Skip Navigation

College of Communication & Creative Arts - Writing Arts

Rowan University

The 4+1 Program


Description and Application Instructions

(Also Known as “the Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Writing Arts/Master of Arts in Writing Dual Degree Program”—or “the BA/MA Program”)

The 4+1 program allows students to complete both a BA degree with a major in Writing Arts and a Master of Arts in Writing in five years instead of the usual six years or longer.

The first step in knowing whether this program is right for you is to visit the Writing Arts Department website for an introduction to the Curriculum of the Masters of Arts in Writing, which includes the array of courses offered and degree requirements).

 

Advantages of the Program
If you know that you want to obtain an MA in Writing at least by March in the spring semester of your junior year, and if you qualify, then there are two main advantages of this program:

• The first advantage is the time saved. Students in the 4+1 program finish their masters a year earlier than students earning separate MA and BA degrees. The 4+1 program takes less time, because students have to take fewer classes. Instead of 150 credit hours to earn both a BA and an MA, students only have 138 credit hours total for both degrees.

• The second advantage is cost. Since students in the 4+1 program begin taking their graduate level classes in their senior year, they pay the undergraduate tuition rate, which is at least 37% less than the graduate tuition rate. (In their +1 or fifth year, students pay the regular graduate tuition rate.) Students also save money by taking 12 fewer credits overall.

 

Progression through the 4+1 Program
Once you are in the 4+1 program, the process for completing both degrees works like this:

• Writing Arts Majors complete their regular undergraduate course work through their junior year.

• In their senior year, students finish their undergraduate requirements while completing 12 hours of graduate course work, picking classes that can “replace” or double up undergraduate required classes. The Graduate Coordinator will advise you how best to do this.

• Then, during the +1 year, which is the year after they are seniors, students complete the remaining 18 hours of their graduate work. (Nine hours a semester is considered a full time load and is required.)

• Upon completion of the requirements for the program, you will be awarded your bachelors in Writing Arts and your Masters in Writing at the same time.


Additional details follow, but please note that the 4+1 program takes planning, organization, time management, as well as excellent writing skills. Students need to work with the Graduate Coordinator to plan a program of student that is most advantageous.

 

Senior Privilege Instead of the 4+1 Program
If you are interested in the MA in Writing but the 4+1 doesn’t work for you because of timing or the requirements, consider taking graduate classes using Senior Privilege, another way of having graduate courses apply for both undergraduate and graduate credit. If you qualify for senior privilege (with 90 earned credits, a GPA above 3.0, and completion of the Senior Privilege Registration Request Form) you can take up to two graduate classes. You don’t have to be interested in the MA in Writing to use Senior Privilege, but if you are, and if you are accepted, you can apply to have the credit transferred for graduate credit by using the Senior Privilege Transfer Credit Request Form. Contact the Graduate Coordinator if this option interests you.

 

Requirements for application to the 4+1 Program:
To apply and qualify for the 4+1 program, students must have a 3.5 GPA in the Writing Arts major (including both required courses and related electives) and a 3.0 GPA overall. They must also have completed

• Introduction to Writing Arts (WA07.200)
• 60-75 credits of course work overall by the end of their junior year
• At least 3 courses offered by the department that are in the major
• At least 15 credits at Rowan University while matriculated in the BA in Writing Arts.

Although Creative Writing I or Children’s Stories are not required for admission, you must complete one of these courses as a prerequisite for the graduate creative writing courses.

 

How to apply:
Again, this is an ambitious program that only top students with strong organizational skills should attempt. If you meet the above-listed criteria, submit an application packet to the Writing Arts Department consisting of the following by March 7:

The 4+1 Application Form
• Two letters of recommendation, with at least one from a Writing Arts professor
• A writing sample of 8-10 pages that demonstrates writing ability in at least two of the following: creative writing, journalism, nonfiction, composition studies, multimedia or multimodal composition, professional writing, or academic writing.
• A 300-500 word statement of purpose for attending the program, showing that you are familiar with the MA in Writing and have a clear direction and purpose

This application packet must be submitted to Ron Block, the Interim Graduate Coordinator of the Writing Arts Department. No action will be taken until the file is complete. Final admission decisions will be made by a committee from Writing Arts consisting of the Chair, the Undergraduate Coordinator and the Graduate Coordinator.

