BA/MA Option

The BA/MA option is available only to current Columbia undergraduates (Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, and Barnard College). Applicants apply and receive a deferred admission decision to the MA program of their choice during their junior year or during the first semester of their senior year. Students admitted under the BA/MA option may then undertake graduate-level coursework while still undergraduates; that coursework will be later applied to fulfill degree requirements for an MA program after they have graduated from their undergraduate school and enrolled officially at GSAS.

Applying for the BA/MA Option

Students who are interested in pursuing the BA/MA option should consult the director of graduate studies (DGS) or program director of their intended MA program before applying. Participating programs are listed below. Applicants interested in the BA/MA option should apply no later than the semester before the one in which they intend to begin taking courses that will count toward the MA. Click here to access the 2019 BA/MA application.

Applicants who are current first-semester seniors must submit the BA/MA application by November 1. Students in the final semester of their senior year are not eligible to apply via the BA/MA option; instead, those students should apply for regular MA admission via the GSAS online application.

Transfer Credit

Students who are offered admission under the BA/MA option will work with the DGS or program director to determine an appropriate selection of graduate courses during their remaining undergraduate semesters. Upon enrollment in GSAS, BA/MA students may be granted up to three courses (9-12 credits) of transfer credit and up to 0.50 RU for graduate courses (4000-level and above) taken in excess of the 124-credit requirement for the Columbia or Barnard bachelor's degree (i.e., courses that did not count toward undergraduate major, concentration, or general education requirements). Students transferring fewer than 9 credits will be granted a 0.25 RU.

Students will then complete the remaining RUs and coursework as GSAS students. For more information on completing Residence Units as part of fulfilling degree requirements, see Residence Unit and Other Registration Categories.

    Application Deadlines for Fall 2019 Admission

    • Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences: December 15, 2018
    • All other programs: April 26, 2019
    Participating Programs

    Programs offering the BA/MA option are listed below. Students from any undergraduate major may apply to the following MA programs:

    Application requirements for BA/MA applicants mirror those of MA applicants, with one exception: GRE scores are optional for most BA/MA programs. 

    The following programs require GRE scores:

    • African-American Studies
    • East Asian Languages and Cultures
    • Philosophy