The 4+1 Accelerated BA/MA Degree Program is open to Temple English Majors and is designed to allow students to graduate with both a master’s degree and an undergraduate B.A. in English within 5 years of matriculating at Temple University. The program is designed for high achieving English majors who have excelled in the first three years of their undergraduate studies, and who seek out the credential of a master’s degree as an aid in teaching, publishing, or writing positions or in acquiring a competitive edge in applying to Ph.D. programs. Students apply during their junior year.

Program Overview

Students apply to the “4+1” Accelerated B.A./M.A. Degree Program during their junior year and, if accepted, begin course work in the graduate program in their fourth undergraduate year by taking three graduate courses while also completing the rest of the requirements for the English B.A. The three graduate courses taken in their senior year substitute for three undergraduate courses required for the English major. In their “M.A.” or fifth year, students take six additional graduate courses. In their final semester, they also enroll in 3 credits of ENG 9996-Masters Essay in order to work with a faculty mentor on completing the required Masters Qualifying Essay. Students will also be required to fulfill a language requirement over the course of their 4th and/or 5th year. Students must complete all the requirements for the B.A. by the end of their 4th year, and all the requirements for the M.A. by the end of their 5th year.

Program Requirements

In addition to fulfilling all the requirements for the undergraduate B.A. degree in English by the end of their fourth year, students in the “4+1” Accelerated BA/MA Degree Program must also complete all of the following requirements for the English M.A. by the end of their fifth year:

  • 9 English graduate courses (27 credits), one of which must be at the advanced level (8000-9000)
  • 3 graduate courses in the fourth or senior year. These 3 graduate courses will substitute for 3 required courses for the undergraduate major.
  • 6 graduate courses in their fifth or M.A. year.
  • English 9996: Masters Essay (3 credits) in spring semester of fifth year.
  • Masters Qualifying Essay.
  • Language Requirement.


Nine courses (27 credits) plus 3 credits of 9996-Masters Essay are required for the M.A. degree in English (30 credits total).

In their 4th year, students are required to take three graduate courses. In the fall semester, it is highly recommended that students take Eng 9001: Introduction to Graduate Studies, or they may instead enroll in an alternate Eng 5000-7000 level course. In the spring semester, students take two courses that should also be at the 5000-7000 level. In addition to counting towards the total of nine courses required for the M.A., the three graduate courses taken in their senior year will also substitute for three undergraduate courses required for the English undergraduate major—one of the required 2000 level courses, and two of the required 3000 level courses. Students are also required to complete any and all remaining requirements for the undergraduate English B.A. degree by the end of their fourth year.

In their 5th or M.A. year, students are required to take a total of six graduate courses—three courses in the fall and three courses in the spring. These courses may be selected from any of the 5000-9000 level courses, and one of these courses must be an advanced, 8000-9000 level course.

ENG 9996: Masters Essay

In the final semester of their fifth year, students must also enroll in 3 credits of English 9996: Masters Essay. While enrolled in ENG 9996, the student will work under the guidance of a faculty mentor on the Masters Qualifying Essay and submit the Qualifying Essay by the spring semester deadline for acceptance by the program.

Masters Qualifying Essay

The Qualifying Essay is typically a substantial revision of a paper submitted for a course and is written in the final semester under the guidance of a faculty mentor, who must also approve the essay for submission. The Qualifying Essay demonstrates the student’s ability to write perceptively, lucidly, and at length (4,000-6,000 words) on a literary subject, and is due in the final semester by a date specified in the Graduate English Calendar.

Language Requirement

Students are required to demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language by either passing a translation exam or completing 6 credits of language courses beyond the intermediate language level. They may complete this requirement in either their fourth or fifth year.


Students interested in the “4+1” Accelerated B.A./M.A. Degree Program should apply for admission in the spring semester of their junior year. Applications are due to the English Graduate Office by March 15th, and a decision will be provided to the applicant by April 1st.

Students admitted to the accelerated M.A. program will have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their coursework during the first 5 semesters at Temple University. Prospective applicants to the program should be English majors who are able to complete the undergraduate English B.A. in four years. However, in rare instances, a student who will be able to complete the requirements of the English major in the course of a five year program will be allowed to enter the B.A./M.A. program.  Eligibility is limited to students who will be able to complete both the B.A. and M.A. in five years; transfer students who will be able to complete both programs in five years are eligible to apply.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Undergraduate GPA in English of at least 3.8
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.5 in at least 45 credits of coursework taken at Temple.
  • Students must have completed all of their required 2000 level courses (English 2097; English 2201, English 2202; English 2301; English 2302) by the end of their junior year.  Of the additional two elective 2000 level courses, a student who has a maximum of 1 elective 2000 level course left to complete in their senior year may be admitted to the program.
  • Students must have completed at least 21 of a total of 36 required credits for the English major in order to be considered for admission.
  • Students who have completed more than 24 credits required for the English major in the spring semester of their junior year will be given preference in the admissions process.

Application Process

Applications are due to the English Graduate Office by March 15th. Applicants will be notified of the decision by April 1st so that they will have ample time to readjust their fall schedules if they are admitted into the Accelerated B.A./M.A. program.

Applications must include:

  • A paper copy of the Temple University Graduate Application Form.
  • Two letters of recommendation from full-time Temple University faculty, including at least one from a tenure-track member of the English Department graduate faculty
  • A statement of purpose outlining the student’s goals for entering the accelerated B.A./M.A. program
  • A writing sample that shows the student’s ability to complete graduate level courses:  students will supply a writing sample drawn from an upper-division English course taken at Temple University

Students will be notified of the committee’s decision by April 1st. Students will receive admission to the program conditional on their successful completion of necessary major requirements in the spring semester, as well as on maintaining a 3.5 overall GPA.