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The History Department offers a 5-year combined BA/MA program in history. This program allows highly motivated undergraduates to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in 10 semesters. These degrees will be awarded consecutively, following completion of the BA portion of the degree. Students admitted to the program will complete the same course of study (30  graduate  credits) required of MA students  by the end of their fifth year. The program  provides a challenging capstone to college,  and an opportunity to earn an MA degree for a professional or academic track (regarding  these tracks,  see  the History MA Program page) . Our BA/MA may serve as a terminal degree for employment in any field that values historical research, writing, and analysis; or, it may serve as a springboard for doctoral study in History   or a related field . The degree may also be combined with  teaching  certification in social studies –  for information on that option see  the Teacher Education BA/MA program page.


The program is very selective, and successful applicants normally have a 3. 5  GPA or higher in their  History  courses and very strong faculty recommendations.

Interested students are encouraged to speak with the Director of Graduate Studies as early as possible, 
and  no later than  Spring semester  of the ir Junior year . Students must be admitted to the program no later than September 1 of their senior year, and persons interested in applying to the program should make every effort to complete the required HIS 301 and HIS 401 courses  no later than their seventh semester (and  ideally by the end of their Junior year) .

Complete applications  are due April 15  of the applicant's Junior year. Application  and recommendation forms should be obtained from and returned to the  Graduate Program Coordinator. Applicants will be informed of  admissions  decisions before the end of the Spring semester. In special cases, the graduate admissions committee will consider BA/MA applications submitted by August 15 for decisions prior to the start of the Fall semester,  but students should strive to apply for the April 15 deadline if possible.

Required application materials are as follows:

Short Statement of Purpose ( 1-2  pages) describing the student's areas of interest within history, the insights or experiences motivating the decision to explore these areas, and the kinds of questions which the applicant hopes to explore; this statement should be as specific as possible about intended topics of study and indicate relevant faculty with whom they envision working. Applicants are encouraged to contact these professors before submitting the application.

Short Writing Sample 
that illustrates the applicant's writing skills and capacity for research, analysis, and creative thought. The sample should be  10 or more pages, with  proper citations and bibliography.

Letters of Recommendation At least two (2)  Letters of Recommendation.  At least one  letter,  and preferably multiple letters, should come from Stony Brook History Department faculty with whom the applicant has taken courses.   Recommenders should be instructed to submit their letters directly to  the  Graduate Program Coordinator.

The GRE is not required.


Students admitted to the program are only required to complete 111 undergraduate credits, rather than the usual 120 credits, because 9 graduate credits will be counted toward the undergraduate degree. However, only two of these courses may be counted towards the satisfaction of the requirements of the  History major.

Students take two graduate courses during their Senior 
year, and then complete the remaining graduate courses during their fifth year. Performance in these courses will be reviewed at the end of the year, and permission to complete the remainder of the graduate program would be based on satisfactory performance in the two graduate courses.

 If you decide to leave the combined program, only two graduate courses can be counted toward the undergraduate degree.

Once students are classified as graduate students (normally Semester 9), they will be subject to the rules of the Graduate School. They will have to pay graduate tuition, and eligibility for undergraduate financial aid and housing may be affected.

Course of Study

Students should plan to complete their departmental requirements and relevant SBC requirements (in addition to any requirements for teaching certification, for students completing  that option) in such a way that they are free to enroll primarily in graduate courses by their seventh or eight semester. This normally entails completing 301, 401, and all but 1 or 2 SBC requirements during  their first three years, leaving the fourth and fifth years of study available for primarily graduate courses.