Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Five-Year BA/MA Program

The combined BA and MA degree program in History integrates Loyola University Chicago’s (LUC) current History degree programs at the undergraduate and master levels. The program provides specially selected History majors with the opportunity to more efficiently move through two degrees and thereby jump-start their professional development by completing two degrees in five rather than six years. Graduates of this program are well prepared to pursue a PhD in History, to apply to a professional school, or to seek a teaching position at the post-secondary level.

The combined degree is available for only the MA degree in History (not the program for the MA in Public History or the dual degree Public History/MLIS degree with Dominican University). The program outcomes are the same as for the MA in History.

To apply to the BA/MA program, a student must:

  1. Be a declared undergraduate LUC History major
  2. Have junior status at LUC based on credit hours earned
  3. Possess a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 for course work at LUC
  4. Have earned at least a 3.7 GPA in at least five completed History courses at LUC, three of which must be at the 300-level
  5. Begin their senior year with 27-30 total credits in their History major
  6. Have completed HIST 299: Historical Methods before beginning senior year
  7. Meet the application deadline of March 15 of junior year

A student should apply for admission to this program by March 15 of their junior year by submitting a transcript, a writing sample, a one-page statement of purpose, and a recommendation from two full-time faculty members of the History Department. Transfer students may apply at the end of their second semester as a junior, or once they have met criteria #4 above. They should submit both their LUC transcript and a transcript from their previous institution. Admission to the program is highly competitive and will depend upon a positive review of credentials by the department's Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Program Director will coordinate this program, working with the Director of Undergraduate Programs to advise students on their applications and to assure there is no significant overlap between courses completed at the undergraduate level and those at the graduate level.

The Curriculum:

Students in a BA/MA program begin graduate courses during the first semester of their senior year. To complete the program, students will earn a total of 30 credit hours during their senior year and graduate career. Twelve of those hours can count towards both the undergraduate major and the graduate degree.  No graduate courses will be taken during the freshman, sophomore, or junior years.

Pre-requisites: Students in the combined degree program begin their senior year with 27–30 total credits in their History major, including the successful completion of HIST 299: Historical Methods.

During your senior year:

  • Take the required 3-credit introductory-level graduate course (HIST 400: Twentieth Century Approaches to History) in the Fall semester and another 400-level course or HIST 599: Directed Primary Research.  HIST 599 will replace, if invited to participate in the Honor Tutorial course, HIST 397: History Honors Tutorial.
  • Take an additional 6 credits of graduate classes in the Spring semester:
    • One of these courses can be HIST 599: Directed Primary Research, if not taken during the Fall semester. This course can be paired with one of two approved undergraduate seminars: HIST 390: Senior Capstone or NLUS: Newberry Library Seminar. The course will carry the graduate number designation, but the topic title will mirror one of these courses. If HIST 599 is not taken, students can take the 500-level seminar offered in the Spring semester.  The other course would be a 400-level history course.
    • If a student takes HIST 599 in the Fall, then the student will take two 400-level courses in the Spring.

These courses can fulfill the 300-level requirements or electives for the major toward the BA and your Master's degree.

During your graduate year:

  • Take 18 credits: three graduate courses in the Fall semester and three in the Spring semester. One of those courses should be a 500-level seminar.
  • Take your comprehensive field examination at the end of the Spring semester.

Please note: Only 12 hours can be completed during your senior year. All other graduate courses MUST be taken during the graduate year.

This course distribution reflects a student entering the BA/MA Program on the traditional pathway, i.e., starting in the Fall of the senior year and taking courses in both semesters of the senior year. Students who graduate in the Fall of their senior year or who have a significant amount of transfer credit will have a schedule that reflects their more individualized pathway. They may not, for example, be able to take all 12 of the hours allowed during their senior year and, as a result, their particular degree completion plan may vary from the plan outlined above.

Research Tool Requirement

All students must demonstrate competence in one research skill (e.g. oral history, digital humanities, or a reading knowledge of a foreign language) appropriate to their major field. 


Please click here to start the application process.