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UHV creative writing program receives national ranking

A national website recently named the University of Houston-Victoria’s graduate creative writing program one of the top 20 in the nation based on the program’s quality and affordability.

OnlineMasters.com ranked the UHV School of Arts & Sciences Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing 13th in the nation, and gave the program special recognition for having the best technology support in the site’s 2019 Best Online Masters in Creative Writing Programs list.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“The MFA in creative writing program is an outstanding example of UHV’s excellent graduate offerings,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “This ranking is confirmation that our program is helping to shape the next generation of writers at a high level of excellence.”

The rankings were determined based on three factors that each made up a certain percentage of the program’s score. Affordability accounted for 20 percent of the score and looked at the average net cost of the program, such as tuition, textbooks and other enrollment costs, as well as the percent of students who took out loans and how many defaulted on loans. UHV’s annual graduate tuition for a Texas resident taking 18 hours is $6,154 for the 2018-2019 school year.

Another area considered in the ranking is the program’s academic quality. This portion makes up 40 percent of the score and looks at enrollment, retention and graduation rates; whether the program is offered online; and the faculty’s credentials and training. UHV’s overall enrollment for fall 2018 was 4,381 students.

Anthony Madrid

UHV’s creative writing faculty are published in many different genres and have a broad range of interests, said Anthony Madrid, director of the UHV MFA in creative writing program. Because of this, students are able to work and develop a rapport with faculty members who can identify with their work and mentor them in what are usually very personal expressions of their creativity.

“The best creative writing programs are built on an open-minded approach to helping students excel in the kind of writing they want to pursue,” Madrid said. “Our faculty take the time to work one-on-one with students to help them develop their skills so they can feed their passions.”

The third group of factors used to assess UHV’s program was student success, which constituted 40 percent of the ranking and looked at the school’s graduate reputation, student engagement through instructor accessibility, and student services and technology.

Because UHV’s program can be taken entirely online, students have many unique advantages, Madrid said. They can work toward their degree from remote locations, and it can be easier to give and receive constructive feedback through online workshops.

“Writing workshops often deal with content that is deeply personal to the writers,” he said. “At the same time, it is vitally important that students feel free to give and receive feedback to improve their work. An online workshop allows students the luxury of reviewing their own criticisms before they submit it to their fellow students.”

To learn more about the MFA in creative writing program, contact Madrid at madrida@uhv.edu. The application deadline for the spring 2019 semester is Jan. 3.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.