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How to Know If You Are Ready for an MFA in Creative Writing

As the name suggests, an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing is a postgraduate degree that helps you develop the skills necessary for creative writing. While the title of this degree program might suggest you’ll only use your creative writing skills for writing fiction, this is far from true. Many well-known authors began their careers in creative writing, and many famous novels and short story collections were originally written for the screen. Thus, this degree opens up a lot of career opportunities for you, no matter what kind of fiction you prefer to write!

If you’re interested in pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing, then continue reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this exciting career opportunity.

The Value You’ll Derive From An MFA

Let’s assume you’re reading this article, so you’re probably already considering an MFA in Creative Writing. Chances are you’ve already got a solid background in literature, and you know the value of a college degree—particularly, a Bachelor’s degree in any field. What you might not know is how much your graduate education will actually pay off. That’s because most employers don’t factor in the cost of your graduate education when they evaluate your job application.

Consider the value that your graduate education is delivering you. Right now, you’re equipped with critical thinking, research, and creative writing skills that will serve you well in any field. Furthermore, your portfolio—which you’ve been building all along as part of your MFA studies—is full of compelling evidence that you’ll be a valuable asset to any company or organization.

In terms of financial compensation, you’ll need to look at both your personal and your parental salaries to get a clear picture of how much you’re likely to earn. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of April 2022, the average salary for a literary agent is about $24,000 per year. So, if you want to be a lit agent, you’re looking at a seven-year degree and you’ll need to have lots of letters after your name. Your personal salary as an MFA student will probably be about $12,000 per year, so you’ll need to find about a $12,000 gap per year between your tuition fees and your living expenses. If your parents can help out with this, even better.

The Requirements For An MFA In Creative Writing

Before you begin your search for a creative writing master’s degree, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. First and foremost, you’ll need to ensure you qualify for student loans. If you don’t, then you’re looking at a hefty debt that you’ll need to manage for the rest of your life. Second, you’ll need to find a school that meets your needs, both practically and academically. Third, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you’ll be learning during your studies. Finally, you’ll need to ensure you’re making the right choice. That’s a lot to think about!

Fortunately, there’s more good news. If you meet the criteria listed below, then congratulations, you have found the right school for you. Keep reading for more information.

US Credential

One of the first things you’ll need to do is gain admission to one of the US colleges or universities that offer the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. If you’re not sure where to start your search, then check out this list of the top-rated graduate schools for creative writing. You’ll find a lot of information about each of the schools, including their admission requirements, tuition fees, and job placement statistics. This information should give you a good idea of whether or not the school is right for you.

Non-Resident Alien

If you’re an international student looking to further your education in the United States, then you might need to apply for a non-resident alien (NRA) visa. The type of visa you’ll need will depend on your situation. If you’re studying at a publicly funded institution, then you might qualify for a student visa. Alternatively, if you’re a foreign student who doesn’t qualify for a student visa, then you might need to apply for an employment visa. The thing to remember is that you’ll need to prove to the United States government that you’ve got enough money to support yourself while you’re studying. That means you’ll need to find a reliable way to earn an income. Either find a job in your field of study or search for a paid internship in your field of study. The sooner you begin looking for a job, the better. While your studies are pending, you’ll probably be able to find a part-time job, but make sure you’re applying for the right positions. The last thing you want to do is land a job that doesn’t provide you with enough income to cover your basic needs. That’s why it’s so important to take your financial situation into consideration when applying for a job.

Degree Holder

In addition to US citizenship or residency, you’ll need to have a degree to qualify for an MFA in Creative Writing. There are several different types of degrees you can get that will enable you to qualify for this, but it’s important to find one that is relevant to your career goals. For example, if you want to become a fiction writer, then you’ll need to aim for a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing. As you can see, this is a rather general degree, and it will enable you to write whatever you want. However, if you want to write non-fiction, then you’ll need to tailor your studies to fit that goal. Once you’ve found a degree that is relevant to your career goals, the next step is to look at the preferred and least preferred graduate programs according to the School of Creative Writing at your selected university. This will help you find the right fit between your interests and capabilities. What we mean by that is, not all graduate programs are created equal. Some are better suited to your interests than others.

Honors And Awards

Many universities will also give you the opportunity to gain either an honorary or a professional degree. An honorary degree is given to those who have made substantial intellectual contributions to their field. An MFA in Creative Writing from a reputable university will almost certainly contain an honorary degree as part of your title. It isn’t mandatory to gain an honorary degree in order to get an MFA, but it doesn’t hurt.

Awards aren’t given in quite the same way as an honorary degree. They are given to those who have excelled in a specific field and have made substantial contributions to that field. However, awards aren’t given just to the famous and accomplished people. Every year, thousands of students achieve significant academic success and gain a position in an MBA program or a law firm because of their passion for their studies and their determination to succeed. These students don’t get recognized until they’ve completed their studies and gained relevant experience, but their achievements are just as noteworthy as those of the famous writers and artists who’ve trodden the same path before them.

If you want to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing, then continue reading about the various types of degrees and their requirements. Remember to apply for as many scholarships as possible and consider taking out some student loans if you need to. As you look to enter your graduate studies, then sit back and enjoy the ride. This will be a rewarding experience that will not only give you a fulfilling career but also enable you to shape the future of creative writing as we know it.