Combined B.A./M.A. degree program

Combined BA / MA program
History majors of extraordinary commitment and ability may, with the permission of the Department, Yale College and the Graduate School, undertake graduate work that will qualify the student at the end of their eighth term (senior year) for the simultaneous award of bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Application procedure:
  1. Applicants cannot be considered for admission unless by the end of their fifth term of enrollment they have achieved at least two-thirds A or A– grades in all of their course credits, as well as in all of the course credits directly relating to their major.
  2. Students must apply to their department for admission to the program through their director of undergraduate studies no later than the last day of classes in their fifth term of enrollment in Yale College, typically December of their junior year. The proposal should provide evidence of eligibility (progress in the major + GPA requirements met), reasons for pursuing the simultaneous degree, and plans for completing the program requirements (i.e., which courses the students intends to take and when). Course offerings might change after application, so the course plan is understood to be provisional.
  3. If the department acts favorably on the student’s application, it is forwarded with the formal approval of the director of undergraduate studies and of the director of graduate studies to the Director of Academic and Educational Affairs in the Yale College Dean’s Office, where a joint committee of Yale College and the Graduate School acts upon the department’s nomination and notifies the student of acceptance into the program.
Details to consider:
  1. A student is expected to complete the requirements of the undergraduate major (ten term courses + senior essay, and all distribution requirements, depending on track) in addition to eight courses in the graduate school, two of which can count towards the undergraduate major and satisfy the pre-Industrial or regional requirements, but NOT the pathway or departmental seminar requirement. Three of the graduate courses can be non-history courses, but must be ‘related to history,’ as determined by the DGS. At least two of the courses must be research courses.
  2. Graduate work must not be concentrated in the student’s final two terms (senior year). Students in the combined BA/MA program must take at least six term courses outside the major during their last four terms at Yale (junior and senior years) and must take at least two of those courses during their last two terms at Yale (senior year).
  3. This means that students considering the BA/MA program are advised to take a graduate course BEFORE applying for admission to the program, typically in their fifth semester of enrollment (junior fall on a regular academic calendar), but occasionally earlier. 
Prior to admission to the program, students enrolling in a course that carries both an undergraduate and a graduate number should do so under the graduate number if they wish to apply that course toward the graduate school requirements. By special arrangement with an instructor, the DUS and the DGS, interested students can also work with individual instructors to convert a course (typically a seminar) from an undergraduate to a graduate course.
Thus, a BA/MA student can anticipate a schedule similar to the following:
5th term: 1 graduate course
6th term: 2 graduate courses
7th term: 3 graduate courses
8th term: 2 graduate courses
Should the student opt not to pursue the BA/MA program, that graduate course can be applied to the undergraduate major requirements (exclusive of the departmental seminar or pathway requirement).
  1. To qualify for the masters’ degree, students must complete eight term course credits in the Graduate School with grades of A or A- in at least two term courses and with a B average in the remaining ones.
  2. BA/MA students complete the one or two semester senior essay simultaneous to and independent of their joint degree.
For more information, please contact the DUS’s office. See also: