Exceptional sociology majors have the opportunity to accelerate their education and complete both the BA and MA in five years. This 4+1 program is suitable for those students capable of undertaking graduate level work in their senior year. It offers the benefit of a MA degree, which can be particularly valuable for students planning a career in public service and the non-profit sector, as well as those who want to strengthen their skills and knowledge in preparation for PhD program applications. Students considering the program should consult the Director of Graduate Studies.
Course Sequence and Timetable
Prior to their senior year, students must complete 96 credits that meet all of the undergraduate requirements for Harpur College including upper-level writing and general education courses. During the senior year, the student takes three graduate courses. Successful completion and defense of a BA Honors thesis (enrolled as Soc 499) in the senior year may be substituted for one of these courses. The graduate credit earned in the senior year are doubly counted as undergraduate elective credits and MA credits. After the 4th or senior year, when all undergraduate requirements are met, the student will be awarded a B.A. degree. After that point, the student enrolls in graduate-level sociology courses. The student must complete each semester satisfactorily, with none of the undergraduate major courses below a grade of 3.0 and with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for graduate coursework.
Application and Admissions
Students considering applying should first meet with the Director of Graduate Studies, and then apply for the 4+1 program no later than the beginning of the second semester of their junior year. Admission decisions for the 4+1 program will be made no later than spring of the junior year. Application and admissions processes are through the Sociology Department and subsequently the Graduate School. Applicants are expected to have a strong academic record: normally a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better is required. Students must submit to the department:
A completed application form
The names of two professors who may serve as references
An 800-1,000 word maximum personal statement that addresses the reasons for pursuing the MA
A writing sample
Applicants should forward electronic copies of all documents to: Sociology@binghamton.edu.
The applicant will be evaluated based on the quality of the grades, references, personal statement, writing sample, and interview. Once approved by the department, the applicant will formally submit materials through the Graduate school admissions website.
Upon admission to the 4+1 degree program, successful completion of benchmark requirements is necessary for continued standing in the program. This includes:
Completion of the undergraduate degree in the fourth year of study
Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.3. or better
Successful application to and acceptance to the Graduate School by the fifth year
Successful completion of coursework in the fall and spring semesters of the fifth year
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students admitted to the 4+1 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 4+1 degree program, students are formally considered graduate students and pay graduate student tuition rates. Binghamton University's Graduate School unfortunately does not provide financial aid or any form of tuition assistance to students pursuing MA or MS degrees; students in the 4+1 degree program are thus not eligible for Graduate School financial aid or tuition assistance during their fifth year of study.