Friday, January 30, 2009

MFA Faculty Forum I

[NB: See here for more information about what this is].

Participants (11) *

Julianna Baggott
Florida State University
Poetry Faculty/Director

Mary Biddinger
Poetry Faculty/Director

Diana J. Joseph
Minnesota State University at Mankato
Fiction Faculty

Terry Kennedy
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Associate Director

Marty Lammon
Georgia College & State University
Poetry and Creative Nonfiction Faculty/Director

Fred Leebron
Queens University of Charlotte
Fiction Faculty/Director

Erika Meitner
Virginia Tech University
Poetry Faculty

Dinty W. Moore
Ohio University
Nonfiction Faculty/Director

Porter Shreve
Purdue University
Fiction Faculty/Director

Sue Silverman
Vermont College
Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Faculty

Sandi Wisenberg
Northwestern University
Creative Nonfiction Faculty/Co-Director

* Current MFA faculty who are not listed here are nevertheless invited to join in the conversation. Please make sure you provide your name, university, and genre in your first post.


1. The comment-field below is intended only for faculty. The reason for this is two-fold: first, the questions for the faculty have been pre-selected, and we want to avoid a free-for-all in which applicants overwhelm faculty members with new questions; second, we want the thread to be easy for blog-users to navigate, which it won't be if it's hard to distinguish between faculty-posters and applicant-posters. Faculty should of course feel free to engage one another as well as the questions posed.

2. The faculty have been invited to answer whichever questions they choose. A large pool of questions has been provided, so it's by no means expected that faculty members will answer every question posed. We're grateful for any and all responses faculty are able to give, and invite the faculty to come back to this thread as often as they like to answer questions (as we expect this thread, and all of the Forums, will be archived and read/re-read many times by current and future applicants).

3. Questions have been stream-lined, as sometimes the same question was submitted in several slightly varying forms. While most of the questions in this first Forum are geared specifically toward the application process, it's expected that, as time goes on, more of the questions will be oriented toward the actual "in-program" MFA experience. The questions below are ordered roughly from most-asked to least-asked.

Questions for Discussion

1. What is your program's process for reviewing applications?

2. Is there any common application mistake which, in itself, would preclude an application from being accepted?

3. Is there anything else, besides the writing sample, that can really set an applicant out from the pack and significantly affect his/her chances of admission?

4. On average, what percentage of applicants find themselves seriously in contention for admission?

5. In reading applications, do you try to "balance" your program? Meaning, do you simply choose the best of the best, or do you look at the existing class and weigh how people will interact with one another? Do you want writers of different skill levels and ages? How much of the admissions process involves finding matches for particular professors' aesthetics? How does diversity factor into the decision process?

6. What do most people do the year after they graduate from your program?

7. What are you looking for in a writing sample? For instance, is raw talent preferred over present polish, or vice versa?

8. How are students prepared for their teaching assistantships, and (in your experience) do these assistantships ever become so time-consuming they impact students' ability/time to write?

9. How much time do faculty members commit to students in your program? How would you describe the relationship/dynamic between faculty and students?

10. What makes for a good workshopper, versus a not-so-good one?

11. What are some of the most common writing mistakes or faults in both applicants' and first-year MFA students' work? If you could impart some wisdom to someone who's at one of these two stages, what would it be?

12. What do you think is the best feature of your program? What would you most like to change, or are you hoping to change, about your program?

[NB: On behalf of the blog and its users, I'd just like to thank all the faculty members for participating!].


Julianna Baggott said...

1. We're in the beginning of the process right now. We went online this year which changes our process, but not the heart of it.

The first part of the process requires us to look at the students who've applied for the University fellowships. If you're awarded a fellowship from the University, you're automatically in the program and so admissions begins here.

So that would be a tip: Read the web sites. Look at all of the fellowships and scholarships available and make sure you've applied to those your eligible for.

We've choosen our admissions teams -- fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. (We are probably typical in that we get the highest number of fiction, the closely followed by poetry, with only a few -- but growing -- number of creative nonfiction applications.)
Poets read poetry applications, fiction writers read fiction ...

Each person looks at the whole file, reads the portfolio, and ranks the applicant on a scale of 1 to 5. We then look at all of those scores and make a new tier.

