4+1 Degree Program

4+1 Degree Program: BA+MA 

The 4+1 program in English will allow talented undergraduates the opportunity to further pursue their studies in English and Creative Writing at the graduate level in a timely and cost efficient manner. It will allow qualified students the opportunity to do advanced study in British and American literatures, postcolonial and global fiction and film, as well as in creative writing.

Course Sequence and Timetable

For the 4+1 program, students will take 3 graduate 500-level courses in LIT/RHET/CW, in place of three undergraduate 300-level electives. These three 500-level courses will double-count towards their undergraduate degree and their Master's degree. If the student has been accepted into the highly selective Honors Program, and satisfactorily completes the Seminar (fall) and Honors Thesis (spring), the honors seminar can be counted for one of their graduate courses.

  • Major Checklist in 4+1 Program (Major Code 12H)

    CORE REQUIREMENTS (five courses)

    1. One course in British literature to 1660
      (ENG 327, 230, 333, 401 or appropriate list course)*

    2. One course in British literature after 1660
      (ENG 328 or appropriate list course)*

    3. One course in American literature 
      (ENG 372 or appropriate list course)*

    4. One course on Shakespeare
      (ENG 345 or appropriate list course)*

    5. One Theory-Oriented course
      (ENG 310, 320 or appropriate list course)*


    1. One additional British or American Literature course at the 200 level or above
      (See appropriate list for eligible courses) *

    2. One additional Global Culture course at the 200 level or above 
      (See appropriate list for eligible courses) **

    3. One Advanced course
      (ENG/CW/RHET 300-399, 400-490, 495, 498-499)

    4. One Intermediate or Advanced course at the 200 level or above
      (ENG/CW/RHET 200-299, 300-399, 400-490, 495, 498-499)
    5. One Senior Seminar (any 400-level course) or Honors Seminar ***
      (ENG/CW/RHET 400-490, 498)
    6. Three graduate courses (senior year) will count towards three undergraduate electives 
      (ENG 500-593, 640, 641, or Honors Program 498/499 will count towards one graduate course)

    *See department website for course substitutions

    ** See list of course substitutions for Global Culture core requirements

    ***Note: Binghamton University will require all students to complete a Basic Communication course at the 400-level to fulfill this requirement to comply with the SUNY Transfer Path in English.


    • No course can count for two requirements for your major
    • Courses taken under Pass/Fail do not count toward the major, except those that are Pass/Fail only
    • Students must receive a C- or better on courses to fulfill requirements for the major
    • Students are required to take at least 24 credits at the 300 level or above
    • Majors admitted to Binghamton University before Fall 2022 may elect to follow the requirements listed in the Binghamton University Bulletin for their year of admittance, or they can follow the new requirements.

Application and Admissions Process

Students interested in the program are invited to confer with a department advisor or the English Undergraduate Program Assistant, Donna Berg (dmberg@binghamton.edu) as they begin the process.  Students normally apply in their junior year and must be able to complete the bachelor’s degree within 4 years. Admission normally requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher; exceptions are occasionally made for students who found their strength in English late.

After that, students normally indicate their intention to apply located on my.binghamton portal. There, they will complete the 4+1 Intent Application identifying their interest in the English 4+1program and two recommenders who can speak to their strengths in English courses; creative writing students must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a CW faculty member.  Students will upload a 1-2 page personal statement and a writing sample.  

In their senior year, students complete the 4+1 Application, which officially admits them to the MA program in English.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students admitted to the 4+1 program are formally considered undergraduates and pay undergraduate tuition rates for the first four years of the program until they graduate with the BA degree. During the fifth year in the 4+1 program, students are formally considered graduate students and pay graduate student tuition rates.

Questions? Contact dmberg@binghamton.edu 

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4+1 Program Timeline to MA Degree:

The 4+1 program allows students to complete both the BA and MA in English with just one additional year of coursework beyond the standard BA degree.

The stand alone MA program typically requires 3 semesters of coursework. Because the 4+1 program allows accepted students to take up to three graduate courses while completing the BA, the remaining graduate coursework can be completed two semesters. Once they have completed the BA degree requirements, students typically register for three 4-credit courses a semester.