4+1 BA/MA Program

Apply for the Communication 4+1 Program

What is "4+1"? How does it work?
The BA + MA program allows Communication majors accepted in the program to begin taking graduate classes in their senior year. After earning the BA degree, students in good standing will be formally admitted to the Graduate School and continue their graduate coursework.

Seniors admitted to the program may enroll for a maximum of 9 graduate credits before finishing their BA. Students who complete 6-9 graduate credits in their senior year should be able to complete their Master's degree in one additional year.

Can I count graduate courses taken during my senior year toward my BA degree?
No. Students must complete all A&S and University requirements in order to receive the BA degree. Graduate credits taken during the senior year will count toward the MA degree, but not the BA degree.

What are the admission requirements?
Interested students apply to the department to enter the 4+1 program and begin taking graduate courses. At the departmental level, admission requirements include:

  • Senior status. Students will need to have earned a minimum of 90 semester hours by the beginning of Fall Semester.
  • Overall Undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher and COM GPA of 3.4 or higher
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. These letters should come from individuals such as faculty, community partners or employers who can speak to the applicant's ability/achievement/potential/motivation for undertaking graduate study. At least one letter should come from a UC Department of Communication faculty member. No official recommendation form is required.
  • Personal Statement. The personal statement should be approximately 2 pages in length and should address the applicant's goals in pursuing graduate study in the field of communication. It should describe the applicant's academic background and areas of interest in the communication field. The statement should clarify why you believe you are qualified and prepared to join the program. We are looking for a good fit between your goals and the program, as well as excellent writing skills.

At the end of their senior year, students have to apply for formal admission to the Graduate School in order to enter the final year of the MA program. This admission process will not require the GRE.

When are the deadlines for applying?
The deadline for admissions is March 15. We will admit no more than 5 students to the 4+1 program on a competitive basis.

What kinds of financial aid are available for 4+1 students?
When taking graduate courses in the senior year, students are charged undergraduate tuition. After earning the BA degree, students will be formally admitted to the Graduate School and be charged graduate tuition for their coursework. In that second year, students receive a UGS tuition scholarship equal to 25% of graduate tuition for two semesters of full-time graduate study.

Please note: Students who want to compete for graduate assistantships (often teaching in the department) should apply for our traditional two-year MA program during their senior year, rather than the 4+1 program.

What kinds of courses are offered in the MA program in Communication?
4+1 students have the option to take any course offered in the graduate program during their senior year. Students are encouraged to complete at least 2 of the 4 required courses (COMM 7041, COMM 7042, COMM 8001, and COMM 8007) during their senior year.

How many credits are required to complete the MA in Communication? How can I possibly finish the degree in one extra year?
The Department requires 33 graduate credits (24 credits of Communication coursework plus 9 credits for a completion project) for the MA program. A 4+1 student can complete a 33-credit program within one additional year by taking 6-9 credits during the senior year, and then completing the program the next academic year (taking minimally 12 credits per semester).

What are the completion options available to 4+1 students? Will they be required to complete a MA thesis?
Under both current two-year program and the 4+1 program, MA students are required to complete either a thesis (independent research) or praxis project (professional placement and written report) as their completion project.

Should I apply for the 4+1 or 2-year MA program?
There are benefits to both programs. Your choice should be guided by your individual interests and goals.

If accepted, the 4+1 MA program allows you to get your BA and MA in 5 years. This is a good path for students who are looking for a way to distinguish themselves in the job market and like a challenge. The 4+1 does not require taking the GRE. You receive a scholarship equivalent to 25% reduction in graduate tuition costs. 4+1 students are not eligible for departmental graduate assistantships (although some students do find assistantships elsewhere on campus).

If accepted, the 2-year MA program gives students 2 full years of graduate study. A high percentage of students accepted in this program receive Graduate Assistantships (tuition remission and a stipend), which may include teaching in the department. Students may pursue professional work or go on to a doctoral program. If you are interested in doctoral studies, the 2-year program provides a good foundation. This program does require taking the GRE.

Whom do I talk to if I have questions about the 4+1 program?
Dr. Heather Zoller (heather.zoller@uc.edu) is the Director of Graduate Studies and advises students for the 4+1 program. She can be reached at 513-556-4468.

Apply for the Communication 4+1 Program