Master's Promotion (4+1) Program

Master's Promotion Program for UVA Undergraduates

The Department of Media Studies offers an expedited admission process for UVA undergraduates seeking the MA degree. This process both eases the admissions process and allows students to take courses that will count toward the MA while still enrolled as undergraduates. In some cases, this allows for the completion of the BA and the MA in a total of five years.

Third-year students who wish to be considered for admission to this program should submit their application by May 1. Those students accepted into the program will take two graduate-level courses (5000 or above) in their final year of undergraduate study, which will be credited toward their MA degree. In the following year, they will continue at the University as MA students and fulfill the degree requirements for the MA in Media, Culture & Technology (for a fuller description of these requirements, visit the MA Degree Requirements page.) Students must complete their BA at the end of their fourth year and must remain in residence at the University for their fifth year.

Eligibility: This program is open to students from any major who can show reasonable preparation and purpose for graduate work in Media Studies.

Note: The credits for the two graduate courses taken in the undergraduate years cannot be counted toward the Media Studies major or toward the 120 credits required by the College of Arts and Sciences for the BA degree.

Applications should be submitted by email to the Director of Graduate Studies by May 1 of a student’s third year, and should include the following:

  • A 500-word statement of purpose outlining the intellectual interests to be pursued in the MA program. A strong statement will also include some discussion of how the applicant’s previous coursework in Media Studies has prepared them for graduate study.
  • A writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to mount and sustain an argument. The writing sample should be approximately 20 pages of academic writing; this may be one long essay, or two shorter pieces. While it may reflect the precise academic interests for which you are pursuing graduate education, it is more important that it be an example of your strongest academic work.
  • The names of two endorsing professors in the Department of Media Studies. Endorsements mean that a faculty member in the department is willing to support your application; you should always confirm that this is the case before listing anyone in this capacity.

It is occasionally the case that students not ready to apply in May of their third year become interested in Master’s Promotion during the fall of their fourth year. These students can submit the same application materials to the Director of Graduate Studies by November 1, and may be admitted if there is sufficient capacity.

All students approved to enter the program will still need to apply through the Graduate School application in the fall of their 4th year (online applications open September 1). These students should indicate on the application that they have been accepted to the Master's Promotion program, and will have a streamlined application as a result. Thanks to a special arrangement with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, students do not need to pay an application fee in order to apply.