Early Admisssion: BA-MA Program

Students enrolled at Columbia College, SEAS, Barnard, and the School of General Studies may apply for early admission to the MA program in South Asia Studies and begin their MA coursework in their senior year while completing their undergraduate degree. The department encourages applications from students in a variety of majors who have a record of academic achievement.

Early Admissions Process

Students seeking early admission into the MA program should contact the MA Director, Professor Quinn Clark, during the second semester of the junior year or at the beginning of the first semester of the senior year before submitting an application. Applications for early admission should be submitted no later than the second semester of the student's junior year for admission in the following fall semester or the first semester of the student's senior year for admission in the following spring semester. Decisions will be announced approximately one month after the application deadline.

The application for Columbia and Barnard undergraduates seeking early admission is otherwise the same as the regular admissions requirements for non-Columbia applicants to the M.A. program (see Application).

Students in the early admission program are eligible to apply for both Academic Year and Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, which provide tuition and stipend support. Applicants must plan to study a South Asia language during both terms of their fellowship, and must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. See the Financial Aid section, below.

Admission in the MA program may be revoked if after admission the student fails to make adequate progress toward either the undergraduate or graduate degree. Examples of failure to make adequate academic progress would include a severe decline in GPA, or evidence of academic dishonesty.

Transition from the BA program to the MA program

The curriculum and requirements for students who are admitted early are the same as those for all other students in the MA program.

Coursework taken to satisfy any requirement of the undergraduate degree, i.e. courses taken to complete a major, a concentration, the science requirement, or the 124-point requirement, cannot be applied towards the requirements of the MA program.

After the senior year, an undergraduate dean will certify what specific courses did not count for the BA degree and therefore can be applied to the MA. A maximum of fifteen credits taken as an undergraduate may count toward the MA. Students should consult with respective undergraduate and graduate deans and advisors before the senior year when designing a course of study for completion of the BA and then the MA degree.

When students are enrolled in the MA program and have finished their fourth year, they officially become students of GSAS. As such, they will lose their rights to undergraduate housing and undergraduate financial aid once they are enrolled in the MA program and have finished their fourth year. However, at that point they will be eligible for MA housing, graduate FLAS fellowships and GSAS financial aid.