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UChicago's MAPH in Creative Writing VS. an MA in English at TTU

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Hi, so here's the deal. I got accepted into UChicago's MAPH in Creative Writing with a scholarship of $12000  (of course, it isn't really much keeping  in mind the total tuition for the program.) I've also been accepted into an MA in English program with a creative writing concentration at Texas Tech University, which offers me a teaching stipend. The program at Texas Tech is decent (plus cheaper) and I've spoken to a few current graduate students and honestly, I was mentally prepared that I'd be accepting their offer. However, I didn't really expect UChicago to accept me. Naturally, I'm quite star-struck, well, because... University of Chicago. I've seen several opinions about this program but I just want to know what people's thoughts are about it anyway. Is the short length of the program an advantage or disadvantage? Is a two-year MA from a somewhat less reputed university better or worse than a nine-month program from a well-reputed one? Is the insane cost of an MAPH worth it? 


Edited by Ayvid_13

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Hi! I'm a current MAPH student and had a similar choice to yours about a year ago. I applied for classics and had the choice of Texas Tech, KU, and UChicago. We obviously see which I chose. Your question naturally has a lot of components, and I don't think any of them have a straightforward answer, but I'll try!

Length: I think a nine month MA is neither inherently an advantage or a disadvantage. On the one hand, you will be done faster and have that degree ready for whatever job/doctoral program you apply to in the future. On the other hand, a second year may benefit you in some way, perhaps having a more flushed out portfolio.

Cost: Tech is by far the cheaper option. The real reason I chose UChicago, or rather the reason I was able to, was the size of my scholarship and the fact that there is a Two Year Language option. The TLO offers $5,000 in summer funding and pays for 90% of tuition the second year.

Differences: I cannot speak to differences concerning how heavily an institution or program is considered since I'm not the one reading the application, but I think the general consensus is that the name has a huge impact. But I also encourage you to think about what is beneficial for you as a person, not a future applicant. What are your future plans? MAPH definitely has it's focus on the thesis, while Tech's MA has a teaching component. Would you rather go to your next stage in life saying you now have this piece of writing you spent months on, or saying that you have teaching experience?

My Choice: The reason I chose is because of the incredible sense of community I saw during campus days, which you sadly won't get to experience. I am incredibly happy with my decision and love it here. But it is expensive. Is it worth the cost? If you're paying full-ticket price, probably not. But between TLO funding and my scholarship, I'm only paying 30% of that price. If you are interested in learning a language, I think doing the TLO would for sure make it worth it, but you would have to place into at least intermediate level of that language, which I didn't know about until I got here.

But yes, I am very happy with where I am right now. If you come here, you'll see me and maybe my best friend, who also applied in creative writing. Feel free to contact me for whatever else you would like to know! You can also email a current student here: https://maph.uchicago.edu/apply/email-current-student and the representative for creative writing is of course the only one I don't know on this page. But they'd be happy to answer questions! As well as the MAPH mentors and staff. I'd love to be notified of your decision! Best of luck! 

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