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Five-Year Combined Degree Programs in Anthropology


The Five-year Combined Degree Program is designed for outstanding Binghamton University anthropology students who wish to combine either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology with a master's degree (either a Master of Arts in Anthropology or a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Anthropology). The Combined Degree Program enables students to graduate with both degrees in five years, in part by taking a limited number of graduate courses while still undergraduate students. The Combined Degree Program also allows a limited number of graduate courses (usually 12 credits of 500-level courses) to count toward both graduate-level degree requirements and undergraduate-level degree requirements. These and other program designs reduce the normal amount of time required to complete both the BA/BS and MA/MS, from six years to five years.

Each year, the Anthropology Department offers a limited number of exceptional anthropology students the opportunity to enroll in the Combined Degree Program. Students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better and who have outstanding academic records may apply to the Combined Degree Program as early as their fourth semester of undergraduate study, and no later than their sixth semester of study (second semester of the junior year). (See below for other application requirements and deadlines.) Students who are interested in the program and not yet in their fourth semester of study are strongly encouraged to download and follow the recommended "Course Timetable" for the specific Combined Degree Program in which they are interested, as well as to indicate their interest in the program as early as possible in their undergraduate studies (before they are eligible to apply) by meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Anthropology.

Course Worksheets

Application and Admissions Process

Application and admissions processes for the Combined Degree Program in Anthropology are, first, through the anthropology undergraduate program and the anthropology graduate program and, subsequently, through the Graduate School. Students may apply to the Combined Degree Program no earlier than their fourth semester of undergraduate study, and no later than the sixth semester of undergraduate study (second semester of the junior year). There are two deadlines each year for submitting applications: Oct. 15 and April 15.


Students applying for admission to the Combined Degree Program must have exceptional academic records, including a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, and faculty recommendations attesting to the student's potential in a graduate program.

Admissions Application

A complete Application for Admission to the Combined Degree Program should include all of the following:

  •  the Application for Admission to Combined Degree Program (download here-, (230kb); and
  • the applicant's official Binghamton University transcript as well as transcripts from  any other colleges or universities the applicant has attended.

Applicants will also be required to interview with the Combined Degree Program Admissions Committee, consisting of the Department of Anthropology's undergraduate director, graduate director and department chair. Each applicant will be contacted by e-mail shortly after the application deadline to schedule the interview.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline to:
5-Year Combined Degree Program Admissions
Department of Anthropology
137 Science Building 1
Binghamton University
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

Admissions applications are competitively evaluated on the basis of the quality of the grades, the references and the interview. Applicants are advised that acceptance into the Combined Degree Program is highly competitive with a limited number of applicants accepted into the program each year. Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision approximately four to six weeks after the application deadline.

Continuing Eligibility

Upon admission to the Combined Degree Program, successful completion of benchmark degree requirements is necessary for continued standing in the program. Students may be dismissed from the program at any time for failure to successfully complete benchmark requirements. While some requirements vary according to the specific Combined Degree Program into which the student has been accepted (BA/MA, BA/MS, BS/MA or BS/MS), benchmark requirements applicable to all students admitted include all of the following:

   • successful completion of the undergraduate degree (the BA or BS in Anthropology) in the fourth year of study, including all General Education and Harpur College requirements for graduation;
   • maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better;
   • receipt of grades of "B" or better and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate courses taken for the major and in all graduate coursework, including the core graduate required courses;
   • successful application to and acceptance by the Graduate School (by the fifth year); and
   • timely completion of all required undergraduate and graduate coursework (including core graduate course requirements) for the specific Combined Degree program, as laid out on the "Course Timetable" specific to the student's Combined Degree Program.

In addition:
   • For students pursuing the BA/MA or BS/MA Combined Degree: formation of a faculty committee willing to supervise the student's MA thesis, as required for the MA degree, which committee must be in place by the beginning of the fifth year; successful completion of the foreign language requirement for all MA students at the Graduate School; and successful completion of either an MA thesis or 2-paper thesis option.
   • For students pursuing the BS/MS or BA/MS combined degree: completion of the required internship in the fifth year, for which placement and faculty supervision should be in place by the fifth semester; and successful completion of the MS oral examination administered by the faculty.

Students who complete the BA or BS degree requirements during the first four years are assured of receiving the appropriate bachelor's degree if, due to dismissal from the program or other reasons, they do not complete the fifth year of study in the Combined Program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students admitted to the Combined Degree program are formally considered undergraduates and pay undergraduate tuition rates for the first four years of the program until they graduate with the BA/BS degree. During the fifth year in the Combined Degree Program, students are formally considered graduate students and pay graduate student tuition rates. Binghamton University's Graduate School does not provide financial aid or any form of tuition assistance to students pursuing MA or MS degrees; students in the Combined Degree Program are thus not eligible for Graduate School financial aid or tuition assistance during their fifth year of study.

Last Updated: 3/27/17