5 Reasons People Choose MA and MfA programs
Start writing a post

I Wondered What The Point Of An MA/MFA Was, But Now I Think I Know

It's not just to sit, create, and gaze soulfully into the distance, but it is partially that.

I Wondered What The Point Of An MA/MFA Was, But Now I Think I Know
Photo by Ian Williams on Unsplash

Anyone in an MA or MFA program gets the same question, usually accompanied by a puzzled expression: What do you plan to do with that?

It is true that a degree is not needed to be an artist, writer, or musician, but that is not necessarily a good reason to not pursue an MA or MFA.

From what I have talked about with those on my MA Creative Writing program, each student has their reasons to pursue a degree so frowned upon in academia and among family and friends. These are those reasons.

1. To improve in their craft.


Some may think a Master-level arts degree to be a little self-indulgent and to some extent, it is. However, students do not enroll in these programs because they are the best writers ever. On the contrary, all they may have is their passion for what they do. Some students come in never having published, while others may have been published somewhere, anywhere.

2. To make connections.


While some may call this "networking" I like to this of it in more personal terms. Studying in a creative community forges connections with professors and classmates that won't soon fall away. Particularly in my small classes and with my involvement in the university's and the city's community, I'm in a good place to connect with other creative people, which could lead to future opportunities and projects that I would not encounter otherwise.

3. To affirm their passions.


This comes as a result of the two above and may not be the case with everyone, but some people see arts programs as a way of dedicating time and investing into something they feel they may be able to do. The time that a student spends in one of these programs may be pivotal to their success, and it is a success they make for themselves, outside of others' expectations.

4. To have the option to teach.


Creators and writers usually take up a day job to supplement their typically lower incomes. While some may reach the point that they don't require a "normal" job, it does not happen for everyone, and it may not happen quickly. However, a writer or artist will be hard-pressed to find a decent job in teaching if they do not have at least a Master's-level degree. Plus, as I've experienced with some of my own classmates, some of them do genuinely want to teach and build up others.

5. To learn.


Yes, who would've thought? Going to a university Master's program involves learning, even when a portion of the work consists of things that you make up. Since being in my own program, I've learned much about the applications and types of writing that exist and what I'm capable of. I take my interests much more seriously now than I did at any point in the past, and the future looks bright.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments