I registered for my next semester of courses for the MFA this morning. One term in, I’m starting to get a feel for the flow of the curriculum design as a Low-Residency program. The course runs three years which is one year longer than the average. For most of those three years, students register for around 10 credit hours. Three of those are the accounting for the Residency week. Five of those cover the “Term Writing Project.” Any remaining hours go towards the “Academic” classes (RIG courses are 2 hours, but others may be 3… haven’t spent that much time looking at that level).
The encouraged progression of classes involves the three RIG classes being taken over the first terms. I thought about challenging that, and taking something else, when it hit me. The first part of the program is best served by actually writing the novel [the most intense part of the process], and reading a lot should help with balancing (nay, even contribute to) the writing process. Then, when the more challenging academic classes start hitting, the student should be getting into the revision stages.
Granted, revisions are no cakewalk themselves, but as the addage goes it’s easier to fix what’s on the paper when there’s actually words on the page and not blank.
So, for anyone else that’s looking into the program, there’s a hint as to the structure you can expect during registration.