The Office of Graduate Student Services is open at regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
BA/MA Program in the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Psychology
Wesleyan offers a BA/MA program as a formal curricular option for students who are interested in an intensive research experience. The program has a research orientation and includes course work, seminars, and in some cases, teaching. The program provides a strong professional background for either further advanced study or employment in industry. The expected period for completion of the program is 10 semesters for those students who complete the BA in eight semesters. Students who finish the BA degree in less than eight semesters are eligible to apply. Departments and faculty advisors will pay careful attention to the coursework and research backgrounds of students completing the BA in less than eight semesters to be sure they are able to meet all the expectations of the program in less than ten full semesters of study and research.
Students beginning the 5th year of the BA/MA program in September 2012. Standing, L-R William Herbst, Director of Graduate Studies, Kelvin Kwofie, Ian Hoffman, Craig Malamut, Robert Stolz, Anna McKinsey, Joseph Schindler, John Pianka, Jeffrey Arace. Kneeling L-R: Louis Taylor, Miin Lin, Stephanie Aracena, Madeleine Manheim, Cheryl Hagner, Director of Graduate Student Services.
BA/MA Program Requirements
Careful planning of one's schedule of courses and research is essential for completion of both the BA and MA. Students in the BA/MA program are expected to submit a MA thesis describing the research that they have carried out in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements. Many students in the program choose not to write a BA Honors thesis because they will be writing a more substantial MA thesis based on the same project the following year. However, there is no prohibition against writing a BA thesis should the student wish to do so. This does not relieve the student of the obligation to submit a MA thesis.
- A minimum of six to eight credits in addition to the 32 necessary for the Wesleyan BA are required for the MA. Of these six to eight credits, two to four, (at the department's discretion) must be in advanced coursework. The remaining credits may be earned through research and seminar courses.
- Research culminating in an MA thesis.
- Students in the program who earn more than 32 credits for the BA may apply any excess credits toward the MA providing that the credits are for courses in the major area or a related area, that the courses have not been used to fulfill the undergraduate major requirement, and that the student received a grade of B minus or higher.
- MA credit will only be awarded for academic exercises in which grades of B minus or higher are earned.
- Some students find it necessary to revise their Program of Study. Please click here for the revised form.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for two semesters of post-BA work toward the MA degree is waived. In the exceptional case that a student needs an additional semester to complete the MA component of the program the student will be charged an extension fee of $250. Financial support other than tuition remission for two semesters of the MA is not a formal component of this program. Some students may be able to find financial support either from research grant funds or serving as teaching assistants during the two semesters of MA work.
Applying for the BA/MA Program
Applicants must submit the following to the department chair:
1) Research Proposal: A brief description of research you have done and the research you propose to conduct.
2) Personal Statement: A brief statement of why you are interested in this program and how it fits with your future career plans.
3) Recommendations: At least two letters of recommendation, one from your faculty advisor and one from an additional Wesleyan faculty member.
4) Transcript: A copy of your undergraduate transcript(s). If you wish, you may include a statement of why you feel your transcript is not an accurate reflection of your academic ability.
Departments review all proposals and indicate whether or not they support the application. Applications are then submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director of Graduate Studies reviews all applications and selects students to be admitted into the program.
Important Dates for the BA/MA Application Process
There are two application deadlines, one in the Fall semester (December 1) and one in the Spring semester (March 1). All students, including those finishing in less than 8 semesters, must apply for the program at least one full semester before they wish to begin the MA portion of the program. For example, a student cannot apply for the BA/MA program in December with a plan to start the MA portion the following January, even if the student will have finished the BA degree by then.
Dates for applications submitted in the Fall semester:
December 1 - Applications are due to the academic department.
January 12 – Departments submit applications to Office of Graduate Student Services.
January 31 - Students receive notification of admission decision from the Director of Graduate Studies.
Dates for applications submitted in the Spring semester:
March 1 - Applications are due to the academic department.
March 21 – Departments submit applications to Office of Graduate Student Services.
April 7 - Students receive notification of admission decision from the Director of Graduate Studies.
BA/MA Program Regulations
The Office of Graduate Student Services will review the academic records of all BA/MA students at the end of the first semester of the MA. Warnings will be sent to any student (and his/her advisor) who is in danger of not fulfilling course requirements for the MA degree by virtue of having received a failing grade (B- or below) in a course. A student with no chance of fulfilling the requirements for the MA degree by the end of the second semester may be required to withdraw from the university, subject to approval by the department.
BA/MA students who have completed all of the course requirements for the MA degree but have not completed the thesis will be classified as ABD-Not and may continue as ABD-NOT for a maximum of two years. Students classified as ABD-Not continue research and writing, do not enroll in courses, are not eligible for tuition remission, are not eligible for federal student loan deferment, and pay a nominal fee of $250 per semester. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition their academic department for a one-year extension beyond the two-year limit for ABD status. University housing beyond two semesters of work toward the MA is not guaranteed; new graduate students have priority for University housing.
Housing Options for BA/MA Students
BA/MA students are eligible to apply for Wesleyan graduate student housing. Graduate student housing generally becomes available in late August.
BA/MA students who are required by their academic department to be on campus conducting research in the summer between the completion of the BA and the start of the MA who wish to live in Wesleyan graduate student housing in the Fall, may apply to live in graduate student housing during the summer. Residential Life will make every effort to accommodate these requests.
The deadline for applying for Wesleyan housing is July 1. Residential Life makes every effort to match a graduate student’s preference for housing with the available housing stock and considers requests in the order in which applications are received.
BA/MA students who are required by their academic department to be on campus conducting research in the summer between the completion of the BA and the start of the MA who do not plan to live in Wesleyan graduate student housing in the Fall, should make arrangements to move into an off-campus location for the summer.
Wesleyan Graduate Housing Options: http://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/grad_housing/grad_options.html
Wesleyan Graduate Housing Application: http://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/grad_housing/grad_housing_app.html