A bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program offers a select group of exceptional undergraduates the opportunity to begin graduate work while still an undergraduate and thereby complete the B.A. and M.A. degrees simultaneously and on an accelerated schedule. The entire program normally requires 5-6 years and permits six credit units to be double-counted toward both degrees. Otherwise requirements for the two degrees remain unchanged.

The advantages of such a program to our students and our department are manifold, including:

  • The opportunity to present an undergraduate program that makes full use of our unique resources as a research university and that fosters meaningful undergraduate research.
  • A path for our best students to continue their study of religion here through a range of courses of increasing sophistication and specialization.
  • The opportunity to plot extended academic paths for undergraduates that include requisite language learning and study abroad.

Students admitted to this degree program will include exceptional undergraduates who plan to pursue academic careers in the field of Religious Studies or related disciplines and students who wish to pursue more extensive study of religions than is permitted within the normal B.A. degree. 

More information on the bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program may be found here: Pursue Accelerated Master's Degrees

Applicants to the program must be full-time, continuously enrolled students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and a 3.5 GPA in Religious Studies courses. They must have completed at least 24 credit hours prior to admission to the bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program. Applications will include letters of recommendation from Department faculty and will be evaluated by faculty as a whole, much as graduate applications are.

Students enrolled in the concurrent bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and 3.5 in the department. Each BAM student will be assigned a graduate advisor with whom they will meet regularly and will be required to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward degree. Students who need to drop out will be required to fulfill the B.A. degree requirements for Religious Studies and the Department will apply graduate courses to undergraduate requirements on the advice of the advisor.

Students enrolled in the bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) program may complete 12 credits of graduate coursework while undergraduates. Of those 12 credits, six may double-count toward both degrees, thereby reducing the total amount of RLST coursework to (36 + 30 - 6 =) 60 credit hours. We propose that one of these courses be RLST 6830 Intro to the Academic Study of Religion, which would replace Senior Seminar for BAM students, and that the other be in an area of depth concentration. Otherwise program students will fulfill all the normal requirements for the B.A. and the M.A. degree.