Accelerated BA/MA Program

Information on the History Department's Accelerated BA/MA program.

History majors who are thinking about pursuing a Master’s degree (MA) in History can accelerate their education with this program, which allows them to take three graduate-level courses (9 credit hours) as undergrads. These courses can be counted towards both the BA and the eventual MA, shaving a semester’s worth of time and tuition off the MA program. This program is suitable for students capable of completing graduate level work during their senior year. It offers a fast track to the MA, which can be particularly valuable for students planning a career in the public history sector, as well as for those who seek to strengthen their skills in preparation for applying to PhD programs in History.

To learn more about the program, you can contact either the Undergraduate Director Dr. John McLeod, or the Graduate Director Dr. Jennifer Westerfeld.


Application takes place in two steps. Step 1 is an internal application through the History Department and should be completed by the beginning of spring semester in the applicant’s junior year. Successful applicants will normally have completed 60-90 undergraduate credit hours and will have fulfilled most of the undergraduate requirements for the major, including Cardinal Core courses. Preference will be given to applicants who have already completed HIST 304 (Historical Methods). Once admitted to the program, in their senior year the student will take three 500- or 600-level History courses that will be counted towards both the BA and MA programs. For each course, the student will be required to submit a form [link to form] signed by the instructor certifying that the coursework done is at the graduate level. Students must complete their remaining undergraduate semesters satisfactorily, retaining at least a 3.35 GPA or above.

Step 2 of the application process is an external application through the Graduate School and should be completed in the spring semester of the applicant’s senior year, in line with regular applications to the MA program. Please note that admission to the accelerated program in Step 1 does not automatically guarantee admission to the MA program in Step 2.

Application and admissions

Students considering applying should first meet with the Director of Graduate Studies and then complete Part 1 of the application process by the beginning of spring semester in their junior year. Admission decisions will be made before registration starts for the coming Summer/Fall semesters so that students can work with the DUS, DGS, and their academic advisor to select appropriate dual-credit courses to take during their senior year.

Applicants are expected to have a strong academic record; normally a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or better is required.

A complete Part 1 application consists of the following:

-       A completed application form

-       One letter of reference from a faculty member, plus the name of a second professor who is also willing to serve as a reference

-       A personal statement (1000 words max.), outlining your reasons for pursuing the MA

All application materials should be emailed to the DGS . Applicants will be evaluated based on their undergraduate transcripts to date, their references, personal statement, and writing sample.

During the spring of their senior year, students who have been admitted to the accelerated program should complete Part 2 of the application process. At this time they may choose to update their statement of purpose and will be asked to obtain one or two additional letters of recommendation from faculty members. They will also need to complete the Graduate School’s application form and pay the application fee. The full application dossier will then be evaluated at the departmental level and forwarded to the Graduate School for review. If the review is favorable, successful applicants will then be admitted into the MA program.

Continuing eligibility

Once admitted to the accelerated program, successful completion of program requirements is necessary for continued standing in the program. This includes:

-       Working with the DUS, DGS, and academic advisor to select appropriate dual-credit courses to be taken in the senior year

-       Satisfactorily completing those courses and any remaining undergraduate degree requirements

-       Maintaining a GPA of 3.35 of better

-       Submitting the necessary materials for Part 2 of the application process in the spring of their senior year

Tuition and financial aid

Students admitted to Step 1 of the accelerated program are formally considered undergraduates and pay undergraduate tuition rates until they graduate with the BA degree and matriculate into the MA program. Thereafter they are considered graduate students and pay tuition at the graduate rate. Departmental scholarships and assistantships are only open to MA students; students in the accelerated program are welcome to apply for these when they complete Part 2 of the application process.  

Download the application form here.

Visit the undergraduate catalog website for more details about the History BA curriculum

Visit the graduate catalog website for more details about the History MA curriculum