Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Musings: Prospective Ph.D Programs

As I was looking into MFA programs, I kept seeing the words "terminal" and "degree" which really made me think that I'd be done once I graduated. However, this time last year was the first time that I heard schools had Ph.Ds in Creative Writing. Since then, I've been going back and forth wondering if I wanted to go all the way and get a CW Ph.D, if I wanted to even things out and get a Ph.D in English, or if I just wanted to be done with school altogether.

Well...looks like I'm going all the way. At least, I'm going to try to.

I'm doing things differently this time around too. For undergrad, I had my sights set on UT (after first being told that I couldn't go out-of-state for school, then having more limits set on me). I moved to Austin and went to junior college with the hopes of transferring to UT...until my freshman year when I visited a friend at Texas State. I then reeeeaaaalllllyyyyyy wanted to go to Texas State. And (after another year at junior college) I did, for my B.A. and teaching certification. For my MFA, I looked into some places, but since I applied for spring admittance, I only applied to three schools. Two (Eastern Washington and Texas State) told me their programs were full for the year, but to reapply. Memphis accepted me, so I came here.

This time around, I'm really going to give every school the once over. My extended summer break gave me the time I needed to research schools. The schools themselves are pretty similar in what they teach and what they offer, so I started looking beyond to see what else they offered. I wanted a school with a Women and Gender Studies certificate or classes (been wanting to study that since undergrad, but haven't been able to), with Sigma Tau Delta (I make the grades; might as well enjoy the perks) a football team ( love for football is real), a campus radio station, and a campus paper. A couple of weekends ago, I also got to see on-campus or near-campus housing options for grad students or older students. Some of them have some a-may-zing choices and I'm taking that into account as well since I'd be living there for four years (I don't like to a kid, I went back and forth between mom and dad's places every two weeks for almost ten years. I like to stay put now.)

Some of my prospective schools were on a long ago written list of schools that I thought about going to in middle school. Funny how things come back around.

I know it's still too soon to have a front runner (though Houston may be calling my name since I'd be sooooo close to just about every single person I'm related to). A couple of schools have already made their way out for one reason or another (though I'm keeping an open mind. Just in case things work out, I'll add them back on.

Here are my prospective Ph.D. programs (loving the alliteration). They're in alphabetical order. 

American Schools: 

1. Georgia State University
2. Illinois State
3. Ohio University
4. Oklahoma State
5. Texas Tech
6. University of Denver
7. University of Georgia
8. University of Kansas
9. University of Houston
10. University of Memphis (doesn't have a Ph.D. in CW, but the individual option would allow me to take CW classes as a doctoral student)
11. University of Missouri
12. USC
13. University of Utah
14. University of Wisconsin

International Schools: 

1. Bat Spa University
2. Cardiff University
3. University College Cork
4. University College London
5. University of Calgary
6. University of Leicester

Next up is getting to tour as many of these schools as possible. I have about the next year or so to visit, retake my GRE (grade was good enough to get into an MFA program, but not a Ph.D program) and getting ready to apply to the schools still on my list in 9/2016.

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