At this point there's a lot of discussion. We agonize. We're also finding out how many TAs we have to offer -- this is a number that changes in terms of each incoming class and is based on things beyond us.

We agonize some more and discuss, and finally, we make our choices.

Julianna Baggott said...

7. I won't speak for all of those on our admissions teams, but I'm looking for talent, yes, a freshness of seeing, a facility with language, the markings of a strong emerging writer -- a certain synaptic energy...

But, too, the one thing that is very much in your control is polish. You may not have mastered all the aspects of the story/poem/essay, but you certainly can find a grammarian -- someone with a vicious pen -- who's willing to read it for you. Even if you are very strong in proofing, your own eyes will get blurry when it comes to your own work. Typos in the first sentence? That's not a good sign.

All of that said, if the ending's not right or I see ambition that isn't yet met by ability, I don't really worry about it. We know you're coming here to learn, so that kind of polish isn't going to be there yet.

Diana said...

In our program, the fiction faculty read fiction applicants; the poets read the poetry; nonfiction faculty read nonfiction.

When it comes to reading applications, I can only speak for what I like to see.

I don’t expect the writing sample to be perfect (what story is? I’ve always loved what Philip Caputo says in his preface to A RUMOR OF WAR: The best any writer can hope for is an acceptable level of failure.) What I’m looking for is a writer who has a strong voice, some understanding of craft, and something to say.

In response to #3, an applicant’s personal statement/letter has a big impact on me. I’m not crazy about the bland-sounding ones, letters that have a generic voice, boring letters, letters that are obviously slapped together at the last minute. Sometimes, the writing sample may not be as strong, but the letter shows such passion and commitment and personality – I get such a sense of who the writer is – that I can’t resist. I’ll move that applicant to my "Yes" pile. I don’t think the applicant has to be accomplished and complete already; the applicant just needs to show that he or she is open and excited about learning.

In response to #6, last year’s graduates from our program are writing and publishing; working for a nonprofit; teaching (some are adjuncts while others landed full time work); and a couple are now students in Creative Writing Phd programs. We have a Kudos page where we list faculty and student—both current and alumni—publications and professional achievements. You can find it here:

dinty_w said...

First off, let me say that we are a horse of a different color -- Ohio University has an MA and PhD in creative writing (all three genres) but not an MFA. The OU admission process is similar, however, with the fiction faculty reading fiction applicants, the poets reading the poetry, and the nonfiction faculty reading nonfiction. We’ll start reading probably next week.

We have a small program at the PhD level, admitting usually one student per genre per year. The MA program admits up to two or three per genre. As every graduate creative writing director will likely agree, the writing sample is of foremost importance, and to agree with Diana Joseph (see above), “What I’m looking for is a writer who has a strong voice, some understanding of craft, and something to say.” That last part is of particular importance. For me, energy trumps perfection every time. Is there a typo in your manuscript? Don’t worry too much. Is your manuscript flat, predictable, generic? Now that’s a problem. I am also keenly interested in the applicant’s statement of purpose: why do you want the degree, what do you want to write or explore during your two-year MA or 5-year PhD period?

What do our students do the first year after their degree? Our MA graduates most often move on to an MFA program or a PhD program, and we are proud of our placement success at that level. Our PhD graduates have been highly successful at finding good academic positions, though some stay here in Athens an extra year expanding their teaching experience under our post-doc funding.

The best feature of our program? The students. Serious students make for serious workshops and serious progress for the writers. Of course, I think our faculty are excellent as well.

Dinty W. Moore
Ohio University
Nonfiction Faculty/Director

Terry L. Kennedy said...

1. We start reviewing applications in early January--generally a couple of weeks before school starts.

Our process begins with the writing samples. Poets read poetry, fiction writers read fiction. Each writing sample is given a rank from 0 to 7 and then passed on to Jim Clark, the director of our program.

Jim reads through the rest of file, paying close attention to letters of recommendation. We have a small program with a strong community and finding students that will succeed in this particular place is important us. People who have spent time here are often good judges on this account. For this reason, we're always on the lookout for letters of rec from alumni, former colleagues, visiting writers, etc.

At this point, there's a lot of discussion. We e-mail applicants, we call applicants, we put current students in touch, we discuss some more.

