Creative Nonfiction Graduate ProgramsGraduate programs in creative non-fiction
Top 25 underestimated Creative MFA programs (2011-2012)
Twenty-five programs below finance a significant proportion of arriving college graduates, but still get less recognition from candidates than they merit. While they are not - or not yet - among the best creative MFA programs in the United States, candidates who wish to offset an entry shortlist of high-level, high-selection programs should also consider some of the participants on the following list:
FL. While Tallahassee receives a lot of criticism and some are concerned that the programme has become too big for his own good, it is three years of full financing at a college with not only an MFA in creative authoring, but also a first-class Ph. D. in creative authoring (currently in second place nationwide). While it may not merit being a top 20 nominee in the NMSF ranks, its recent case in this year's yet-to-be-published ranks (to #72) is entirely unjustified.
University of Georgia & Georgia College. This whole operation here creates a warmer atmosphere, and why not: it's a well-financed, tightly-knit programme that's been going under the air for years. But now it is within reach (nine places) of an honorary mentions ranking in the upcoming nationwide MFA ranking, and it really merits taking the leap to the next leve.
It would be a better country programme for the South, which you would be difficult to find. The Iowa State University. Things were said last year, the review, especially with the routine that makes the leap to honorary mentioning status in the statewide ranks this year: the mystery is almost out of the pouch on Iowa State, and what is not to like?
There are three fully financed years in one of AIER's top five collegiate cities (PDF) in a programme for which only a few are applying. The Minnesota State University in Mankato. It is a programme of which one hears good things over and over again, even if one is not quite sure why. Perhaps it's the feeling that this is a welcoming, welcoming programme.
Anyway, she makes the roll, and although she may not be the biggest participant in this group, she merits to be here. of New Mexico State University. NMSU's programme has just relaunched a website and hopes that this website will soon contain more information about the high number of full financing packs (approximately 60% of receiving students) offered by the present NMSU undergraduates.
At the moment we take these pupils at their word. No. Certainly the programme gives all the indications of a vibrant literature fellowship, and this is mirrored in its gradual rise in nationwide ranks (currently #82). Like Minnesota State, it's certainly not the most powerful channel on this schedule, but it's still something to see.
The North Carolina State University. Rumours are that the NCSU will soon become part of a nationwide MFA programme trend: only those who can be fully financed through scholarships, scholarships or assistant positions will become a "fully financed programme" under the present nationwide evaluation system through the back doors.
When the rumour is correct, look at a possible Top 50 programme in the coming years (it is already Top 30 in terms of selection and just outside the honored mentions column of nationwide rankings). North Michigan University. This is a small programme in the UP, which is well-funded. This should not be as arcane as it is, especially since it has one of the best student-to-faculty relationships of all creative composition programs in the United States.
Like so many - far too many - NMU programs, there is little meaningful information about the programs on the NMU website and does him (and his applicants) no favours. The point of the creative group is that something good happens here. State University. No one can say why this programme is not in the top 25 every year - perhaps even in the top 20.
Three-year in an AIER-rated top 15 mid-size meetro with a powerful department, a decent teacher and a lively academic fellowship deserve a closer look from every serious MFA candidate. Each year OSU is outside the top 25 (especially in poetry), something is not right with the nation's MFA image.
State Oklahoma School. There are many full support programs, there is a creative PhD programme at the college together with the MIT - which on the whole means a higher qualitatively valuable classroom teaching environment than you would otherwise have expected - and yet almost nobody is valid. State Oregon Universtity. And with all the attentiveness that will be paid both to the Universtity of Oregon's fully financed Oregon International Finance Programme, the fully financed programme at Oregon State is somehow getting oversigh.
Corvalallis is not Eugene, for sure, but the fact is that OSU just outside the top 50 arranges in poetics, just outside the top 25 in the article, the top 40 for placing and the top 50 for selectivity. 2. The Temple University. The Temple has an MFA programme. But is it still a programme in flux?
Sure, but it is also in number 109 nationwide, so the fact that it has a way to go is part of that which appears on this itinerary. This is astonishing, even if the financing is not (or not yet) - though it is said that it is much better for poet than for literary, in accordance with the program's close bond with the Philadelphia poetic community. Here, the school is astonishing.
Alaska University in Fairbanks. Over 30% of arriving MFA undergraduates can count on receiving a scholarship in this three-year programme, in supplement to accessing multi-genre classes and single-genre workhops in four rather than two genres: literature, poetics, creative non-fiction and drama. There''s not many better places than picturesque Alaska for up and coming poet and writer to seriously read and write.
The University of Arkansas. Arkansas University is one of two top 50 present programs with Ohio State to make this listing (and for the record, the University of Nevada near Las Vegas was quite nearly the third). It is a four-year, fully financed programme in a beautiful university city, offering literature translations as well as poems and literature.
It is in the top row in virtually any degree that you would be interested to call, and yet it can't - can't - seem to break the top 30 statewide, which is particularly uneven, given that a similarly long, similarly well-funded south program (University of Alabama) has been impossibly to remove from the top 20 for years now.
There is not enough distinction between the two programs to account for the differences in rank. Riverside University of California. Attempting to obtain financial information about California's MFA programs takes more than a little investigative work. There are rumors that many of his college graduates are well funded by OCR, but only the programme master knows for sure, and he doesn't say so.
