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In addition to courses in their genre of choice, students have the opportunity to explore others and supplement their learning with electives in other genres or artistic areas.As a Ph D student, you’ll receive a broader overview of your own writing within its contemporary literary context.*Since most enrolled students already have a Master’s you can easily enter into teaching at the Ph D level in Creative Writing.
When I got back to Tennessee post-conference, I dug around MFA program sites and came upon several universities also offering a Ph D in Creative Writing. Though this program has existed twenty-some odd years, there isn’t a lot of information out there, at least as far as a Google search goes.
To navigate the Creative Writing Ph D, it helps to examine it in relation to the ever-popular MFA.
Before you get too intimidated, many institutions allow you to reach this proficiency level while you study.
If your French and Spanish are still a little rusty, you’ve got five or some odd years to demonstrate your skills through a test or writing assignment.
Also, if you’re interested in translation work, many Ph D in Creative Writing programs encourage dissecting literary texts in other languages.
*Ph D programs provide ample opportunities to embrace your literary community. A lot of universities are affiliated with a nearby literary magazine. Bottom line is a Ph D gives you enough time to put down deep roots in your new city or town.
Perhaps in the next decade or two, there will be more fiction writers who choose to leave the “Dr.” off the covers of their first novels.
At the end of the day, a title-swathed education is all in what you make of it.
If you’re nervous about diving in headfirst to pedagogy, opt for a program that gives you a couple years to orient yourself before assigning teaching tasks (they’re out there! Granted, the teaching stipend isn’t much, it should cover living costs (depending on where you choose to study).
Consider it your 500£ a year à la Virginia Woolf’s famous advice.