Throughout all of this, we're trying to find out how many tuition waivers we'll have, how much fellowship money, how many TAs, etc. The number of tuition waivers we're allocated by the University, to a point, determines the size of the class we'll be accepting. Some years we're able to bring in as many as 16 new students (8 poets/ 8 fictions writers), some years as few as 8.

There's more discussion, more e-mails, more phone calls until, finally, we make our decisions.

Porter said...

Thanks, Seth and Tom, for all you do for MFA applicants, current students and post-MFA travelers. For now, I’m happy to help demystify the admissions process, and perhaps later, after others have weighed in, I’ll get to a couple additional questions.

We’ve been reading applications off and on since December, but now that our TA deadline has passed we’re reading every day just to try to keep up. Based on what I’ve seen thus far we’re looking at record numbers and one of the most talented pools of applicants I’ve come across at the four schools where I’ve served on admissions: the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and here at Purdue.

A bit about our process: fiction and poetry are evaluated separately. Consistent with the national average we tend to receive twice as many fiction applications than poetry. On the fiction side, each of the four faculty members reads and scores each application individually, then we meet as a group on a series of days in January to come up with overall scores and to arrive at our top 20 or so candidates. Each of the top 20 is then evaluated by the Director of Composition, because here at Purdue all of our graduate students are fully funded with generous stipends through Teaching Assistantships, and over the course of their three years our TAs teach both Creative Writing and Comp courses.

We begin contacting our top candidates one at a time, between February and April. Those who don’t hear from us early could still be among our very top choices; sometimes the Composition evaluation causes delays, and sometimes we lose prospectives to peer programs and turn to people high on our waitlist. Because we only offer four spots in each genre we have the good fortune of knowing that every student who ultimately enrolls will be writing at a very high level. The most excruciating part of the process is that we often have to turn away 10-20 talented writers who deserve to be in a top program.

What I’m looking for when I pick up an application is anything that can’t be taught. This includes voice, energy, compelling subject matter, the mysterious combination of elements that keeps my eyes moving down the page. I’m not looking so much for plot or even three-dimensional characterization; these are issues that often come up in workshop or thesis and can always be improved upon. Language and rhythm are important, but I don’t expect realized symbols or exquisitely constructed metaphors. I want to get the sense that the writer is a keen observer of the world and has a good sense of how people think and behave.

On the issue of raw versus cooked, rough versus polished, I agree with Dinty that “energy trumps perfection,” but like Julianna I raise an eyebrow when I see too many typos and misspellings and agree with her advice that applicants should recruit a friend to help with proofreading. When I come across too many sentences like “The air seemed so still; it was the clam before the storm,” I find myself questioning the applicant’s ambition and desire. Most writers I know are blessed (or cursed?) with a combination of talent, sticktoitiveness, drive and stubborn, obsessive perfectionism. They can’t help themselves, in other words, from going through each manuscript line by line, to make sure that every word is right.

Erika M. said...

One of the things that I think is interesting about these admissions questions is that some of them presume that a committee has a monolithic approach to applications. One of the neat things to me about being part of the MFA faculty at Virginia Tech is that we're all wildly different personalities with diverse writing styles. As a result, the way we each approach evaluating the applications tends to be very different, and usually there's much (healthy) debate that occurs as we come to a consensus about our top candidates.

On questions 1, 2, and 3, for me personally, I tend to be a "package" reader. We read the applications electronically, which means we have easy access to all parts of the application. While I'll always read the writing sample first to see if I'm drawn in, I'm also a huge fan of the personal statement. It lets me know that the applicant can form full and compelling sentences (not always obvious from a poetry sample) and gives me information about a candidate's life experiences (which often gives me an inkling about whether or not they'll make a good instructor too, as all our accepted students are guaranteed TA positions). Alternately, I have colleagues who only look at the writing sample.

I completely agree with Julianna--I have a very hard time getting past multiple grammar errors in application materials. I also read through the recommendation letters and transcripts, though I don't weight these so much. They help me get a better sense of a candidate as an actual person though, and not just a disembodied writing sample. In addition, as a committee, we do phone or Skype interviews with our top candidates to get a better sense of them as people before we accept anyone.

On #7, I'm looking for energy in the writing I read--duende, voice, someone with something to say. I can teach craft, but I can't give someone compelling content.

In terms of #4, since we're a new program (we just graduated our first class last spring), and our application numbers have increased significantly each year since we've started the MFA program, it's difficult to answer percentage questions.

