Once you have completed an undergraduate degree, you can consider a graduate program and apply for graduate school. Many English majors and others enthusiastic about and talented in writing choose to apply for a creative writing MFA program, which helps the student hone creative writing skills and learn the best way to approach the publishing world. When choosing a creative writing MFA program, it is important to consider a few important aspects of each program: cost, location, instructors, available services, and accreditation. It is important to research each creative writing MFA program you are considering to find out who teaches the courses, how the courses are taught, and whether the focus of each program will help you improve your writing.
The first step in choosing the best creative writing MFA program is to decide what type of writing you want to focus on. MFA programs will require that you choose a particular writing style or genre; for example, you may choose to study poetry, or you may be better suited to studying fiction. Some creative writing MFA program offerings will allow you to focus on a particular genre of fiction, such as horror, science fiction, or historical fiction. Decide which field you are interested in and research programs that are strong in that area.
Determining whether the program is strong in that area is a matter of researching the creative writing MFA program as well as talking with former or current students, finding out which instructors are teaching the course, and taking note of published authors who have attended the program. The instructors of such programs are often published authors themselves, so be sure to note what type of writing the instructors do, where they have been published, and what specific courses they teach within the program. If possible, speak with current and former students of the program to gauge their reactions to the program, as well as its usefulness once the degree is complete.
Some MFA programs in creative writing are designed to allow the students to live in a location far from the school. This is done by offering a low-residency option, in which students travel to the school for week long or two-week long seminars on writing. Once the seminar is over, students can submit work in a distance learning capacity. This cuts down on living costs for someone who would otherwise have to move to attend the school, and it makes earning the degree part-time a possibility.