No, This Skeleton Did Not Prep for the GRE: On Applying to Grad School in English


It’s the spookiest time of year: You know, when undergraduates are trying to decide whether or not they should pursue graduate studies. At Kansas State, we have an M.A. program, and we’ve done a lot to make sure that our grad students receive financial support (most of our graduate students are also GTAs), opportunities for intellectual growth (M.A. students at K-State present their work in all kinds of local and national conferences), and the emotional and educational wherewithal to succeed (our Director of Graduate Studies Anne Longmuir is all-around good people), so, sure, we don’t think we’re that scary, but it’s a tough decision to apply to any program—and not one that should be taken lightly. Given all of that, we’ve tried to compile some online advice here, everything from pep talks to cautionary tales.

Some of the tips that K-State professors give to students interested in pursuing an M.F.A. or Ph.D. in creative writing:

What 35 people with graduate degrees said to

Thomas Hart Benton’s (yep, it’s a pen name) famous advice from The Chronicle of Higher Education: Do not apply! Do not pass Go!

Some “gentler” advice, also from The Chronicle:

A good breakdown on the differences between degrees and some applicant to-dos from Professor Linda Troost at Washington & Jefferson College:

And finally, The New Yorker weighs in on “To go, or not to go?”:

Dan Hoyt, Associate Professor


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