Heard this a few weeks ago—the University of Southern California intends to close its Master’s in Professional Writing (not Public Writing, as the article caption notes) in 2016.
For me, USC was the best thing about Los Angeles. I went into the MPW program hoping to get published, and somewhen along the lines I became a better writer. I have fond memories of every teacher I had, the courses themselves, and the program overall.
Still, I’ve already heard rumors that after closing the MPW program, USC may create an MFA program in its English department, which may not be a bad idea. I’ve heard grumblings about the possibility—that classmates appreciated the “professional” aspect (which was great), but honestly, learning about the professional aspects of the publishing industry at the MPW is what prompted me to study business. The closer you look at the publishing industry, the less business sense it starts to make.
But moving to an MFA might not be a bad idea. Doing so could create an implied emphasis on craft (always good), and the MPW always flew under rankings radars mainly because it WASN’T an MFA.