Joint BA/MA and 4+1 Advanced Scholars Program
For UChicago College Students
The four-year joint BA/MA in Digital Studies allows students in the College of the University of Chicago to combine their bachelor’s degree program with the Master of Arts in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History. Undergraduate students pursuing this option are in “concurrent residence” beginning in the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year at the University and remain in this status for three consecutive quarters.
As an alternative to the four-year joint BA/MA program, College students may wish to pursue an Advanced Scholars 4+1 Master’s Program, which combines the bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree in five years. For information about the benefits of this program and instructions on how to apply, please go to this website.
Where to Begin
Qualified students in the College of the University of Chicago who wish to pursue a joint BA/MA in Digital Studies should consult with their College advisor or the College’s BA/MA Advisor and then arrange a meeting with the Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction of the Forum for Digital Culture. Interested students are advised to begin these discussions by the end of their second year in the College.
Potential applicants should meet with their College advisor during the Autumn Quarter of their third year to confirm that they are far enough along in their College program to complete the course requirements for both degrees within four years.
Permission to receive concurrent bachelor’s and master’s degrees is a privilege extended only to those undergraduate students who have demonstrated a record of uncommon excellence and who are sufficiently advanced in the fulfillment of the undergraduate degree requirements. The academic demands on these students are significant, and applicants are carefully reviewed in the context of both their undergraduate major and the Digital Studies degree requirements.
- Applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their undergraduate work and are expected to have entered their major.
- Applicants are expected to have completed 39 of the 42 courses required for graduation, including all general education requirements (exceptions must be approved by the Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction), before entering concurrent residence status for the three quarters preceding the anticipated quarter of graduation.
How to Apply
Interested students in the College of the University of Chicago should apply through the online graduate application website of the Division of the Humanities. The application must be submitted by February 1 in order for the student to be informed of the admission decision before the end of the Winter Quarter.
Applicants must submit the following items:
- M.A. application
- statement of academic purpose
- two letters of recommendation
- official transcript(s)
Applicants are not required to pay the application fee nor are they required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
Applicants will be interviewed by the Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction of the Forum for Digital Culture. These conversations will focus on the program’s requirements and the applicant’s qualifications and objectives.
The application will be evaluated by the Digital Studies admissions committee on the basis of the student’s academic record, letters of recommendation, and personal statement of intellectual and academic goals. Admission to the M.A. program is highly competitive and subject to approval by the College.
Students pursuing the joint BA/MA in Digital Studies are required to complete the six core courses and three elective courses prescribed for the Master of Arts in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History. At least one of the three elective courses must deal in some fashion with digital computing, whether or not it entails actual coding.
Courses taken to fulfill the requirements of other programs may be counted toward the Digital Studies course requirements, subject to approval by the Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction. However, no more than 300 units of course credit (typically three 100-unit courses) may be double-counted in this way.
DIGS 20001, Introduction to Computer Programming with Python, and DIGS 20002, Data Analysis I: Introduction to Statistics, are required for the M.A. Both courses are taught annually in the Autumn and are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. However, undergraduates in the College of the University of Chicago who plan to do the joint BA/MA in Digital Studies are strongly encouraged to take the equivalent courses in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Statistics, i.e., CMSC 14100, Introduction to Computer Science I, and STAT 22000, Statistical Methods and Applications (STAT 20000 is not accepted as a substitute).
Timeline in the Final Year of the Joint BA/MA Program
Autumn Quarter of the Final Year Before Graduation (normally the fourth year)
- DIGS 20001, Introduction to Computer Programming with Python (or CMSC 14100)
- DIGS 20002, Data Analysis I: Introduction to Statistics (or STAT 22000 but not STAT 20000)
- DIGS 20003, Data Management for the Humanities
Winter Quarter of the Final Year Before Graduation
- DIGS 20004, Data Analysis II: Data Visualization and Machine Learning
- DIGS 20007, Introduction to Digital Humanities
- An approved elective course
Spring Quarter of the Final Year Before Graduation
- DIGS 20005, Data Publication for the Humanities
- Two approved elective courses
Please note that a grade of C (2.0) or higher in both DIGS 20001/CMSC 14100 and DIGS 20002/STAT 22000 is a requirement for continuing in the M.A. program because these courses are prerequisites for subsequent required courses in the Winter and Spring. Students who fail to obtain a grade of C (2.0) in either DIGS 20001/CMSC 14100 or DIGS 20002/STAT 22000 will be withdrawn from the M.A. program.
Students who begin work toward the M.A. in Digital Studies and then leave the University without completing the program will not be allowed to complete the M.A. program at a later date. A leave of absence is not normally possible after a student has begun to pursue both the B.A. degree and the M.A. in Digital Studies. Students who find that they must take a leave of absence for a medical or family emergency during this period must obtain the approval of the Dean of Students in the Division of the Humanities as well as the Dean of Students in the College.
Admissions decisions are usually not released before College preregistration for the following year takes place. Admissions committees often wish to see Winter Quarter grades before making decisions. Thus, applicants should preregister for the coming academic year as usual.
For each of the three quarters in which students are registered in the Digital Studies M.A. program, they pay tuition at the graduate tuition rate, which is somewhat higher than the undergraduate tuition rate. Students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Division of the Humanities. However, any awards a student receives from College Aid will continue in the M.A. year.