GradInsider.com is a recently launched graduate school review website with a special focus on MFA creative writing programs. In the past few decades, the number of MFA writing programs in the United States has increased exponentially. There are now over 150 MFA writing programs in the United States alone. Despite the popularity of the MFA writing degree, there continues to be limited online resources for researching graduate writing programs. GradInsider.com seeks to fill this gap by providing prospective MFA writing students the ability to search for programs that meet their particular requirements, as well as read candid reviews written by students and alumni.

GradInsider lists both MFA writing programs in the United States as well as Masters in writing programs abroad, over 200 programs in total. The site provides one of the most convenient advanced search tools on the web. Users may search for creative writing programs by international region, US region, US state, part or full time, low or full residency, and genre. Whether you’re looking for a low residency program located in the Northeast which offers a track in nonfiction or full time program in the UK or Ireland that offers a track in poetry, you may search by your exact criteria and find programs that match your needs. GradInsider allows you to create a log in so you may save your searches.

The most unique feature of GradInsider is its reviews. Current students and alumni of MFA creative writing programs may go on to the site and write a review of their program. In these reviews, students and alumni discuss the advantages and disadvantages of their programs and give advice to prospective students. An example of a review of a MFA writing program can be found here: http://gradinsider.com/programs/ratings/university_of_san_francisco_mfa_in_writing_graduate_program/91/

In addition to writing review, students and alumni may rate their MFA writing program from 1 to 5 stars in a 14 categories: overall, reputation, location, quality of faculty, student competitiveness, campus facilities, financial assistance, diversity, career services/development, dating scene, LGBT friendly, social scene, family friendly, cost of living, and dining options. With these ratings, GradInsider offers an informal, user-based ranking of MFA writing programs.

These ratings allow prospective students to see which MFA writing programs were ranked the best in reputation or cost of living. On GradInsider, a prospective student who is married with children and is interested in attending a school that is family friendly can go to the site and see which MFA writing programs have been ranked the top 5 in family friendliness. GradInsider also has a ratings search feature, where students may search for programs that have been given at least a certain number of stars in any given category. For example, a prospective student may search for MFA writing programs that have been given an average rating of at least 4 stars in both financial assistance and their social scene.

GradInsider.com’s candid reviews (which currently number over 100) and ratings of MFA writing programs allow prospective students researching to gain an inside perspective into these programs, and its useful search functions allow students to search for MFA writing programs that meet their exact needs, and is poised to become an essential resource in any prospective student’s search for MFA writing programs.