Irrespective of the reality, a few things are certain: the programme provides five different types of studies; it (wisely) does not only require the promotion of cross-genre work; the department is outstanding; and the fact that the college has a bachelor's degree in creative literacy (the only one in California) will tell you how much the whole college is dedicated to creative literacy.
Central Florida High School. Who knew, however, that UCF fully financed almost all of its arriving undergraduates? It may not be that the list of schools boasts many super stars, but it does not include most other schools, and at the end of the day it is the excellence of education that counts, not the recognition of the authors. UCF is the right place for you if you want to visit a large, lively and lively college in the middle of a large, lively, welcoming town.
It is no accident that four programs are on this shortlist in Florida; applying for MFAs are consequently placed among the Florida programs (even the University of Florida, a top 25 total and certainly the best MBA in the state, only gets half of the programs it should). Kansas University. As was said last year, it still holds true today: This programme provides three years of in-depth creative literacy studies, and the KU is one of the few US colleges that takes care of creative literacy enough to receive both a Ph. D. and an MD.
Miami Universtity. It is a great college in a great town and it earns - and has - a great, well-financed MBA programme. of New Orleans College. A lot of our undergraduates are fully financed, you can take lessons in screenplay and dramaturgy as well as poetics and literature, and there are literary programs in Europe and Mexico.
Texas Polytechnic in Austin[Department of English]. That is the other MFA programme at the Universiy of Texas. While the Michener Center is already one of the best known and most select programs in America, what many don't know is that the MFA of the University's English Department is also fully - albeit less generous - financed and its Michener and student side workshops.
Sooner or later in the next 24 to 36 month, you can hope that this programme will break the top 50, but at the moment it is still a jewel in the air. There is no other US institution (except the School of Iowa, which provides both the Writers' Workshop and the Nonfiction Writing Program) that has two different and independent MFA programs, although the main differences between Iowa and Texas are that both Iowa programs are unbelievably select.
Utah University. In 1996, the Utah Creative Authoring Programme was voted among the top 20 nationwide, mainly due to a creative authoring promotion programme that still places among the top 10. It' s a puzzle why the MFA programme in Utah (now in 115th place) is not more common, as almost a third of the arriving college graduates are fully financed, everyone comes to the workshops with some of the best creative Ph. D. candidates in the classroom and Salt Lake City is a startlingly beautiful (and amazingly progressive) place to stay to be.
University of Virginia Commonwealth. The VCU has been in the top 50 for years - it matters the year - but in a fair environment it would look outwards. Thankfully, it has nothing to do with the floodlight that recently gleamed on Richmond through the success of two of its colleges basketball programs (VCU made the final four in 2011 and University of Richmond the sweet 16).
No. What is going on here is that a three-year, well-financed programme is being missed in a medium-sized subway (according to AIER). It should be a multi-year Top 50 programme, and one day it will be. West Michigan University. The Kalamazoo is a bigger and livelier university city than many think, and now that the MFA programme at WMU only wants to accept full funding candidates (similar to the state of North Carolina, above), the Bronco application seems reasonable.
Like some other programs on this schedule (Florida State, Utah, and, to a lesser degree, Oklahoma State) student in West Michigan to hold workshops with some of the nation's most gifted MFA alumni - the creative composition PhD programs at the college is classified among the top-ben national.
WorldMU knocks on the doors of an honorary mentions ranking in nationwide league tables, and if it goes out into the open with its full financing scheme, it will reach that ranking and perhaps even more - a top 50 ranking. West-Virginia University. They have been cautious about their financing in the past, but the reports are that the financing is really magnificent and that the programme's yearly candidate pool swollen.
It would be difficult to say that the programme should be rated much higher than it is - it makes the top 60 in the coming nationwide ranks - but there is still not as much talk about it as one would like. State University. Wichita State University. Perhaps best known for being the place where Albert Goldbarth is teaching, the Graduate Creative Publishing Programme has seen a surge in the ranking, from just outside the Top 100 to just within the Top 80.
There is still relatively little contest for VAS admittance, a genuine astonishment considering that this is a well-financed three-year programme with a low workload. Other than the University of Arkansas and Ohio State, all these programs must devote much more effort to their advertising material to make the leap from this ranking to the larger: the top 50 nationwide ranks, as released by Poets & Writers.
Candidates for these (and really all) programs need to know exactly how many percent of arriving college graduates get the equivalents of a full exemption from university fees and a viable scholarship, as well as some harsh information about how selectively their targeted programs are. Till that happens, most of these programmes are still wrongly underestimated and not rightly rated high.
And not for nothing, almost all of these programs (with some remarkable exceptions): Iowa State, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon State, University of Arkansas, University of Miami and University of Texas at Austin, all fully-financed programs ) could do with even full-financing packages for arriving students. a... This is the second year in which this report has been drawn up for those who are including.
You can find last year's schedule here. Do not hesitate to comment on these and other programs in the commentaries below. NOTICE: San Diego State University and Florida Atlantic University were also added to this listing in an older release of the paper. The eligibility dates for these programmes are still under examination to see whether they will be reintegrated into the programme shortlist in the future].
Seth Abramson, a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the writer of two volumes of poems, entitled Northers ( "Western Michigan University Press, 2011), the 2010 Green Rose Prize and The Suburban Ecstasies ( "Ghost Road Press," 2009). He is currently a PhD student in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the upcoming third issue of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook (Continuum, 2012).