At the start of the semester, you have two weeks to “shop” for classes–that is, to add or drop classes. This is a good time to sit in on lots of classes and get a sense of what works for you or doesn’t. Write to the professor if you couldn’t get on the register and ask for permission to join the waitlist and sit in, in case a seat opens up. (See class schedule here.)
If you take one or two classes, that’s considered part-time. Three or more is full-time. Four is a very full schedule. Five or more is a little insane, but it’s been done.
You’ll be reading a lot. Some classes definitely tend to be a little more reading-heavy than others; you’ll be able to tell once you see the syllabus. MFA workshops focus heavily on student writing, though you’ll read some “texts” too; seminars tend to be a mix of student writing and “texts”.
If you want to complete the MFA in 3 years, you’ll want to take 3 classes per semester, every semester but one, and 4 classes in one semester. You can find the Advising Form here. Don’t stress if it seems overwhelming at first! It’ll make sense soon, we promise.
It can be helpful to ask other students about their experiences in various classes and with various teachers, but of course, what works for one student might not work the same way for another. Still, you can start to form an understanding of what aspects of writing different teachers like to focus on, and what their teaching styles are like.