American Studies, Bachelors to M.A. Accelerated Program

The American studies accelerated bachelor's/master's program at Saint Louis University offers outstanding American studies majors the opportunity to begin an M.A. program in their senior year, completing the M.A. with a full-time fifth year of graduate study after their successful completion of both the first-year requirements and their undergraduate degree and major.

SLU's American studies major, like most humanities majors, requires 30 credits of coursework, and the M.A. requires an additional 30 credits. By counting four graduate courses, or 12 credits, for both degrees, students earn the requisite 30 credits in only 12 to 14 months after receiving their bachelor's degree.

For additional information, see the catalog entries for the following SLU programs:

American Studies, B.A. 

American Studies, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Students may indicate an interest to their faculty mentor or the department chair at any time in their sophomore or first semester of their junior years. Applications are due by the department's annual graduate application deadline of December 15, and must be made using the application form available under the "Undergraduate Student Resources" heading on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 hours toward the bachelor's degree by the end of the junior year, and 105 hours by the end of the fall semester of the senior year. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 30 hours at SLU.
  • Applicants should have an overall GPA of 3.7 in their American Studies major.
  • Applications should Include a goals statement, a writing sample, and the College of Arts and Sciences admission form. Letters of recommendation are not required.

Program Requirements

Students in the accelerated program can count up to 12 credits at the graduate level their senior year that will count for both their bachelor's and master's degrees. 

Continuation Standards

Qualifying Exam

During the senior undergraduate year, students enrolled in the accelerated BA/MA program take a one-hour qualifying exam to demonstrate their growing knowledge of the field. The exam is similar to that taken by first-year MA and MA-to-PhD students; however, it covers material from only one graduate course (ASTD 5000) rather than material from two. The exam, consisting of one essay question, generally occurs at the end of the semester in which ASTD 5000 is taken. The exam has no bearing on a student's grade in ASTD 5000. The exam is a take-home exam, organized by the professor teaching ASTD 5000.

Performance Review

In order to advance to the full-time MA year after the conferral of the BA, students must receive at least a B in graduate courses taken as an undergraduate, clear any incomplete grades on their undergraduate transcripts, and pass their qualifying exam.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
ASTD 5000 Perspectives in American Studies 3
6 Graduate Coursework Credits 6
Qualifying Exam  
Performance Review  
3 Graduate Coursework Credits 3
Year Two
Portfolio Paper Option9 Graduate Coursework Credits  
Thesis optionASTD 5990 and 6 additional Graduate Coursework Credits 9
Portfolio Paper Option9 Graduate Coursework Credits, Completion of Portfolio Paper, Oral Exam  
Thesis OptionASTD 5990, 6 additional Graduate Coursework Credits, Oral Exam 9
 Total Credits30