Image of a stack of books with a diploma and a graduation cap.

BA-MA Program

Ambitious students entering the English major can now apply for a five-year dual-degree program and earn a master’s degree in English with only one additional year of study. Students can cap off their undergraduate studies with more intensive graduate-level work under the supervision of a faculty of nationally recognized scholars.

Note: the BA/MA program is not compatible with Creative Writing or Film Studies concentrations, although BA/MA student are of course free to make as many creative writing or film courses as their schedules can accommodate.

You can sign up for the undergraduate portion of the BA/MA at any time from the admissions stage through your junior year. You will receive advising to make sure that requirements are being met at a timely pace, and that the level of academic performance is appropriate for graduate admission. You are evaluated on the basis of your transcript, faculty letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a writing sample.

In the fall of your senior year, you begin taking graduate courses and formally apply to the Graduate School for admission into the MA portion of the program. The following summer, you complete either a regular academic course or a for-credit cooperative learning course in which you gain experience in the workforce putting your reading, writing and research skills to use. You then complete the MA degree in your fifth and final year, which includes the writing of a thesis.

The MA year, during which students are eligible for paid assistantships, offers a rich, dynamic and rigorous curriculum taught by a highly qualified faculty that includes scholars of national and international reputation. Offerings include literature courses that range from the ancient to the contemporary and include American, British and global literatures. They include film, media, critical theory, creative writing and the teaching of literature. Specialized topics include the Bible as Literature, Science Fiction, American Gothic, the Irish Literary Revival and Creative Writing Pedagogy.

At the end of five years, you emerge with an MA degree, a deeper knowledge of English, more highly developed skills, and a stronger sense of the value of your learning in society and in the workforce.