Saint Louis University

Accelerated Bachelor/Master's Program

The accelerated B.A./M.A. offers the opportunity for outstanding American Studies undergraduate majors to begin a M.A. program in their senior year, completing the M.A. with a full-time fifth year of graduate study after their successful completion of both the first-year requirements and their undergraduate degree and major.

Course Requirements

The B.A. and M.A. course requirements are the same as they are for students in the stand-alone B.A. and stand-alone M.A. programs; students who are enrolled in the accelerated B.A./M.A., however, are able to double-count two graduate courses (6 credits) taken during their senior undergraduate year toward both degrees. With that and at least one graduate course taken in the summer, students can complete their M.A. in addition to their B.A. in only 12–14 additional months.

Qualifying Exam

Students enrolled in the accelerated B.A./M.A. program take the same qualifying exam as students in the stand-alone M.A. program; this will occur at the end of their senior undergraduate year.

Performance Review

In order to advance to the M.A. after the conferral of the B.A., students must receive at least a B in graduate courses taken as an undergraduate, clear any incomplete grades on their undergraduate transcripts, and pass their qualifying exam.

Portfolio or Thesis

Portfolio or thesis requirements are the same as for students in the stand-alone M.A. program; students choosing the thesis option, however, will likely take their 6 credits of thesis work (ASTD 5990) in the Spring semester of their second year due to the structure of the accelerated B.A./M.A. program.

Oral Examination

The oral examination requirements are the same as for students in the stand-alone M.A. program.

Language Requirement

There is no language requirement for the accelerated B.A./M.A.

Sample Degree Plan

Typically, the accelerated B.A./M.A. will be completed as follows:

Year One (Senior Undergraduate Year)

Fall: ASTD 5000 (3 credits)

Spring: 3–6 credits of graduate coursework
Qualifying exam
Performance review

Summer after B.A. Graduation: 3–6 credits of graduate coursework

Year Two (Full-time M.A. Year)

9 credits of graduate coursework [Portfolio Option]
9 credits of graduate coursework [Thesis Option]

9 credits of graduate coursework; Portfolio Paper; Oral Examination [Portfolio Option]
3 credits of graduate coursework; ASTD 5990 (6 credits); Oral Examination [Thesis Option]


Following admissions to the accelerated B.A./M.A. program, the student remains strictly an undergraduate for the purposes of financial aid and scholarships until the bachelor's degree is awarded.

A Lubin Graduate Assistantship will be available most years for the two semesters of the accelerated B.A./M.A.'s second year. Graduate assistantships provide financial support in the form of tuition waivers and living stipends, in exchange for ongoing research, teaching, or other work as assigned by department faculty. To be considered for this funding, students must submit their application by the department's graduate application deadline, and must remain in good standing during their first year.


Students may indicate to their advisors an interest at any time in their sophomore or first semester of their junior years. Applications are due by the department's annual graduate application deadline, but must be made using the application form available on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Requirements for admission are as follows:

• Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 hours toward the bachelor's degree by the end of the junior year, and 105 hours by the end of fall semester of the senior year. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 30 hours at SLU.

• Applicants should have an overall GPA of 3.7 in their American Studies major.

• Applications should include two letters of recommendation from SLU faculty, a goals statement, a writing sample, and the College of Arts and Sciences admission form. The GRE is not required. Criteria are the same as for other applicants: a coherent goals statement, clear writing sample, and grades as stipulated above.

This program is designed as a terminal degree. Students who wish to apply for entry to the Ph.D. program must complete a new application to the Arts and Sciences graduate division and take the GRE.


Click here to access the 2016–17 Department of American Studies Graduate Student Handbook

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