Erika Meitner
Virginia Tech
MFA Faculty (poetry)

marybid said...

Hello everyone!

These comments are fascinating, and I wanted to chime in. Like Erika's program, mine (the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts) is relatively new: over ten years in the planning stage, but now in its fourth year of operations. We are also unique because we are a consortium, so our MFA program includes the faculty (and MFA students) of Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and my home institution, the University of Akron. Right now we're in a transition period as the directorship of our program rotates from Kent to Akron for a three-year term.

I'll be quite honest in saying that the statement of purpose can be a huge detractor when considering a student application. Like Erika, I tend to be a "package" reader, but the document that most frequently takes the wind out of my sails is the statement of purpose. I would discourage applicants from making grandiose claims about what they'll do with the degree (a cushy 1:1 teaching load--all creative writing--immediately upon receiving the diploma, etc), and from spending time deliberating about the exact moment they decided to become writers, unless it's somehow intrinsic to the work. Knowing that you wanted to be a writer the minute you emerged from the womb is much less relevant than getting a sense of your current interests as a writer, and as a reader.

I would encourage statement of purpose writers to "be themselves" as much as possible, while maintaining a sense of audience, of course. The best statements work in tandem with the writing samples, leaving readers with a lasting overall impression. Students are often surprised when I meet them for the first time and remember some detail from their statement, but the good ones are quite memorable.

Regarding #2, I would have to say that blatant disregard for the guidelines can be very problematic. This includes things like sending the materials to the wrong place (and not sending them to the right place after being contacted), submitting a multi-genre portfolio even though we require single-genre, going over the page length, and other things of that nature. I'm also surprised and concerned when applicants don't choose wisely when asking for letters of recommendation. Of course it's good to get a sense of an applicant's personality, but in most cases letters from peers, pastors, and work supervisors aren't able to fortify the application in the same way that a letter from an in-discipline faculty mentor would. I read the letters very carefully, though the writing sample is of paramount importance.

Finally, in response to #8, the NEOMFA students through UA tend to do a rotation in their assistantships, which includes time in the composition classroom (the preparation for which comes in a practicum course), in the writing lab, and in an editorial capacity at the University of Akron Press. Teaching Assistants teach one class per semester, and students in other positions spend 20 hours per week. I've found that this rotation, which usually happens every year (so one year at the Press, one year in the classroom, etc), helps prevent burnout. Many of our students teach creative writing as part of an internship, so instead of having the full obligations of the class they teach alongside a faculty member, and receive degree credit for their work.

I hope to come back and answer more soon. Thanks to Seth for putting this form together, and to all of the faculty members for their thoughts!

Mary Biddinger
MFA Faculty: Poetry
Incoming Director
NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Sue Silverman said...

I teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts, a low-residency MFA program, which offers poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The applications are first received online via our website directly to the MFA office, on the VCFA campus, which logs them in and scans them.

Then, for example, let’s say there’s an application in fiction. Either two or three faculty members in that genre receive a PDF file of the application (from the MFA office) that includes a sheet of basic personal information, letters of recommendation, an application essay, a critical piece of writing, as well as the creative work.

Each faculty member who reviews any given application then writes up a report, a kind of narrative assessment as to the applicant’s strengths and weakness, along with a recommendation as to whether the applicant should be accepted or not.

Like Julianna, when I read applications, I’m concerned when I see spelling and grammar mistakes sprinkled throughout. That said, I am easily swayed by a piece that has such a compelling voice I can’t put it down. And voice, to me—that originality of sound—usually trumps most else.

Even if a piece has a major structural flaw, say, I’d still recommend admission because I figure things like structure can be more easily taught than imagination or creativity. I agree with Porter, then, that I mainly look for the things that can’t be taught.

In creative nonfiction I ask myself: Is the person writing the essay because s/he has to write it? Or, are they writing it “simply” because the event the essay depicts happened to them? In fiction, too, is it a story that must be written? That sense of urgency and energy, as evidenced by an evocative voice, should always be on the page.

Like Diane, though, I’ve also been enormously swayed by a truly compelling admission letter or statement as to what writing means to the applicant. I’ve had tears in my eyes, at times, reading what writers have sacrificed to become writers, to apply to graduate school. Yes, the writing sample still needs to be urgent, but, as I say, I have been swayed. The letters of recommendation mean the least to me, and are never a final deciding factor.

