Monday, January 05, 2009

Question about UCLA Extention

From "E"...

I'm looking for any insights/opinions on the UCLA Extension Writer's Program Certificate in Creative Writing.

http://www2.uclaextension.edu/writers/detail.php?sID=certprog

It's not an MFA, but I'm considering enrolling in the program to take a few classes and get my bearings. I graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2007 and have always wanted to pursue an advanced degree in creative writing (narrative non-fiction ideally). I'm just a bit lost at the moment as to what I'm doing with my life, and I'd like to relocate to the LA area because I have some entertainment-industry connections I'd like to pursue.

Do you (or any readers) think that taking classes towards a certificate would be a good idea, or a waste of time? The benefits in my mind would be that I could be living in Los Angeles, have loans to(hopefully) live off of, be meeting people in the biz, and taking writing classes all the time. As I wouldn't have to do the whole GRE and application process I could begin right away, which is also an advantage as I get laid off of my "real world" job in a few months. Any word on the UCLA certificate program and if it has a good reputation?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

8 comments:

Tim said...

I'm a middle school English teacher in the L.A. area, now applying for MFA programs, and I have taken one creative writing course through UCLA Extension. I found it very helpful, and my instructor was excellent, but do keep in mind that UCLA-X doesn't provide the level of attention and intensity of instruction that you would enjoy in an MFA program. I'd be happy to discuss UCLA-X more specifically over email if you have any other questions. -Tim mr.timschlosser@gmail.com

Shana said...

I don't know anything about the UCLA program, but I did a year-long certificate program in writing at UW a few years back. While definitely not a replacement for an MFA, it was a great way to stay motivated/keep writing in the course of busy work life. It inspired me to push forward to the MFA and helped get me started on a number of pieces. However, the program at UCLA looks more time/$$-intensive than the one I did, so I'm not sure I'd see it as worth it over an MFA...

dee said...
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dee said...

I dont know anything about UCLA either, however, you'd be surprised at how many universities dont take the GRE into account during the application process. There are a substanial amount of schools that don't require them. You should check them out. In the mean time take some workshops to get you started in the process.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

E, I've taken several online classes in memoir and screenwriting through UCLA Extension. I recommend it highly, especially for your transition phase between independent writing and possibly entering a full-blown MFA program. UCLA Extension was a great way for me to get near-anonymous feedback from others. The writing deadlines were also helpful at times.

-Tim (same name, different guy)

Daniel said...

Hi, This is Daniel, an advisor at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. Tim said it pretty well above me but I thought I'd add a few words.
The certificate provides you with an affordable, low-pressure environment to prepare you for an MFA or just gives you with a more structured path to follow as you improve your writing. There’s no application process and you are eligible for benefits such as free one-day workshops and a manuscript consultation when your certificate is complete. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at dasanchez@uclaextension.edu.

e. moya said...

I took one class at the extension center with Les Plesko and greatly enjoyed it. I do think it would be good to take a few classes but I know they are pricey. I would prob stick to an MFA versus the certificate but that is just my personal opinion.