As adults consider mid-career changes and continue working long past what used to be considered retirement age, MA and MFA programs receive enrollment applications from parents with grown children and from grandparents, as well. Lori A. She explains that the low-residency model — which requires travel to campus for about 10 days twice a year — offers students the ability to stay in their current city and in their current job — perfect for those who need an independent academic schedule.
She advises prospective students to research the workload required by each program, and pay attention to location. May tells students to embrace the experience of being a student. So get out there and mingle with agents and editors, grab a drink with mentors and peers, and enjoy the immersive experience. She tells MFA students to attend all public readings and get to know classmates at social events. I felt that it would make me a better writer.
Graville had taken in-person and online workshops with Washington author Ana Maria Spagna, whom she found to be an excellent teacher and a good fit for her own work. What she found was a community of writers ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s, encouraging and friendly and fun. Younger folks have a great deal to teach as well. I never felt that age was an issue. Still, she found the MFA experience humbling.
I was a beginner again in a lot of ways. Graville hoped to earn her degree by the time she turned Theoretically, the program took two years, but most students found themselves completing it in three.
She completed two classes a semester while still working part time as a nurse and wrote while commuting by ferry to her workplace. She adapted as many MFA writing assignments as possible to work on the manuscript. In addition to prose classes, she took poetry. Her favorite part of each residency was the student readings, held in the mirrored dining room of the inn in which the MFA classes took place.
There was laughter and wild applause and hooting and hollering. During the MFA program, Graville and her classmates learned how to pitch short and book-length pieces for publication.
She advises potential MFA students to be very clear about what they want out of a particular program. And be open, because it may change. She urges people over 50 to get comfortable with their age. Mark Shavin spent over 35 years as a journalist, mostly in TV newsrooms. He was 59 when he enrolled in the low-residency MFA program in narrative nonfiction at the University of Georgia. He had no interest in retiring but no longer wanted to work in television. It sets a good example for them to see their dad changing up his life and doing something new.
Rather than being in a constant, frantic deadline, you have to really close down on your writing. The positive affirmations, he says, must come from within.
Therefore, when it comes to ranking MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree programs in creative writing (a concept which varies from school to. Here are the twenty-five best Master of Fine Arts programs in the country. The School of the Arts at Columbia offers both a MFA in creative writing (with.
Students read eight books a semester, write papers on each book, and submit creative writing projects. Classmates and instructors discuss the books in person or via conference calls. Mentors point you toward very fine writing that you might not discover on your own. He tells people over 50 who might be contemplating an advanced degree in creative writing to go for it.
But instead of going to college right out of high school, she moved to Eugene, Oregon, and worked for Burley Design Cooperative, a worker-owned co-op that produced bicycles and apparel. She earned her undergraduate degree at age 41 with two of her three kids still in high school. You went and stayed in a dorm room and ate on campus. We had study hall every night, and it was awesome — a ton of work, but it was time just for me. Who knows. In any event, it makes the list, and while it may not be this grouping's strongest entrant, by all accounts it deserves to be here.
New Mexico State University. For now, we'll take these students at their word.
Certainly, the program gives all the signs of hosting a lively literary community, and that's reflected in its slow creep up the national rankings currently As with Minnesota State, it's certainly not the strongest program on this list, but it's nevertheless worth watching. North Carolina State University. Rumor has it that NCSU will soon become part of what's become a national trend among MFA programs: only admitting students who can be fully funded through grants, fellowships, or assistantships, and thereby becoming a "fully funded program" under the current national assessment scheme via the back door.
Well, why not? If the rumor's true, you're looking at a possible Top 50 program in the years ahead it's already Top 30 in selectivity, and just outside the Honorable Mention category of the national rankings. Poet Dorianne Laux is the star of the faculty here. Northern Michigan University. A tiny program in the scenic UP that funds surprisingly well.
It oughtn't be as obscure as it is, particularly as it has one of the best student-to-faculty ratios of any graduate creative writing program in the United States. As with so many -- in fact, far too many -- MFA programs, NMU's website reveals little significant information about the program and thereby does it and its applicants no favors. But the sense in the creative writing community is that something good is happening here.
Ohio State University. Nobody can explain why this program isn't Top 25 -- perhaps even Top 20 -- every year. Sure, it's already popular, but it remains half as popular as it should be.
Three years in an AIER-rated Top 15 "mid-size metro" with a strong faculty, a reasonable teaching load, and a vibrant university community deserves a close look from any serious MFA applicant. Oklahoma State University. The prospect of living in Stillwater won't set many eyes agog or causes many hearts to flutter, but the fact remains that the Okies don't currently crack the Top , and they certainly should. Lots of full funding packages are available, there's a creative writing doctoral program at the university along with the MFA -- meaning, by and large, a higher quality workshop experience than one might otherwise expect -- and yet almost no one applies.
That should change. Oregon State University. With all the attention paid to the University of Oregon's fully funded MFA program, the fully funded program at Oregon State somehow gets overlooked. Corvallis isn't Eugene, sure, but the fact remains that OSU ranks just outside the Top 50 in poetry, just outside the Top 25 in nonfiction, in the Top 40 for placement, and in the Top 50 for selectivity. There's just no reason not to apply. Temple University.
Attention poets: Temple has an MFA program. Philadelphia has long been one of the great cities for American poets to live in, and now that Temple has transformed from a non-terminal MA to a terminal MFA, it's suddenly worth a second look. Is it still a program in transition? But it's also ranked th nationally, so the fact that it has a way to go is part and parcel of it appearing on this list.
The faculty here is amazing, even if the funding is not or not yet -- though it's said that it's much better for poets than for fiction-writers, in keeping with the program's strong ties to the Philadelphia poetry community. University of Alaska at Fairbanks. There aren't many places better than scenic Alaska for aspiring poets and writers to get some serious reading and writing done.
University of Arkansas. With Ohio State, University of Arkansas is one of two current Top 50 programs to make this list and for the record, University of Nevada at Las Vegas was quite nearly the third. This is a four-year, fully funded program in a nice college town, and it offers literary translation as well as poetry and fiction tracks.
It's in the top tier in practically any measure you'd care to name, and yet it cannot -- cannot -- seem to crack the national Top 30, which is especially odd given that a similarly long, similarly well-funded southern program University of Alabama has been impossible to dislodge from the Top 20 for years now. The difference between the two programs isn't great enough to explain the ranking difference. More poets and fiction-writers should apply here, it's that simple.
University of California at Riverside. Trying to get funding information on California MFA programs requires more than a little detective work. UCR is rumored to fund many of its students well; only the program's webmaster knows for sure, however, and he's not telling. Whatever the truth of the matter, a few things are for certain: the program offers five genres of study; it wisely requires rather than merely encourages cross-genre work; the faculty is excellent; and the fact that the university has an undergraduate creative writing major the only one in California tells you how committed the entire university is to creative writing.
University of Central Florida. Recently named one of the nation's biggest party schools, and why not? It's in Orlando, so there's more than just the weather to celebrate -- Disney World is only a short car-trip away. But locale aside, who knew that UCF fully funds nearly all its incoming students?
The faculty roster may not boast many superstars, but neither do most other programs' faculties, and ultimately it's the quality of teaching that matters, not public acclaim for professors' writing. If you want to attend a large, vibrant university in the midst of a large, vibrant, warm-weather city -- and be fully funded in the bargain -- UCF is for you. It's no coincidence that four programs on this list are located in Florida; MFA applicants consistently under-apply to Florida programs even University of Florida, a Top 25 program overall and certainly the best MFA program in the state, receives only half the applications it should.
University of Kansas. What was said last year still applies: this now-Honorable-Mention program offers three years of well-funded creative writing study, and KU is one of the few U. University of Miami. Knocking on the door of the Top 50 in all categories of assessment, Miami will someday soon make the leap to the Top 50 and stay there. It's a great university in a great city, and it deserves -- and has -- a great, well-funded MFA program. If you're looking for a fully-funded-for-all MFA experience in a big city and there are only around five such experiences available nationally , you've found your place.
University of New Orleans.