Sue William Silverman
Prose Faculty
Vermont College of Fine Arts

Cancer Bitch said...

This is Sandi Wisenberg, co-director of the MA/MFA program at Northwestern. The MA started in 2003, and the MFA in 2008.

1. NU is on the quarter system and we admit students every quarter, in quarterly admissions meetings. Participants are the two co-directors (Reginald Gibbons and me), someone from admissions, and our assistant dean. Reg and I pay the most attention to the writing sample and critical essay. Reg is a poet who also writes prose, and I’m a prose writer who also writes poetry. The others comment on grades and resume. All of us comment on the personal statement and also talk about the "package."

2. The worst thing you can do is submit writing that is trite, shallow, unoriginal. Or maybe the worst is applying in a genre that we don't teach. We have three tracks: fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Creative nonfiction applicants need to make sure that their samples are works of creative nonfiction--memoir, travel writing, meditation, literary journalism, personal essay, an opinion piece that rises about the daily op-ed page, a review that is a work of art itself.

3. We get mediocre personal statements. We would like to have a clearly written, perfectly grammatical statement that tells us what the applicant is reading (titles, authors) and what s/he has learned from the reading as a writer. Everyone tells us they love writing. That’s a given. The tone should be informal, using the same voice as you might use in a personal essay, but it shouldn’t be overly casual. The required critical paper (a reading of some aspect of a literary work, such as theme, historical background and so on) could make a student stand out, too. We accept craft papers (a close study of an aspect of the craft of writing in a major literary work, such as character developmont, metaphor, diction, etc.), too, instead of the critical papers.

4. We admit about half our applicants, though it depends on the batch. Sometimes we admit a much smaller percentage. We don’t have quotas; if someone writes well and shows promise, we will find a place for him/her.

5. We don't have a particular "school" of writing that we espouse. We choose the best writers. All of our faculty is committed to helping students become the best writers they can be.

6. Most of our graduates keep working their day jobs. (This is a part-time program at night.) Some teach in area colleges and others publish books, such as Richard Baer, author of
Switching Time. Another graduate, Claire Zulkey, will have a YA novel out soon from Penguin.

7. In the writing sample we look for a spark, passion--evidence that this is a story that the writer must tell. We look for fresh descriptive powers, a fresh articulation of feeling and thought, unusually engaging material, a demonstrated understanding of nuances. If the work has some promise, but if it’s too rough, if there’s no shape at all, we would reject the candidate.

9. Students work closely with faculty on their theses, and also can sign up for independent studies with faculty and faculty mentors. (Faculty mentors don’t teach classes, but are available for independent studies and thesis work. They include Brock Clarke, Cris Mazza, Brenda Miller, Angela Jackson, Marya Hornbacher.) Students may take several classes with the same professor. Our workshops are capped at 12, so they’re small communities. Our program is known for being supportive. That said, we have rigorous standards, and are honest in our critiques.

10. Students in many workshops are required to make comments on the page, and to type a critique of the work. A good workshopper thinks about what the story/poem/essay is about, and is able to describe the story (it employs a distant first-person, the setting operates as a character, etc.). They respect the work, are able to talk about what’s working in the piece, as well as what’s not working. They accept the donnee of the piece. The good workshopper is democratic, and doesn’t need to make all the smart comments.
A not-so-good one thinks only about what’s wrong with the piece and how s/he would write it.

11. The most common problem in prose is shallowness. Many applicants and beginning students don’t mine the possibilities of the piece. Go deeper. Sometimes that means doing research.

12. The best feature is our faculty, such as Stuart Dybek, Aleksandar Hemon, Simone Muench, Alex Kotlowitz, Brian Bouldrey, Ed Roberson, Mary Kinzie, John Keene, Reg Gibbons, Naeem Murr.

Sue Silverman said...

I’d also like to talk a bit about question #9 (how much time faculty members commit to students, as well as the dynamic between faculty and students) as it relates to the low-residency MFA program—at least where I teach—at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Part of our program is comprised of a twice-a-year, ten-day residency. These ten days are packed with readings, workshops, craft lectures, visiting writers, etc.—pretty much morning, noon, and night—so faculty and students are together much of the time. We also eat together in the cafeteria and hang out together between readings and events.

Our program is run very democratically. There is much informal interaction between faculty and students in order to create a comfortable community of writers.

Generally, I’d say that VCFA is rigorous academically, while, at the same time, nurturing toward our students.

We also tend to attract a wide and diverse range of students, from all over the country, and even overseas. Some of our students are of traditional age, right out of college, while others have established professions in other fields, but have decided, a bit later in life, to pursue writing more formally and vigorously. Since we only have to be on campus twice a year, our students can maintain full-time jobs.

The other main component of the program is, of course, the semester work. Each faculty member generally works with 5 students per semester. Students switch their faculty mentor each semester in order to be able to experience a wide aesthetic range.

Once a month, for five months, each student sends a packet to their mentor, comprised of their creative work as well as some critical work based on their month’s reading.

As I read the student’s work, I line edit and make notes in the margins. Then, I write a cover letter that’s usually about 5 or so single-spaced typed pages. Here, I’ll either elaborate on some of the line edits and/or delve more deeply into craft issues with which the student might be struggling.

Of course, I also note areas where the student excels, as my own teaching philosophy is that we, as writers, learn from what we’re doing right as well as learn from those areas that aren’t, as yet, as accomplished.

Each student, then, gets a great deal of one-on-one time with their particular faculty member. I’ve been able to work through an entire draft of a memoir or novel (or collection of essays or short stories) during just one semester with a student.

On our website, (click on “MFA in Writing”), you can see a statement of each faculty member’s “teaching philosophy.” Generally speaking, we aren’t looking for just one voice, aesthetic, style, or vision. We’re most interesting in helping each student fully develop and realize his or her own voice and aesthetic.

Sue William Silverman
Vermont College of Fine Arts
Prose Faculty Advisor

Martin Lammon said...

From: Martin (Marty) Lammon
Georgia College & State University
MFA Program Director (poetry, creative nonfiction)

First, let me say to all students who have applied to our program (deadline was Feb 1), we are reviewing applications now, as quickly as we can. The timing of this year's AWP (where we were a major sponsor) in Chicago, Feb 11-15, has put us behind a bit. So please be patient. If you are a student thinking about applying next year, please visit our web site for detailed information, photos, and ways to contact our current students:

Responses to some questions:

#3: The writing sample is most important; be sure to send your best work (quality, not quantity, matters). Perhaps what some students forget is that the statement of purpose essay (other MFA programs use different names, but basically, it's the same in most applications)also reflects a) your writing and b) your interest in the particular program to which you are applying. As a program director, I can always tell who is submitting a "form" essay to ten schools (perhaps adding a program's "name" where appropriate) and who is really writing a statement directed specifically to our (or anyone's) program. So take those short essays seriously!

#5. Most programs seek to balance genres, and at GCSU, we offer the thesis option in all four: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. We couldn't, for example, admit 7 fiction writers and only 1 writer in each of the other three genres. I suspect this is the main "balance" that programs look for. Otherwise, it's about the writing sample.

#7. MFA programs, like other graduate programs, are designed for people who have already demonstrated significant talent for that graduate degree's course of study. You don't go to an MFA program to start from scratch, so a "raw" talent would have to be pretty impressive. That said, if by "polished" we mean "well-made" (but devoid of spirit), well, that won't fly either. Mainly, I just want to make the point that MFA programs are not the place to start learning how to write (I really do receive a lot of inquiries from people who never really studied writing before in any way but want to get started in an MFA program).

#8. Two years ago, we addressed this issue in several ways. Already, our students were taking two pedagogy classes to help them prepare to be better teachers (one in Comp & Lit, and the other "Teaching Creative Writing," as most of our students also have that opportunity, too). But we started out as only a two year program. Now, students with an undergraduate degree are in a 3-year program. The first year is front loaded with course work (5 classes, 2/3 or 3/2 per semester) and no teaching. Years 2 and 3, students take only one class + thesis hours, providing much more time for both teaching and writing the thesis. Most students teach 2 courses per semester (although some have other duties; again, see our web site for details).

That's all I have time for now, but I'll try to write again later. Meanwhile, again, if you applied to GCSU, thank you, and we will try to get to you in March as soon as possible.

Take care!

GCSU MFA Director

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