department of psychology
Application Deadline February 1
The B.A.-B.S./M.A. Program is designed to allow selected students to earn both a B.A. or a B.S. and an MA in Psychology in five years. Boston College Undergraduate Psychology majors may apply to continue their studies beyond the B.A. or B.S. and to earn an M.A. with the equivalent of another, consecutive year of full-time study. The purpose of the program is to allow students a greater opportunity for concentrated study and research training. Such training is excellent preparation for application to a Ph.D. program.
Applications are due by February 1 of the junior year. Students interested in the program must find an advisor in the Psychology Department willing to supervise their research. Students who are studying abroad in their junior year should find an advisor before leaving the country, and can apply from abroad. Students apply for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For the online admissions web page, visit GSAS Admissions.
Students apply to one of our five graduate areas, each of which specifies (in the Graduate Handbook) the two 500-level area seminars required. Students must submit a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and an official transcript. The GRE is not required. Admission to the program normally requires an overall and a Psychology GPA of 3.33. Students accepted in the B.A.-B.S./M.A. program may also apply to Ph.D. programs in their senior year. If admitted, they may choose to go to a Ph.D. program instead of completing the B.A.-B.S./M.A. program.
Students admitted to the program must take the following two courses in their senior year: PS606 (Statistics) and at least one 500-level seminar required by the student’s area. These classes will count for graduate credit as well as for the undergraduate major. Students also begin intensive research with an advisor. In their fifth year, students take an advanced statistics course and the second 500-level seminar required by the student’s area. Students complete this research in the form of a master’s thesis. Students must meet all the requirements of the M.A. program.
See also our Master's Program.
If admitted to the B.A.-B.S./M.A. program, all tuition and fees are the responsibility of the student. There is no additional financial support available to students in the B.A.-B.S./M.A. Program.
Exactly which courses must a student take to satisfy the B.A.-B.S./M.A. requirement?
Fourth Year (6 credits towards the M.A. degree)
- PS606 Experimental Design & Statistics
- A 500-level course determined by the student’s area
Fifth Year (24 credits toward the M.A. degree)
- A second advanced statistics course: SC703, ED668, or the equivalent (3 credits)
- A second 500-level course determined by the student’s area (3 credits)
- 4 research workshops in the student’s area (12 credits)
- 2 independent studies (6 credits)
- PS692 Professional Development Workshop (0-credit, ungraded course)
Are these courses offered every year?
With the exception of Statistics, we generally offer graduate courses every other year.
Will the research in fourth and fifth years count for course credit?
Students must begin research during their senior year so that it is completed by the end of their fifth year. Research conducted in the fifth year counts for credit as students carry out their research through their independent study courses.
Does a student still need to fulfill all Psychology major requirements?
Can a student still only take four 3-credit classes per semester in the senior year?
Yes, a student can take only four classes senior year, provided he or she will still complete the major requirements and also earn the 38 credits required for a B.A. or B.S.
Can a B.A.-B.S./M.A. student participate in the undergraduate Psychology Honors Program?
Yes, students may be enrolled in both the Psychology Honors Program and the B.A.-B.S./M.A. program. The M.A. thesis may be an extension of the research constituting the undergraduate honors thesis.
Can students in the two-year M.A. program be retroactively considered for the five-year B.A.-B.S./M.A. program?
No, students who begin the two-year M.A. program cannot switch to the B.A.-B.S./M.A. program.
Who should a student talk to about this program for more information?
Hiram Brownell, the Graduate Program Director.