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Accelerated B.A. to M.A. in American Studies

Saint Louis University allows outstanding American studies students to begin pursuing a Master of Arts their senior year, giving you the option to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and an MA in as little as five years.

B.A. to M.A.

Students in SLU’s accelerated B.A. to M.A. program complete the same courses as in our traditional Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Master of Arts in American Studies programs but are able to double-count two graduate courses taken their senior 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.

Sample Degree Plan

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

Year One (Senior Undergraduate Year)


  • ASTD 5000 (3 credits)


  • Three-to-six credits of graduate coursework
  • Qualifying exam
  • Performance review

Summer after B.A. Graduation

  • Three-to-six credits of graduate coursework

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


  • Nine credits of graduate coursework


  • Portfolio Option: Nine credits of graduate coursework; portfolio paper and the oral examination
  • Thesis Option: Three credits of graduate coursework, ASTD 5990 (6 credits) and the oral examination
Performance Review and Qualifying Exam

In order to advance to a Master of Arts after the conferral of your Bachelor of Arts degree, you must receive at least a “B” in graduate courses taken as an undergraduate. You must also clear any incomplete grades on your undergraduate transcripts, and pass a qualifying exam at the end of your senior year.

Portfolio or Thesis

Portfolio or thesis requirements are the same as for students in the traditional M.A. program; students choosing the thesis option, however, will likely take their six 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.

Additional Requirements

Oral Examination

The oral examination requirements are the same as for students in the traditional M.A. program.

Language Requirement

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


SLU’s award-winning faculty are trained specifically in American studies. All have worked extensively in the field as scholars, teachers, curators or creative artists.

  • Heidi Ardizzone, Ph.D. department chair
  • Benjamin Looker, Ph.D.
  • Emily Lutenski, Ph.D.
  • Matthew Mancini, Ph.D.
  • Kate Moran, Ph.D.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
Cost Calculator
Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid

If you are admitted to the accelerated B.A. to M.A. in American studies program, you will remain an undergraduate for the purposes of financial aid and scholarships until your bachelor's degree is awarded.

A Lubin Graduate Assistantship is available most years and may provide financial support during the second year of study 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, you must submit your application by the department's graduate application deadline, and must remain in good standing during your first year in the program.

Admission Requirements

• You must have completed a minimum of 90 hours toward your bachelor's degree by the end of your junior year, and 105 hours by the end of fall semester of your senior year. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 30 hours at SLU.
• You should have an overall GPA of 3.7 in American studies coursework.
• You must include two letters of recommendation from SLU faculty, a coherent goals statement, a clear writing sample in your application. The GRE is not required.

You can express interest in the B.A. to M.A. program during your sophomore year or in the first semester of your junior year as a major in American studies. You will apply to the program online using SLU’s graduate application.

This program is designed as a terminal degree. If you wish to apply for entry to the Ph.D. program, you will need to a complete a new application and take the GRE.