August 31, 2011 Every fall, Poets & Writers magazine releases a comprehensive listing of the fifty best (and most applied-to) M.F.A. programs in the nation. The rankings depend on factors like the quality of the faculty, available funding, fellowship and job-placement opportunities, and selectivity. The issue also includes information about each school’s application fee, teaching load, and the surrounding area’s cost of living. Two related articles list twenty-five honorable-mention M.F.A. programs and the top fifteen doctoral programs in creative writing. Something all three lists have in common this year is recognition of Tennessee’s writing talent at Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Vanderbilt comes in at number fifteen in the M.F.A. rankings overall, and (for the second year in a row) at the absolute top of the heap—number one—in selectivity. The University of Memphis ranks eleventh in the list of twenty-five honorable mention M.F.A. programs. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is number fifteen in doctoral programs overall, and is ranked fifth for funding.
For more updates on Tennessee authors, please visit Chapter 16’s News & Notes page, here.