will be back in a bit with some more analysis (I owe Kim one from way back, too), but just to be clear about Columbia: its funding situation is improving slightly, yes. The problem is that, even with this improvement, it remains one of the worst-funded programs out there. I really don't want people to mistake improvement (a purely relative measure) with endorsement (an absolute measure of whether a program could or would appear in the forthcoming Abramson/Kealey Top 50 Funding Ranking, or the ten-school Honorable Mention category of programs beyond that ranking).Right now, Columbia would likely be ranked about #210 among all graduate creative writing programs in the U.S. (purely as to funding). That is essentially a tie for last, with the only programs behind that being high-cost private-school low-res programs with no funding for anyone (Bennington, historically, would have been a good example of this). Even programs like SFSU and USF rank slightly ahead of Columbia (perhaps at #200), because, while their program locale's cost of living is also obscenely high, and while they also fund very few admittees, their cost of tuition is also less than Columbia's.Best,Seth
So, this is my first post on the blog, and I've found all the information here and in the book very helpful so far. I've compiled a preliminary list for applications for Fall 2009, but I'm not sure if I'm tapping all my options. Or whether I have a balanced list at all. I'm going for Fiction, and as of right now, I'm restricting location to the Northeast (extending to Penn. in the West, and either Maryland or possibly Virginia South...) Here's what I have:MassachusettsU. MarylandJohns HopkinsCornellBrownSyracuseUNLV*Pennsylvania State*The program just intrigues me, so I think I'll apply there anyway.Here's some I know less about, but want to learn more about:Rutgers at NewarkBrooklyn CollegeHunter CollegeHollinsVCUWhat I'm worried about is that my primary list is the ones I'm really excited about right now, and it's also full of schools that are either extremely selective (i.e. Syracuse, Brown, Cornell, UMass) or not well-funded (i.e. U. Maryland). Is there a good way to formulate my list, possibly with additions I haven't considered, given the geographic connstraints I may have?
I am new to this blog too--applying for fiction this fall. As a single 25 year old, I don't have a lot of geographic limitations (or preferences for that matter). I'm essentially open to moving just about anywhere as long as the program seems like it might be a good fit.Here is my current list, which I have changed a tad in the past few days.Johns HopkinsNotre DameIowaASUUC DavisUC San DiegoFlorida StateIllinoisAs I said, I am applying for fiction writing, so I would be particularly interested in hearing about the fiction side of these programs.
seth--any opinions/recommendations on phd programs for poetry? a former professor has strongly advised me against pursuing the phd in creative writing, but i may be coming up at the last good point in my life to completely devote myself to this, and i'm still intrigued. i've considered looking into phd programs in lit or comp/rhet, but am not positive that's for me, given that i don't want it to distract from my own writing. i'm actually looking into programs all over the us and in the uk. any thoughts?
This is my first post here. I'm applying for fiction in 2009. I live in Brooklyn and my husband is an urban planner so if we do move (staying in NYC would be ideal), it has to be a city we both like and that he can work in. So here is my list. Any feedback and information is most welcome!In NYC:NYUBrooklyn CollegeHunter CollegeCity College Out of NYC:University of MinnesotaUniversity of Washington-SeattleI know its a small-ish list but I don't think I can afford to many more schools than that! Since leaving NYC would be a bigger risk for us, any info on UMinn and UWash would be especially useful, and also any info on City College (can't seem to gather much from their website) would also be nice.Thanks for a very helpful site!Anca
i' m a newbie too. i don't know how i missed this site before but it's quite frankly an answer to my prayers. thanks to seth, raysen, and many others for your helpful posts about these programs.with so many good ones out there, it's nearly impossible to create a normal size list, but this is what i came up with.i'm applying for fiction to the followingoregon alabamapenn statebowling greeniowarutgers, newarkboston universitysarah lawrencewould people consider boston university a long shot for fiction? i know jhumpa lahiri went there. and does anyone know about the newish program at umass, boston. i would like to add 1 more boston school to my list, but i have just learned about the cost and poor funding at emerson, so that's no longer an option.peace,gordon
Hey everyone- I applied last year and Seth's blog was extremely helpful. I can't thank him enough for it.After I was accepted, I made a list of "affordable" MFAs-- really, MFA programs that give you enough financial aide to be there and possibly not work outside of teaching or working on their journal, etc.I hope you find it useful!www.affordingthemfa.blogspot.com
Hi, Maybe this is the wrong place for this question, but am new to this site and can't seem to find a way to put in a question that is up to date! I'm very, very appreciative of the work you've all done with rankings and acceptance rates- helpful and interesting for so many. Thing is, I just put in applications for three low res programs (Warren Wilson, Bennington, and Vermont College) for their Sept. deadline- January beginning. Can't seem to find any info on acceptance rates for these schools at this time- it's all about the March deadline- summer begin. I'd love to know how long I should expect to wait to hear one way or the other- also if the number of apps they get for this round is higher or lower than the amount they get during the other window (March). And most of all, if anyone else has just applied and wants to share their own acceptance/ rejection info as it comes in, that would be great!
