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4+1 BA/MA Program


  • This program is designed to give advanced students in-depth exposure to graduate study in literature and to further their research and critical skills.
  • Students admitted to the program will undertake limited graduate work in their senior year and then will stay on for a fifth year to concentrate exclusively on graduate studies.
  • Applicants must be Emory English majors in their junior year.
  • Contact the Director of Graduate Admissions for an application and more information.

How does the program work?

In the fall semester of the senior year, students will register for ENG 796, the introductory graduate seminar in “Theories, Histories, and Methods,” in order to orient them toward critical approaches associated with graduate-level work in literary studies. That fall, they will take one additional graduate course on an S/U basis, which means that they are responsible for the reading and for participating in the seminar, but they will not be required to write a major paper.

During the spring of the senior year, students will take two additional graduate seminars – one on a graded basis and one S/U.

The Fifth Year

During the fifth year, students will take two to three graduate seminars per semester while working on a Master's thesis in close conjunction with a faculty mentor. The precise number of credit hours for thesis coursework is flexible, depending upon the scope of the research involved.

In order to successfully complete the program, the student must satisfactorily complete this coursework and obtain approval of the Master's thesis from a committee including the primary advisor and two other faculty members, one of whom may be from outside of the English department.

Courses may NOT be double-counted for the completion of your undergraduate degree and the completion of the MA program. Students planning to apply should complete at least seven English courses by the end of the junior year. If you are enrolled in the 4+1 program and plan to do Honors as well, you will take ENG 796 in lieu of the honors seminar (ENG 490) in the fall of your senior year.

What is the tuition for the fifth year?

  • Tuition for the fifth year will be 50% of the standard tuition rate for the Laney Graduate School.
  • If you are now receiving financial aid from Emory College, you will need to seek an alternate source of aid for your fifth year, since you will then be enrolled in the Laney Graduate School, and your undergraduate financial aid will no longer be available.

Photo: Portrait of Salman Rushdie and computer, Salman Rushdie papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library.