Do you want to deepen your historical study, or discern whether a doctoral or other further degree might eventually be right for you, or simply burnish your skills further before entering a career?
The B.A./M.A. program offers students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history on an accelerated basis. Students accepted into the program may count up to four courses (12 credit hours) toward both the BA and the MA, thereby reducing the number of courses ordinarily required for the two degrees if pursued separately, and making it possible to earn both degrees in five academic years.
Successful completion of the program requires careful planning. Any student interested in the program should meet with the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS), Dr. Árpád von Klimó, as early as possible during undergraduate study in order to discuss and plan.
There are two stages of application to the program.
Application to participate in the B.A./M.A. program
This application should be filed by the end of the sophomore year. Eligibility requires an undergraduate cumulative grade point average at Catholic University of 3.5 or higher.
A student intending to apply to the program should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) in the Department of History to plan a series of graduate-level courses to be taken during the junior and senior years and to be designated as counting toward both B.A. and M.A. degrees. Students should be aware that the eventual M.A. degree will be in one of the areas offered by the department (Medieval Europe, Modern Europe, Religion and Society in the Late Medieval and Early Modern World, United States), and so the courses planned must fall into the area that the applicant intends to study at the master’s level.
The application form (available at the School of Arts and Sciences undergraduate office, 107 McMahon) requires approval by the chair of the Department of History, the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs of the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs of the School of Arts and Sciences.
The ordinary expectation is that a student in the program will take one graduate-level course each semester during the junior and senior year. (No student in the program may take more than two graduate-level courses in one semester before completion of the B.A degree.)
Ordinarily, a student in the program will write the undergraduate senior thesis in the fall of senior year, and will do so by participating in one of the regularly scheduled sections of senior thesis seminar (HIST496); that seminar must fall within the area in which the student will pursue the M.A. (as above). However, a student doing so should register for graduate-level directed research (HIST793), and will be graded by graduate standards. This will meet both the senior thesis requirement for the BA and one of the two research seminars required for the M.A. Students who do this will be eligible for consideration for the Zeender Prize for best senior thesis.
Application for admission to the M.A. Program
This application, separate from the Application for the B.A./M.A. program, should be filed in the fall of the senior year. The department’s graduate admissions committee will evaluate the application, and performance in graduate-level courses taken up to that point will be an important criterion for acceptance. Students in the BA/MA program do not need to take the GRE examination as part of the process of applying for the MA degree. The application is accessible online here.
In all other respects except those noted above (the double-counting of up to four courses toward both B.A. and M.A., and the arrangement for senior thesis to count as one of the two research seminars required for the M.A.), students in the program must meet all the requirements for the MA degree as specified in the department’s graduate studies handbook, available here.
There are time limitations within which each part of the BA/MA program must be completed. For this, students should consult the general policy of the School of Arts and Sciences for BA/MA and BS/MS programs here.