Combined BA/MA Degree Program:

Bachelor of Arts in English + Master of Arts in English

Especially driven, self-directed students who desire an accelerated path to an MA degree in English might consider our combined BA/MA degree program, which will allow them to graduate with a BA and MA degree in only five years (standard plan) or in four years (“Degree in 3” plan of study).

Students will apply to the combined BA/MA degree program via the online application process; applications will be handled on a rolling basis and will be due no later than March 15 for admission in the following fall semester.

Deadline for application: March 15

Apply now!

 
Admission Requirements:
  1. Must be a declared undergraduate English major.

  2. Must be a junior based on credit hours earned.

  3. Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 for all coursework.

  4. Must have a GPA of at least 3.7 in the major.

  5. Online application form, writing sample, curriculum vitae, and one letter of reference from a Purdue English professor. No GRE scores are required.

 Please note: Meeting the minimum GPA requirements does not guarantee admission into the MA program.

 

Degree Requirements:
  1. Students will complete 30 hours of graduate-level coursework. At least 24 of these hours must be in the English department, and at least 9 must be at the 60000 level.

  2. Students must complete ENGL 50100 with a minimum grade of B-.

  3. Students must pass the MA exam, or write and defend an MA thesis under the guidance of their major professor and advisory committee.

  4. As undergraduates, students may take up to 12 credit hours of graduate work from their free electives to be counted towards the combined BA/MA degree.

  5. Satisfaction of the CLA language diversity requirement will also satisfy the MA second language requirement for students in the combined BA/MA in English program.

 

FAQs:

What is the BA/MA?
Why would I want to pursue a combined BA/MA?
When can I apply?
Will I be an undergraduate or a graduate student when I do my MA coursework?
What will the program look like?
Can I use the same courses for both my BA and MA degrees?
Will I be able to apply for Graduate Assistantships while working toward my MA degree?

 

 

What is the BA/MA?

A combined-degree program is reserved for exceptional students. It joins curricula of an existing baccalaureate or professional degree program and an existing master’s degree program within the Purdue University system.

 

Why would I want to pursue a combined BA/MA?

The combined degree shortens the time to degree for students who know they wish to pursue MA-level study on an accelerated timeframe. BA/MA graduates are in strong positions to apply to doctoral programs and professional degree programs (e.g., law, business, pedagogy), as well as MFA programs.

Upon successful completion of the combined BA/MA, students will have acquired:

  • The capacity to identify and conduct original research, scholarship, or creative endeavors in the field of English

  • The ability to think critically, creatively, and to solve problems in the field of English

  • The ability to communicate effectively within and about the field of English

  • The ability to conduct English-subject research in an ethical and responsible manner

  • Attributes of professional development consistent with expectations within the field of English

 

When can I apply?

In the third year of study. Students interested in the BA/MA degree should plan to complete their BA requirements, minus about 30 credit hours, by the end of the junior year; this leaves the senior year with ample room to add up to 12 credits of graduate study as free electives and to complete more advanced graduate work in a 5th, MA-focused year.*

*Students who are following the Degree-in-3 program will be able to complete the MA in a fourth year. In such cases, they would apply in Year 2, begin MA work in Year 3 via free electives, and finish in Year 4.

 

Will I be an undergraduate or a graduate student when I do my MA coursework?

The baccalaureate or professional degree must be awarded prior to awarding the master’s degree. Students enrolled in Combined Degree Programs are expected to complete the baccalaureate degree on schedule. Students in Combined Degree Programs, who are funded by an external grant at 0.25 CUL or higher, will have a primary classification of graduate. Other students in Combined Degree Programs will have a primary classification of undergraduate until the baccalaureate degree is awarded.

 

What will the program look like?

Students will take ENGL 50100: Introduction to English Studies in the fall of their fourth year. Coursework in the final year must include at least 3 60000-level ENGL courses. The breadth requirement for the MA degree in English may be met via coursework undertaken in both the fourth and fifth years of study, provided it is at the 50000-level or above.

The breadth requirement for MA students requires a course in each of the following tracks:

  • Medieval & Early Modern Studies

  • Transatlantic & Early Atlantic Studies (17th – 19th centuries)

  • 20th- & 21st-Century Literary Studies

  • Theory & Cultural Studies

Students should finish their 30 credits of coursework, including ENGL 50100, the breadth requirement, and the language requirement within two years, at the end of which they may either take the MA exam or defend a thesis.

The MA exam list, which is reviewed by the MA Exam Committee every second year, contains approximately 20 literary works. Only generally recognized major texts will be chosen, 5 in each of 4 areas: Medieval and Early Modern Literature; Transatlantic and Early Atlantic Literature; 20th Century and Contemporary Literature; and Theory and Cultural Studies. Students taking the MA exam write for 3 hours, usually on 3 questions chosen from a list of 5 or 6 options. The questions may deal with any of the books on the list, or any combination of those books. The second part of the examination consists of the explication of a passage of prose or poetry, for which students have an additional hour.

Satisfaction of the CLA language diversity requirement will also satisfy the MA second language requirement for students in the combined BA/MA in English program.

 

Can I use the same courses for both my BA and MA degrees?

Up to 12 credit hours of free elective 50000- and 60000-level coursework may be dual-counted for both the undergraduate and master’s degree.

 

Will I be able to apply for Graduate Assistantships while working toward my MA degree?

Generally speaking, no. If you already hold an assistantship during your undergraduate appointment, it may be possible to retain it.

The 2020 undergraduate tuition & fees of Purdue University-Main Campus (PU) are $9,992 for Indiana residents and $28,794 for out of State students. The 2020 graduate school tuition & fees are $9,992 for Indiana resident and $28,794 for others.

 

For more information, contact Professor Derek Pacheco, Director of Undergraduate Studies in English, or the Graduate Studies Office.

 

 

 

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