The Office of Graduate Student Services is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.

BA/MA Program

Wesleyan offers a BA/MA program in the natural sciences, mathematics, and psychology as a formal curricular option that allows Wesleyan undergraduate students to continue at the university for a degree of Master of Arts (MA) after completing their bachelor’s degree. 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 period for completion of the MA degree is two semesters beyond the completion of the BA degree.  BA/MA students are full-time, in-residence graduate students during the two semesters immediately after the completion of the BA degree.

Students must apply for this program before they complete their undergraduate studies.  Careful planning of one's schedule of courses and research is essential for completion of both the BA and MA degrees.  In the optimal case, a student will have 1) started research in the summer prior to their senior year, and 2) plan to take coursework during the senior year that can be applied to the MA degree. Applicants are not required to take the GRE.

Departments that offer the BA/MA Program

BA/MA Program Requirements

The MA requires six or more credits in addition to the 32 required for the Wesleyan BA. MA degree requirements for coursework, thesis and its defense are specific to each department and can be found in the University Catalog:  https://catalog.wesleyan.edu/departments. One credit in each semester will be awarded for Advanced Research (549/550). Research must culminate in an MA thesis.  MA credit is awarded only for courses with a minimum grade of B minus.  

Students who earn more than 32 credits at the time the BA degree is completed may apply excess credits toward the MA degree provided that the credits are for courses relevant to the area of study and the courses have not been used to fulfill the undergraduate major requirement. 

Students in the BA/MA program are required 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.


Applying for the BA/MA Program

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 completing the BA in May should apply the previous fall, and a student completing the BA 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 - Applications 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.

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 with 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 department requirements for the MA degree, approved by your Master’s thesis advisor. Please Note - Some students find it necessary to revise their Program of Study.  Please click here for the revised Program of Study form.

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 research advisor and one from an additional Wesleyan faculty member.

5)  Transcript: A copy of your unofficial 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 and a committee of the Graduate Council.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition for two semesters of post-BA work toward the MA degree is waived, including courses offered during summer and winter sessions. The tuition waiver is not applicable to study abroad courses, nor to coursework beyond the two semesters after the BA.  In the exceptional case that a student needs an additional semester to complete the MA thesis the student will be charged an extension fee of $250. 

Meal plan stipends may be 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 after the BA.  The meal plan stipend is not available in the summer or during winter break. Students are welcome to participate in the Middletown Cash program.

BA/MA students are required to have health insurance and must provide proof of health insurance coverage. Students may opt to participate in the graduate student health plan offered by the university, Please see https://www.wesleyan.edu/grad/student-services/HealthInformation.html

BA/MA students are not eligible for graduate stipends from the University.  Some students may be able to find financial support either from research grant funds or by serving as teaching assistants after completion of the BA. Please note that student accounts must be in good standing to continue study after the BA portion of the program.

 

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: https://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/grad_housing/grad_options.html

Wesleyan Graduate Housing Application: https://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/grad_housing/housing_application.html

Additional Information

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

The Office of Graduate Student Services will review the academic records of BA/MA students at the end of the first semester of the graduate program.  Academic review warnings will be sent to students and the research advisor who are 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 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 after the BA is not guaranteed; new graduate students have priority for university housing.