Accelerated Degree Program (4+1) Humanities BA+MA

Exceptional humanities majors have the opportunity to accelerate their education and complete both the BA and MA in five years. This 4+1 program is suitable for those students capable of undertaking graduate level work in their senior year. It offers the benefit of a MA degree, which can be particularly valuable for students planning a career in public service and the non-profit sector, as well as those who want to strengthen their skills and knowledge in preparation for PhD program applications.

Students considering the program should consult and meet with the Director of Graduate Studies for an interview.

Course Sequence and Timetable

Students must apply no later than the beginning of the second semester of their junior year. They must have completed up to 90 credits that meet most of the undergraduate requirements for the major including Cardinal Core and writing courses. During the senior year, the student takes three 500-level graduate courses (HUM 590) which will count towards their MA. The graduate credits earned in the HUM 590 courses are doubly counted as undergraduate elective credits and MA credits. For each course the student will provide a form signed by the instructor certifying that the coursework done is at the graduate level. After the 4th or senior year, when all undergraduate requirements are met, the student will be awarded a B.A. degree. After that point, the student enrolls in graduate-level courses at the 500 or 600 level. The student must complete each semester satisfactorily, with none of the undergraduate major courses below a grade of 3.35.

Application and Admissions

Students considering applying should first meet with the Director of Graduate Studies, and then apply for the 4+1 program no later than the beginning of the second semester of their junior year. Admission decisions for the 4+1 program will be made no later than spring of the sophomore year. Application and admissions processes are through the Comparative Humanities Department and subsequently the Graduate School.

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

Students must submit to the Graduate Office:

  • A completed application form
  • The names of two professors who may serve as references
  • A 1,000-word maximum personal statement that addresses the reasons for pursuing the MA
  • A writing sample

Applicants should forward electronic copies of all documents to the Director of Graduate Studies and Administrative Associate.

The applicant will be evaluated based on the quality of the grades, references, personal statement, writing sample, and interview. Once approved by the department, the applicant will formally submit materials through the Graduate School admissions website.

Continuing Eligibility

Upon admission to the 4+1 degree program, successful completion of program requirements is necessary for continued standing in the program. This includes:

  • Completion of the undergraduate degree in the fourth year of study
  • Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or better
  • Successful application to and acceptance to the Graduate School by the fifth year
  • Successful completion of coursework in the fall and spring semesters of the fifth year

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students admitted to the 4+1 degree program are formally considered undergraduates and pay undergraduate tuition rates for the first four years of the program until they graduate with the BA degree. During the fifth year in the 4+1 degree program, students are formally considered graduate students and pay graduate student tuition rates. 


              Accelerated BA/MA in Humanities Application Form

              Accelerated BA/MA in Humanities Graduate Level Course Sheet