Shortest MFA in Creative Writing? Low Distance OK.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Afterhours, May 1, 2014.

  1. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    Yes I am still vacillating about what masters degree to peruse first.

    Are there any that can be completed in less than 2 years?

    Must be regionally accredited and be connected to a B and M school.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You're better off looking for an MA than an MFA if you want to finish that fast, since the MFA is a terminal degree is thus is more comprehensive by design.
  3. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    And one that is very easy to get into, and does not require too much writing, j/k. :smoker:

    That is a very tall order fill. Most, if not all, MFA programs are three years in length. I believe National University offers a two year MFA program. NU is RA, and has several campuses throughout California. Here is the link to their MFA program:

    National University's MFA: Creative Writing Program.
  4. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    I agree with Steve, if you want a shorter program then the MA is the way to go. You will find plenty of professional writing programs that are shorter than MFA programs. Here are three to get you started.

    NYU, MS Professional Writing.

    Chatham University, MA Professional Writing (disclosure: I'm an alumnus).

    New England College, MA Professional Writing.
  5. Psydoc

    Psydoc New Member

    WNMU to the list - 36 hours but you can do 18 in Writing and 18 in Literature. Inexpensive and very student friendly. The degree is the MAIS (Master of Arts in Interdiscplinary Studies) and I have the degree.
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  7. major56

    major56 Active Member

  8. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

  9. Michael

    Michael Member

    Lindenwood University. I'm in the program now. You can take two courses per quarter and be done in two years. I'm only taking one course per quarter because in my public school teaching job, I'm working about 60 hours a week. I can finish in about three years; I have nine transfer hours from Adams State College.

    Also, if you are age 55 or older, you get a 50% tuition discount, making this the least expensive MFA I know of.

    Curriculum | Lindenwood University Online |

    Also, Univ. of Arkansas-Monticello has a new MFA; tuition is very reasonable. They are on a semester system.

    University of Arkansas at Monticello
  10. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

    I have that degree too and there is no way that degree is equivalent to an MFA. This isn't to imply it's a bad program but the intention of the MAIS and the intention of a MFA are entirely different. The MAIS is designed to do exactly what it says: interdisciplinary. An MFA in Writing is specialized and focused degree.

    OP: You should not, in my view, chose a program based upon how quickly you can get it. Chose the program that fits what you want to learn. An MA and MFA are not the same degree.
  11. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    Thank you for all of your responses. Linden wood University sounds interesting because I recently made the age cut off for lowered tuition.

    I did request information about a program that was not terribly demanding because I've been out of college for quite some time and I have not written professionally for two decades. My body of work is scanty at this point, and admittedly my writing needs work. I kind of see this as my last chance in life to produce a full length manuscript of publishable quality. I am also interested in working as an adjunct at one of the many community colleges and sleepy commuter schools that surround my home. All hire MFA grads to teach comp and creative writing.

    The only thing that I expect out of the college is that it is RA, and not proprietary. My undergraduate college is ranked "highly selective", so I feel I have the prestige factor covered.

    I'm also interested in ease of admission, because I do not know of anyone from my undergraduate days who would be around - literally, to write me a letter of recommendation. Additionally, being in a cohort group with a class of sharp, recent grads is a bit daunting.
    ISO a more laid back program. I'd prefer to be a big fish in a small pond that the other way around.
  12. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

  13. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    I see no percentage in the pursuit of an MA, when an MFA is available.
  14. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    An MFA by definition is approximately 60 semester hours, in contrast to an MA which is typically 30 to 39 in most subjects (excluding certain professions). That's why the customary schedule for an MFA runs for 2 years or more. "Shorten" an MFA beyond a certain point, and it's an MA.

    If it has to last less than 2 years and it has to be an MFA, you might look for programs on the basis of their allowing a much heavier than full-time course load.
  15. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

    The Lindenwood University MFA that he mentioned is 48 hours which means that if one takes 12 credit hours each semester one could theoretically be done in two years.

    Lindenwood University - Online Programs - MFA - Writing

    And if over 60 for the 50% off I also think its a great deal; that comes out to roughly 11K for a full MFA from a RA university.

    So 11K for a two year MFA is nothing to sneeze at.
  16. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    Does anyone have any experience with Pine Manor College? It has a two tear MFA.
  17. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    That is not the only basis upon which I will chose a program. However there are some 2 year programs and some 3 year programs. Givern the choice, I will choose the former.

    jumbodog, I agree with you. I am not seeking an MA or an MLS, but an MFA. An MFA is not the equivalent to an MFA. The MFA is a terminal degree, just for starters.
  18. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected. Now that I'm looking for 48 semester hour MFAs I'm seeing others, from regionally accredited schools in the US.

    I was heavily influenced in my thinking by requirements from specialized accrediting agencies in fine arts that MFAs be 60 degrees. But there isn't a specialized accrediting agency for MFAs in creative writing.

    However, here's a highly cautionary statement [pdf] from one of those specialized accreditors, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), speaking to an issue that should apply outside the field of theatre too:

    I believe the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) also holds a 60 semester hour standard.

    So if higher education teaching could be in your future, consider the possibility that a 'short' MFA, of less than 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours), might not be treated as a terminal degree, or might not otherwise be treated on a par with 'standard' MFAs.

    Btw, the phrase "many tragic cases" is exceptionally dramatic for a consumer disclosure statement from an accrediting agency. I guess we should expect this to come from the theatre people… :tragedy:
  19. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

    Interesting, I did not know that so I learned something new to today. However, given that fact I'm not sure that "tragedy" is an overstatement. Most universities require a minimum amount of time working at the school before tenure is available (usually 3-5 years) and some schools tenure is a one-time proposition--either you get granted tenure or you are gone. So if someone has spent 5-7 years of their life working towards a goal only to find out that they can't get tenure because they have an inferior degree that certainly is a kick in the face. Worse, they likely will have to start the process all over again at a new school. That's rough. No wonder they specialized accrediting agency is saying better safe than sorry.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That depends on the goal. If the amount of practice and mentoring you'd get from an MA in Creative Writing (which I expect would be rather a lot) would be enough to bring you to the level of proficiency you desire, then paying more and taking longer would seem like a worse investment, not a better one.

    I'd think the main advantage of an MFA would be for the potential for it opening more teaching doors later, since it's a terminal degree. But there's a lot of iffiness in there.

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