Sudhanshu Chopra

Universities for MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry)

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I'm an Indian national, with a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Engineering.

I'm interested in pursuing MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry). Since funds are a major concern for me, I want the course to be a fully funded one-- financial aid starting from the first semester itself. Also, I need to maximise my chances of selection; hence, I'm looking to apply to okay to decent schools where chances of converting the application are comparatively higher than top universities which take very very few students. I know I can build from a small start.

Hence, could you please suggest (out of the confounding number of schools) a few select names which satisfy these constraints of mine?

Any information in this regard would be extremely helpful.

Edited by Sudhanshu Chopra

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On 18/11/2016 at 0:33 AM, slouching said:

Basically any fully funded program is going to be quite selective. That being said, this might be a good starting point for you.

Hi, thanks for the response. I already had come across this list. But that's quite a long one too. I've been looking up from the options mentioned therein but still there's a lot of confusion. Could you filter out some more? I can really use all help.

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The thing is, if you're set on applying to fully funded programs, you kind of have to accept that there are no safety schools, that all your options are going to be really selective. It's why a lot of people looking for a fully funded MFA will apply to ten or more schools-- you'll probably have a difficult time finding a lot of fully funded programs with acceptance rates over ten percent. It might help, though, to do some research on "underrated" programs-- that should give you a sense of what options are out there if you want funding but are avoiding the well known, ultra-selective programs (Brown, Michener, etc.). You may also want to expand your search to include programs that offer full funding to many (but not all) students; if you apply, you run the risk of getting accepted without funding, but those places may be a little less selective, so there's that (Montana and UMass come to mind).

I'll also add that when applying to MFAs, you want to make sure you're choosing places that are a good fit for your needs and wants and the kind of work you're interested in doing. Look at faculty, program structure, course offerings, teaching responsibilities, etc. Knowing what you're looking for (beyond full funding) and only applying to places that make sense for you is super important-- not all MFAs are the same.

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One thing to keep in mind is that some programs fully-fund a large portion of their classes, but because they can't fund everyone they don't make these lists. EWU (Eastern Washington University in Spokane) is one of these programs. I know it isn't ideal that a school not fund everyone, but the funding opportunities they do have are really wonderful, and the cohorts are always super supportive and not competitive for funding at all. The program there is working super hard to become fully-funded, (right now they fund 75%) but are still under the radar because they don't make it onto these lists. I'd recommend scoping out a few schools like that, because you can still end up being fully-funded, and you have a better chance at getting in (I believe EWU is around an 11 percent acceptance rate) and you could also get opportunities to do more than just teach. They fund people to manage the lit mag (Willow Springs), the small press (Willow Springs Books), coordinate educational outreach programs/an annual literary festival (Get Lit!), work with Writers in the Community, (teaching outside the classroom), do technical writing, and teach both composition and literature (second year candidates can also teach creative writing). So, don't forget about the programs that are a bit under the radar, because they have a lot to offer, including full-funding for the majority of their students. I love the program so much I stayed in Spokane after graduation to keep working here. I can answer any questions anyone has about it! Good luck!

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