Frequently Asked Questions About the Rankings Additional Rankings of Full-Residencies I have three main objections to Seth Abramson's so-called rankings, but I'll address only two of those objections here: ***** 1) Seth has defended these rankings based, in part, on the "reasonable" assumption that prospective MFA applicants have seriously researched a number of MFA programs (he hasn't, as far as I'm aware, said what that number is).
Without offering any empirical evidence about the prospective MFA students who respond to his blog site, he has no choice but to make an assumption about those respondents--no choice, anyway, if we're to take the "rankings" as being at all accurate.
I know for certain that some people won't post comments about anything you've said or written for the same reason I nearly didn't.
***** Speaking of graciousness: There's something magnanimous about stepping back and allowing people to publicly disagree with your frequent and widely disseminated writings without your repeatedly defending yourself.
I have no problem with his method as long as he calls it, in this publication and elsewhere, what it essentially is: an informal poll.
He has admitted that it's an "unscientific poll," yet he persists in calling them "rankings." Why? ) ***** Poets & Writers, of course, could change the terminology, and I believe that continuing to call them rankings is misleading.(I wonder how many people actually read the extraordinarily long-winded explanation of the "methods" behind this supposed ranking system?I've read shorter "methods" sections in legitimate scientific journal articles.) ***** 2) He also persists in referring to this poll as "the national rankings." When he listed the program where I earned my MFA as one of the "top twenty-five underrated" programs (along with the University of Florida!(What other national rankings could he be referring to? My program was in the top twenty on that list.) ***** I'll admit that I hope I don't get a lengthy response from Seth; if it's not a scientific poll, then there's no need for him to defend his top-50 list's validity; after all, validity--at least in the statistical sense-- doesn't apply to this method.***** Finally, a concern I have: ***** In the first year that Seth listed "selectivity" for programs, my program (the University of Arkansas) was in his twenty "most selective" programs (Iowa didn't quite make it). Our most recent coverage of MFA programs is available in the September/October 2017 issue, including 2018 MFA Index: A Guide to More Than 200 Programs.In it, we offer a look at 153 full-residency programs and 59 low-residency programs, sorted alphabetically by region.(no data available) indicates teaching load is unknown, Light (an average of two courses or fewer to teach per academic year), Average (an average of three courses to teach per academic year), Heavy (an average of four courses or more to teach per academic year); GRE Required: * (GRE scores required of applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0), ** (GRE subject test is also preferred or required), *** (scores required only from applicants seeking funding); Cross-genre: (genre availability may be limited by program).Read more information about the methodology used to determine the rankings and check out the rankings of the remaining eighty-one full-residency MFA programs.But if it HAS, I hope that's not because of this poll.I know from observation that many MFA applicants do only superficial research into MFA programs, and that many of them would love nothing more than for someone else to do that "research" for them.