That such features are most assuredly a vital element of every graduate creative writing program does not and should not preclude the possibility of statistics-based quality assessment schemes operating alongside the primary mechanism programs have to introduce applicants to unique curricular features: their own websites and promotional material. By definition, programs bear primary responsibility for educating prospective applicants regarding program offerings, and no ranking system of any kind could or should usurp this responsibility—especially as no applicant applies to a program without first researching it.
Indeed, programs at all times have a captive audience of hundreds if not thousands for their online promotional materials. Those applicants polled for this ranking had access to individual program websites at all times before, during, and after their formation of a list of where they intended to apply. If an unquantifiable program feature of which a program is singularly proud does not lead to that program excelling in these rankings, it is neither because these rankings did not consider that feature nor because the applicants polled for these rankings did not.
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Instead, it is because that feature is less popular among applicants than it is among those program faculty and administrators who originally brainstormed and designed it. By polling current applicants rather than individual program faculties and administrators, the rankings ensure that the class of persons with the most say in these rankings is one that is likely to have recently accessed the very program websites that presumably prominently advertise those features of which programs are most proud.
Founded on August 21, , this website received approximately , unique visitors during the polling period, including approximately , page-loads, , first-time visitors, and , returning visitors. The Creative Writing MFA Blog is a free, public, lightly-moderated discussion blog whose only requirement for viewing is access to a computer; active participation on the board requires a Google account.
The site is run by American novelist Tom Kealey and a team of more than seventeen designated moderators, approximately five of whom are active at any one time. Kealey himself was not an active moderator during this period. Consequently, even those who conducted their MFA research via print publications were arguably likely to come across the web address for The Creative Writing MFA Blog during the course of their reading.
Indeed, as Kealey's book is the only print publication on the American or international market that profiles individual full-residency MFA programs in detail, it has become nearly ubiquitous in the MFA applicant community. As nearly all applicants to creative writing doctoral programs were once MFA applicants, a similarly high degree of familiarity with The Creative Writing MFA Blog may be presumed among this sub-community as well. Individual users on The Creative Writing MFA Blog were distinguished by their user accounts, and substantial additional measures were taken to prevent duplicate submissions.
During the polling period the number of individual accounts active on The Creative Writing MFA Blog was between 1, and 1,, which suggests that the present polling's person cohort represents between one-half and two-thirds of all active patrons on the site during the twelve-month polling period in question. Polled applicants were asked to list the programs to which they had applied or intended to apply, and were permitted to adjust these lists during the polling period. Fewer than 10 percent of poll respondents elected to do so. Period of Data Collection Only recently-collected data is of use to applicants.
Acceptance Rates at a Glance – Affording the MFA
These rankings use no polling data more than twelve months old for the full-residency rankings, and a four-year data-set for the newer, smaller-applicant-pool low-residency and doctoral rankings with breakouts provided, as to the low-residency rankings, for each year of data collection. By way of comparison, the U. The magazine uses three-year-old polling data for rankings in these seven fields of study: Criminology; Economics; English; History; Political Science; Psychology; and Sociology.
And the magazine uses two-year-old polling data for rankings in these seven fields of study: Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth Science; Mathematics; Physics; and Statistics. Of the thirty-five fields of study ranked by U. Ranking Questionnaires and Program Response Rates Graduate degree programs in creative writing respond to rankings-related inquiries at a lower rate than do programs in almost any other field of study in the United States.
This is one of several reasons these rankings do not seek to poll the opinions of program faculty and administrators as to the quality of peer programs. The following response rates were reported for questionnaires sent pursuant to the U. Respondent institutions in each of these academic fields were aware that their questionnaire responses would not be kept confidential, and that their participation in surveys sponsored by U. Every two years, the Association of Writers and Writing programs AWP sends a questionnaire to programs in the field of creative writing—a field whose administrators and faculty are no longer polled by U.
A crucial difference between the two questionnaires, however, is that the AWP questionnaire guarantees anonymity to it respondents; AWP releases no program-specific data or polling results pursuant to its biennial questionnaire. It is worth noting, too, that AWP estimates as of its Annual Report that 34 percent of programs in the field of creative writing have declined to become members of AWP.
These programs are not subject to AWP questionnaires. Specifically, 47 percent of programs declined to reveal how many assistantships they offered annually to incoming students, 61 percent declined to reveal the stipend offered to teaching assistants, 56 percent declined to reveal whether they offered a full-tuition waiver to teaching assistants, 49 percent declined to reveal how many scholarships were offered to incoming students, 55 percent declined to reveal their annual number of applicants, and 52 percent declined to reveal the size of their annual matriculating class.
Compounding the incompleteness of the AWP survey was the fact that the Association did not distinguish between low-residency and full-residency programs. Given that low-residency programs do not offer teaching assistantships as low-residency students are only on campus during brief residencies , this omission was a critical one.
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To the six questions cited above, an average of This would rank the field of creative writing thirtieth out of thirty-six recognized fields of academic study in institutional transparence. It is reasonable to assume that the AWP questionnaire would have received fewer responses than it did had it required of respondents, as did the U.
Consequently, it is fair to conclude that, were creative writing programs queried as other programs of study are annually queried, their combined response rate would rank last of any field of study available to graduate students in the United States. That the AWP questionnaire is proffered biennially by a nonprofit trade organization to its own constituents, whereas the U.
Program in Creative Writing
Avoidance of Respondent Bias The most extensive ranking system in the United States, the higher education rankings published annually by U. In fact, all of the program quality rankings published by U. As is the case with the methodology described above, national educational-institution assessment schemes have historically sought out unbiased observers to assess accredited degree programs, with self-reporting of interested observers implicitly or explicitly disallowed. Asked, "If you are a current creative writing MFA applicant, which of the following program features are among your top five reasons for choosing to apply to a particular program?
Reputation 61 percent 3. Location 59 percent 4.
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Faculty 50 percent 5. Teaching Opportunities 41 percent 6. Curriculum 28 percent 7. Cost of Living 23 percent 8. Despite the threat of financial hardship, MFA programs are bustling.
If Not an easy road, indeed. This was nine years after she got her MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University, and just one year before her memoir, Wild , debuted as a runaway best seller and was optioned by Reese Witherspoon to become an Oscar-winning film. If you decide to go down this road, this will be a stark reality. It takes a healthy imagination and a certain ego to be a good novelist, but those traits can also spell money trouble, MFA or not.
Unpaid bills and hunger are hardly conducive to creativity. How do you draw the line between self-actualization and self-sabotage? From a financial standpoint, these programs are a lousy investment of your money, in that your degree is very unlikely to return anything close to its dollar equivalent in postgraduate job opportunities. Teaching jobs are few and far between, too.
Nyu Creative Writing Mfa Acceptance Rate – 183107
She does subscribe to the belief that you should go big or go home, though. The good news about aiming for only top schools: Many of them are also the most well-funded, and provide opportunities to waive tuition entirely or at least reduce it through teaching fellowships. These coveted waivers are limited, but not always: Brown, Cornell, the University of Texas in Austin, the University of Virginia, and over 50 others waive tuition for every one of their students but most only accept between 8 and 12 per year.
According to one report , more than 70 percent of the top writing programs offer full funding to at least half of their students. Another option to explore is a low-residency program, which distills on-campus time into two-month intensive periods each summer so that students can work independently and hold full-time jobs for the remainder of the year.
Some of these programs, particularly at Bard and Bennington, generally cost less, too.