I have a question, but first, this is my list for Fiction programs:1. Virginia2. NYU3. Hopkins4. Iowa5. Columbia College (not University)6. American 7. ArkansasNow, my question. Does anyone here have firsthand knowledge about the Arkansas program? I added it to my list at the suggestion of a friend, but it's still a mystery to me. Ellen Gilchrist is the only name I recognize on the faculty.
So I left a post on the other blog and you said to switch it over to here. So here is my original post:In poetry, I'm looking for a 3 year school (for the most part), in the Midwest (for the most part), with good funding made available by strong teaching opportunities (without question). Here's where I am (in no particular order):Washington @ St. LouisLSUIndianaAlabamaMichiganSouthern Illinois - CarbondaleMinnesotaPurdueWisconsinIllinoisVanderbiltMcNeese St.And then I need to cut this list down to 2 or 3:Univ of Missouri - St. LouisVirginia CommonwealthVirginia TechOld DominionOhio StateWest VirginiaNotre DameArkansasTeaching and funding are most important to me. Any thoughts on how to whittle down that second list? Or perhaps to trade out with some on the first list? I'm using the second list to cast my net a little wider and increase my chance of being accepted somewhere with good funding.Thanks,Clayton
Hi Seth,I'm reposting my list here in hopes of getting some feedback:Well, I wish I could just edit my last comment, but I wanted to post my new and improved list (poetry), put together after a whole lot of internet/library time.MichiganSyracuseVirginiaIrvineIowaASUU. of ArizonaNYUColorado StateSouthern IllinoisW. MichiganFlorida StateMarylandUNC WilmingtonOhio StateAny advice on where I could trim, in addition to my earlier question about the Impossibility of Irvine/the odds at University of Arizona? I'm aware, of course, of NYU's funding issues...but am very attached to the idea of Yusef Komunyakka, Sharon Olds, and Philip Levine.And...one last question...(sorry)...I've got an MA in English from Columbia. Do you think this could be a disadvantage of some kind I might need to address in my statements, and might it be especially unattractive to those programs with a heavy lit/theory component (like double dipping?) Any English MA's out there with experience applying to MFA's?
Hey Seth,Wonderful job you’re doing chronicling the MFA world. Keep up the fine work. I’m a little late to this strand, but I’d love to get your take. I’m still trimming down my list and would prefer to apply to about ten to twelve programs. Funding and location (SW, NW, Plains, NE, Mid-Atlantic / upper south) are key for me, followed by faculty. Anyways, on to the list. Thanks, Seth!IowaTexasMichiganAmherstHollinsMontanaUNC-GreensboroColorado StateUniversity of WashingtonNew HampshireNew MexicoArizonaVanderbiltWyomingBest, Greg
So my original list was not final. Here is my FINAL list, notice the capital letters. Applying in poetry for a 3-year (mostly), midwestern (mostly), fully-funded program made possible by strong teaching, and possibly editing, opportunities (definitely). In no order:Washington @ St. LouisLSUIndianaAlabamaArkansasSouthern Illinois - CarbondaleMinnesotaPurdueWisconsinIllinoisOld DominionMcNeese St.University of Missouri-St. LouisOhio StateVirginia CommonwealthI'm thinking this provides a mix of "prestigious" as well as less selective schools, some with large admitted classes. Thoughts?
has anyone heard anything about university of central florida?such a mystery...i have a void that needs to be filled by something.also, what southern schools excite people?
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