MA or MFA? What Do You Think?

I think it’s time for me to start thinking about going back to school.  Ok, I’ve really been thinking about it for a while, but now I’m getting restless and I want to start in the next few years.  But I have questions for you, readers!

 

There are two low-residency programs that I am interested in and I’m not sure which one I should pursue.  Both are at Fairleigh Dickinson University here in NJ and both focus on writing.  The first program is the Creative Writing and Literature for Educators MA.  It’s specially designed for teachers and focuses on the pedagogy of writing along with literature.  I love that it’s the first of its kind to focus specifically on high school teachers and I know it will be useful going forward.  I also know I will learn a lot and I will enjoy it.  The residency is very short, only requiring a weekend stint on campus followed by online work during the semester.

The other program that intrigues me is FDU’s new YA Concentration in their Creative Writing MFA.  The MFA program is obviously more focused on the craft of writing and specifically YA writing.  The faculty is awesome (Coe Booth!  Eliot Schrefer! Donna Freitas!).  It does require 3 10-day residencies, which can be split between the NJ campus and Wroxton, England.  I could not attend the Wroxton residencies because they take place n January, so that means I would have to do all three residencies in NJ, which would result in it taking me longer to graduate.  But it’s such an awesome program!

Seriously, can I combine the two programs?  I want to do a semester or so of the MFA workshops and all the pedagogy for the MA!

Any ideas? Advice?  I don’t plan to leave teaching and I certainly don’t plan to go into administration.  I do plan to continue writing, so both the MA and MFA would be valuable.  I think I know which way I am leaning, but I would love to hear from others.  I do know about some of the other low-residency MFA programs but FDU is close and much more convenient at this point in my life.  But if you know of a program that combines the best of the MFA and MA program, please feel free to let me know!

 

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4 Responses

  1. Whatever you decide, you will be great at it! Just don’t stop teaching–you have a gift.

  2. Just looking at practicalities (I’ve moved a lot during my teaching career)–will your district honor both Master’s degrees? I know that some districts will only honor coursework that is specific to teaching. Have you spoken to the graduate coordinator to discuss the possibility of combining the two? The worst he/she can say is, “No.” Go for it!

    • NJ is so weird about reimbursing for coursework now, so I’m worrying about that last. But it is on the list, no worries!

      So far no luck in combining them, but they haven’t said flat-out “no” yet. haha

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