4+1 BA/MA Program

Information on the 5-year Master's Program:

The 4+1 program offers streamlined admission to the graduate school for the purpose of obtaining a master’s degree after 1 additional year at UVa. The program is “terminal,” meaning that you would not be eligible to continue toward a doctoral degree without going through the usual, full admission process. Students who are able to complete the requirements for their bachelors degree in 3 years may be able to do the program in four years, as a 3+1 option.

Requirements for the 4+1 program:

  • Completion of 30-units of graduate-level (5000 and above) coursework, in addition to requirements for the undergraduate degree.
  • Passing either a masters thesis defense, a qualifying exam (standard PhD level general exam in Algebra, Topology, or Analysis), or an ad hoc exam (likely on selected material from one or more courses, subject to approval by two faculty members administering the exam and the Graduate Committee).

Note that applicants should plan to have 6 units of graduate coursework completed before the beginning of the +1 year. It is recommended that potential applicants talk with their academic advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies before applying to the program. Note that only 6 credits of graduate work taken while officially an undergraduate can count toward the masters, so some advance planning may be necessary to make the program feasible.

There is no online application or application fee, nor are there requirements to take the GRE or submit formal letters of recommendation. The application should include:

  • An (unofficial) copy of the student’s transcript.
  • Names of the student’s academic advisor and one faculty member from whom the student has taken an advanced class, who can recommend the student. (Can be the same person, if applicable.)
  • A course plan for the +1 year, including plan for thesis or exam. All courses should be chosen from scheduled courses or seminars for the year, or up to 6 masters thesis units. Up to 2 courses from related disciplines may be considered, if they are at the graduate level. If the plan includes a master’s thesis, the application should include the name of a faculty member willing to supervise the thesis project as well as a proposed topic. If the plan includes an ad hoc exam, details should be provided, including the topic and the name of at least one faculty member willing to administer the exam. General exams are recommended only for students who have completed one of the basic 7000-sequences (7340/7310, 7751/7752, or 7820/7800) by the end of the fall of the +1 year.

These materials should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies in the spring semester before the +1 year. Decisions about admission to the program will be made by the Graduate Committee, with final approval from GSAS.