BA/MA Fast-Track Program

BA/MA Degree in History

The fast-track BA/MA degree in history is designed to allow truly exceptional, talented, and motivated undergraduate history majors to complete 15 credit hours of graduate study while still an undergraduate and to earn both degrees in as little as five years. This is achieved by allowing qualifying undergraduate majors to take a total of five graduate courses in their junior and senior years. Students earn dual credit that applies to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Admission Requirements
Candidates will have successfully completed HIST 1301, 1302, 3321, 3322, and 3390* prior to admission into the fast-track program. Students must complete each of these courses before the beginning of their junior year, with no grade lower than a B.  *In exceptional cases, students may take HIST 3390 concurrently with their first dual-credit course, but no later than the first semester junior year.

Admission Process
Candidates should apply for admission to the fast-track program at least four weeks prior to the start of the junior year. Initial admission into the fast-track program is determined on the basis of GPA (minimum 3.6 in the major), a substantial sample of academic writing, and two letters of recommendation. Approval of the department graduate committee is required.

Students interested in pursuing the fast-track should contact department chair Dr. Mark Mengerink or graduate advisor Dr. Jeff Forret.

How It Works
As undergraduates, fast-track students register for the undergraduate versions of 4000/5000 cross-listed courses, complete all the work expected of graduate students, and simultaneously earn undergraduate and graduate credit.

After a fast-track student's first two dual-credit courses, his or her professors will meet in committee with the graduate advisor to review the student's progress and determine his or her continued eligibility in the fast-track program. The committee must agree unanimously that the student's work merits continuance in the fast-track program. If not, the student will be dropped from the fast track but maintain any graduate credits, up to six, that he or she has earned with a grade of B or better. If, after graduation with the B.A., the student successfully applies to the M.A. program, he or she still gets credit for the accumulated hours.

Students who continue on in the fast-track program must complete a total of five courses for graduate credit during their junior and senior years: one each in the first semester and second semester of the junior and senior years and one in the summer.

Fast-track students must successfully complete the GRE during their junior year, with minimum scores of 153 on the verbal portion and a 3 on the analytical.

Fast-track students complete HIST 4391, the undergraduate capstone, in their final semester of the BA degree. The paper they produce is encouraged to become the foundation for an MA thesis for students on the thesis track. The capstone is not eligible for dual credit, however. Fast-track students should plan on taking another advanced, upper-level history course in their final semester so that they may earn dual credit.

Upon completing the BA component of the fast-track program, students must choose either the 30-credit hour thesis option or 36-credit hour non-thesis option for the MA degree and complete all requirements for that degree.

After graduating with the BA, former fast-track students have the option of going full-time or part-time to complete the MA.

No student may take an exclusively 5000-level history course (with no 4000-level equivalent) without having successfully completed HIST 3390 with a grade of B or better.

Undergraduate students in the fast-track program may take only one graduate course per semester. Only one may be taken during the summer.

Fast-track undergraduate students must consistently demonstrate academic success to remain in the fast-track program. They must earn no grade lower than a B in their graduate coursework. Students earning any grade lower than a B in their graduate history coursework shall be dropped from the fast-track program and placed in the department’s traditional BA degree plans. Students dropped from the fast-track program may still apply the work completed for the undergraduate degree if the grade earned was a C or better. After graduation with the BA, dropped fast-track students who later apply for the MA in history may transfer in as many as six credits of graduate coursework completed while a fast-track student. Only grades of B or better may be transferred in.

At least four courses taken as part of the fast-track degree program must be graduate-only (5000-level) courses. This requirement does not include thesis (5390/5391) courses. The remainder may be 4000/5000 cross-listed courses. Students on the non-thesis track therefore take a minimum of four graduate-only courses (12 of the 36 credit hours). Students on the thesis track take a minimum of six graduate-only courses (18 of the 30 credit hours).

History BA/MA Fast-Track Degree Plan (start Fall)

Note: Students enrolled in the fast-track BA/MA program should take HIST 5300: Historiography at the earliest opportunity after the junior year.

History BA/MA Fast-Track Degree Plan (start Spring)

Note: Students enrolled in the fast-track BA/MA program should take HIST 5300: Historiography at the earliest opportunity after the junior year.