Skip to main content

4 + 1 Combined BA/MA

updated June 20, 2019

FOUR PLUS ONE (Combined BA/MA program)

The History Department admits a limited number of exceptional students to a "4+1" program designed to allow Vanderbilt undergraduate students to complete the bachelor's and master's degree in four years of undergraduate study plus one year of graduate study. The combined degree is typically completed in the same department, but undergraduates from other departments may apply to complete the masters in the history department.

4+1 MA candidates must complete 30 hours of 5000- and above-level course work and submit two research papers. Among the 30 hours, students are expected to complete the two course sequence in research methods (HIST 6100 and HIST 6110) and at least 15 hours in one major field of study. The research papers are to be directed and approved by a two-person committee comprised of the student's faculty advisor and one other faculty member.

Students applying to the 4+1 Program in History should have at least a 3.5 overall and major GPA. The GRE is not required. Ideally, students would apply in the junior year. The application process requires the following steps:

1. Meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in the junior year.

2. Submit application packet to the Director of Graduate Studies by March 1st of junior year.

  • a. Statement of Purpose/Letter of Intent explaining why the applicant seeks to enroll in the 4+1 program
  • b. Writing Sample (10-15 page research paper)
  • c. Vanderbilt transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • d. CV or resumé
  • e. Letters of recommendation from two faculty members, at least one of whom must be in the Department of History
  • f. A&S Petition to Apply to the Combined BA/MA 4+1 Degree Program Form (see to download a copy of this form)

3. If the petition is approved, applicants will take two 5000-level or above courses in their senior year as preparation for the master’s year. Students should choose these courses in consultation with their principal advisor and meet with the instructor of the graduate-level course before registering for it.

4. By March 15th of the senior year, the applicant will submit the regular application package to the Graduate Degree Program in History. Initial entry into graduate level courses in the senior year does not guarantee acceptance into the master’s program; rather, the applicant’s exceptional track record in those courses will constitute a critical aspect of their application to the degree program.