BA/MA in English

This dual bachelor’s/master’s degree program provides successful undergraduate students the opportunity to complete a master’s degree in either eight or nine semesters, depending on their accumulated AP credits and/or summer courses. This is a highly selective and rewarding program offered jointly by the College and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

The last two years of undergraduate study are integrated with the first year of graduate work, reducing the time required to earn the two degrees. Successful completion of the BA/MA program may lead to enhanced career employment opportunities, professional training, or doctoral studies. BU English MAs have successfully pursued a variety of public, private, and not-for-profit career paths, including employment in teaching, not-for-profit administration, publishing, writing, research, and technology.

Students must complete at least 38 courses (152 credits).

Application Procedure

Applications must be received by March 1 of the junior year. If the application does not meet the deadline, a Request for Waiver of Application Deadline must be completed and signed by the department chairperson and submitted with an application.

Application Requirements

Applicants must have completed AT LEAST five English courses, including AT LEAST one course at the 300 level or above, by the time of application. They must have received a GPA of 3.5 or above in these courses. Applicants must also have an overall GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the program. The applicant must include the BU transcript, two faculty recommendation letters, a writing sample (10 pages, usually drawn from previous coursework), a plan of study, and a personal statement describing the applicant’s interest in the program. Please email transcript, writing sample, plan of study, and personal statement to the English Department’s Director of Graduate Studies. Recommenders should email their letters directly to the English Department’s Director of Graduate Studies.


In addition to the requirements for the English major (see English Department website or Bulletin for details), eight courses must be passed with a grade of B– or better for the MA. One 500- or 600-level class may count toward both the BA and MA, reducing the number of additional MA classes to seven. A grade point average of at least 3.0 must be maintained for these classes. These classes must include two 500/600-level classes and six 700-level classes. Courses at the 500/600 level taken prior to admission into the BA/MA program may be used to fulfill MA requirements. Students must have senior status to take 700-level classes.

In addition to the total number of classes for the MA, students must fulfill the following specific requirements:

  • Demonstration of graduate-level reading proficiency in one classical or modern foreign language prior to completion of the degree. This requirement will be satisfied by fulfillment of the CAS undergraduate Second Language Requirement.
  • Completion of at least one course that focuses primarily on critical theory, critical method, or the history of criticism. For examples of these courses, please see the English Department website.