The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Accelerated Master of Arts (4+1) in English

Below, you’ll find information on the Accelerated (4+1) MA option. For more information about the Traditional MA in English, please visit the MA in English page.

This accelerated program offers candidates the opportunity to graduate in five years with a BA and MA in English. Enrolled students benefit in many ways: with 10 graduate seminars, combined BA/MA graduates possess far more core content knowledge about literature, literary theory, and language; and with a graduate degree, students will be more competitive in local, regional, and national job markets. With just one extra year of study, undergraduate Secondary Education students can market themselves as highly-qualified teachers of English and Language Arts.

Planning for an Accelerated (4+1) MA

The 4+1 MA requires advanced planning.
You must choose your courses carefully so that:

  1. You will have completed a total of 11 English courses (although only one 499 is necessary if accepted) and 32 total units by the end of your Senior year.
  2.  You have extra room in the Spring of your Senior year for two graduate courses (505 and one other) which do not count toward your BA.
  3. You will have completed 16 units (through the end of your 4th semester) BEFORE applying in October of your Junior year.
  4. You will have completed all three foundational literature courses and have taken or be in the process of taking two 300-400-level courses BEFORE applying in October of your Junior year.

Transfer students may not be able to meet all the requirements above; if not, please consider the traditional MA instead.

If you are interested in the Five-Year MA, you should have a consultation with your undergraduate advisor (ideally during the academic advisement period) and discuss a plan for how to prepare**.

Applying for the Accelerated (4+1) MA

Applications are due in the Fall of your Junior year (October 15th).  Applications are due to the English Department—not the Office of Graduate Studies—through the application on the MA website (see link below).

You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall and a 3.4 for English classes at TCNJ.

Application requirements include:

  • A completed application
  • 2 letters of recommendation from TCNJ faculty members (one must be from the English department) who can evaluate the candidate’s research and writing skills
  • Unofficial transcripts from TCNJ
  • A writing sample (a piece of analytical writing from a 300-or 400-level course at TCNJ–submitted without any grade or comments on it).

Students applying for this program do not need to take GREs, and you do not have to pay an application fee.

Applicants will be notified by October 30th with admission decisions, in time for Summer registration.

» Apply Now for the Accelerated (4+1) MA Program

» Recommendation Form

*Students in the English program who are not English/Secondary Education majors but who wish to apply for a 5-year Masters’s degree are qualified and able to do so, as well.

** Students in the Accelerated (4+1) MA program are prohibited from pursuing the MA thesis as their Culminating Experience.