Last time I posted here on the blog was right before I started grad school. The fact that I am just now posting again, at the end, is a pretty good indication of how busy my MFA Ceramics program kept me. I have never been so busy, or worked so intensely, in my entire life. Earning my MFA was a trial by fire . . . an all-encompassing project that demanded every last second of my time.
Was it worth it? Did all of the figurative AND literal blood, sweat and tears shed upon this crazy project amount to anything?
My MFA program at Indiana University Bloomington changed my life. I expected to come into school and learn some things. What I ended up doing was completely transforming as a person and an artist. I feel like I was smashed up, melted into a molten liquid, and ultimately reshaped into a tougher, smarter, and more confident version of myself. I feel . . . sharpened, if that makes any sense at all. I’m incredibly grateful to the program, and everyone I met during my time there.
Your blog posts about researching MFA programs for ceramics are so helpful as I am just now beginning my own research. I am an art teacher and went to undergrad for Art Education; however, my passion is ceramics. Something I am a little stressed about is how to pay for grad school without taking any loans- have you taught intro classes or worked as a tech? Any advice would be appreciated!
Hi Emily! Yes I was able to find a graduate program that included a tuition waiver and a $1500/month stipend in exchange for teaching intro classes. All schools are different- from some schools which do not offer anything besides loans, to some programs which have their students apply for grant-type funding each year, to a program like mine which waived tuition and also paid the stipend for the entire three years I was there. Another thing to be aware of is fees- even when schools do waive tuition, they may not waive student fees, which at my school ran about $1300 per semester. Also, the $1500/month stipend only ran during the semester, so in the summer I usually found other work, usually working for the school in a temporary position. These are all things to check carefully with each school before applying- email someone in the department if the website is not clear. There are ways to pay for school other than loans, or ways that can help you take out smaller loans. You just have to find programs that offer them. Best of luck to you!!