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The Office of Graduate Student Services is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am- 5pm. 

BA/MA Program

Wesleyan offers a BA/MA program in the natural sciences, mathematics, and psychology 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 further advanced study or employment in industry.  The expected period for completion of the MA portion of the program is two semesters beyond the completion of the BA degree. Students who complete the BA degree in fewer 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 fewer than eight semesters to be sure they are able to meet all the expectations of the program. BA/MA students are full-time, in-residence students during the two semesters of MA work. The two semesters of MA work immediately follow the completion of the BA degree requirements.

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 an 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.
  • The student must complete at least two semesters of thesis research culminating in an MA thesis.

    Please Note
  • 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 thesis component of the program the student will be charged an extension fee of $250. Coursework beyond the two semesters of the MA is not part of the program. A limited number of meal plan stipends are available to eligible students upon application.  Students who have completed the BA requirements and received Wesleyan grant aid during the final year of the BA program are eligible to apply for a meal plan stipend.  The meal plan stipend provides the all-points plan free of charge for the two semesters of the MA that are tuition-free.  The meal plan stipend is not available in the summer. Students are welcome to participate in the Middletown Cash 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. Please note that student accounts must be in good standing before beginning the MA portion of the program.

Applying for the BA/MA Program

Students wishing to apply for the BA/MA program are advised to contact their department as early in the process as possible. Students should apply to the BA/MA program in the semester prior to the semester in which the BA degree is completed.  For example, a student completing the BA in May should apply the previous fall, and a student completing the BA in December should apply the previous spring.  Applications to begin the MA portion of the BA/MA program in the Fall semester are due December 1.  Applications to begin the MA portion of the BA/MA program in the Spring semester are due March 1.

To start an application for the BA/MA program you must first create an account:  On-line application

Notes About the Online Application

  • It is important to use both upper and lower case letters, as appropriate.
  • You may save your work on your application and return to complete it at a later date.
  • Applications are not considered complete until you click Submit. You will not able to edit an application once you Submit.

Upload the required supplemental materials within the application. Required materials include:

1) Research Proposal:  A brief description of research you have done and the research you propose to conduct.

2) Program of Study: The schedule of courses that you will use to satisfy the requirements for the MA degree, approved by your Master’s thesis advisor.

3)  Personal Statement: A brief statement of why you are interested in this program and how it fits with your future career plans. 

4)  Recommendations: At least two letters of recommendation, one from your faculty advisor and one from an additional Wesleyan faculty member.

5)  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 applications and indicate whether or not they support the application. Applications are then reviewed by the Director of Graduate Studies.

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). Students should apply to the BA/MA program in the semester prior to the semester in which the BA degree is completed.  For example, a student graduating in May should apply the previous fall, and a student finishing in December should apply the previous spring.

Dates for applications submitted in the Fall semester (to start the MA portion the next Fall term):

December 1 - Application are due.

January 12 – Departments complete review of applications.

January 31 - Students receive notification of admission decision from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Dates for applications submitted in the Spring semester (to start the MA portion the next Spring term):

March 1 - Applications are due.

March 21 – Departments complete review of applications.

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 are full-time, in-residence students during the two semesters of MA work. The two semesters of MA work immediately follow the completion of the BA degree requirements.  

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 the meal plan stipend, 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