 

Planning Your Program of Study

Work with the Graduate Coordinator
Once you are accepted to the 4+1 Program, you need to consult with the Graduate Coordinator to plan carefully for your senior year, which will simultaneously be the last year of your undergraduate work and the first year of your graduate study.

You must also fill out a Change of Program form with the assistance of the Graduate Coordinator. Keep in mind that the CGCE (the College of Graduate and Continuing Education) will administrate your program.

Every semester you must register for your courses with the assistance of the Graduate Coordinator. This is simply a matter of telling the Graduate Coordinator what classes you which to take and the Coordinator will email CGCE.

Upon completion of the requirements for the program, you will be awarded your bachelors in Writing Arts and your Masters in Writing at the same time.


BA/MA year: the Senior Year, or the 4th Year of the 4+1
During what would be for most students’ "senior year” (which the CGCE calls the BA/MA year) you will take 12 hours of graduate credit along with any courses you need to complete undergraduate requirements.

During year, you must take the following two classes, which will apply to the MA:

• Core I: Theories and Techniques of Writing (MAWR 01554) to be taken fall semester
• Core II: Research Methods for Writers (MAWR 01559) to be taken spring semester

These, along with the other 6 graduate hours (one grad class each semester), will count toward fulfilling both BA and MA requirements. Almost all graduate courses can count toward fulfilling undergraduate requirements of some kind. Once you are aware of what courses will be offered (because they rotate), consult with the Graduate Coordinator. The goal is to get your graduate classes to count toward the undergraduate major's required courses or related electives. Generally, the graduate creative writing courses will count toward the undergraduate Creative Writing requirements and the graduation composition studies courses, journalism, and new media courses will count toward the Professional Writing requirements.

That said, here are some key courses that would replace the required courses in the Writing Arts Major:

• Core I: Theories and Techniques for Writers (MAWR01.554) can replace The Writer’s Mind (WA01.300).
• Writing for Electronic Communities (MAWR01.555) can replace Writing, Research, and Technology (WA01.301)
• Perspectives in the Assessment of Writing (MAWR01.556) can replace Evaluating Writing (WA01.405)

You must complete all requirements for the Writing Arts undergraduate major, including Portfolio Seminar by the end of the fourth year. Talk to the Graduate Advisor and plan accordingly. Consult the undergraduate advising sheets for specifics.

Advising Sheet for those who entered major prior to Fall 2013
Advising Sheet for those who entered major Fall 2013 or later

Note: Portfolio Seminar should be taken along with or as soon as possible after other undergraduate requirements are fulfilled. However, given the equivalencies for courses that portfolio papers must be drawn from, this may not be possible until near the end of the program. If the student takes Portfolio Seminar during the “senior” or BA/MA year—including summer—undergrad tuition and fees apply. If the student takes Portfolio Seminar during the MA/BA year, graduate tuition and fees apply.

IMPORTANT: When you have completed the requirements for your undergraduate degree (120 credits and fulfilled major/gen ed requirements), you must complete a Transition Form and have it signed by the Graduate Coordinator. This form must be turned into the CGCE and represents your official enrollment into MA/BA program.

MA/BA Year: The “+1” Year
Compared to the fourth year (or BA/MA year), this year is straight forward in terms of planning: Complete 18 hours of graduate credit so that, combined with the 12 hours of graduate work completed in the senior year, you have 30 graduate hours overall. Two classes, in which you will develop and write your MA Project, are required:

• Seminar I (MAWR01.561) to be taken fall semester
• Seminar II (MAWR015.71) to be taken spring semester

The remaining 12 hours (or two more classes per semester) will be taken in the area of your primary interests. See the Writing Arts Department Website for an introduction to the Curriculum (courses and requirements) of the MA in Writing.

When you have fulfilled the requirements of the BA, the Writing Arts Major, and the MA in Writing, you can apply for graduation for both the BA and MA degrees.

Policies

Satisfactory Progress towards Graduation
In order to graduate from the accelerated BA/MA program, students must meet the following requirements:

• Complete all requirements for the BA in Writing Arts
• Complete all requirements for the MA in Writing
• Maintain full-time status:

➢ Students must maintain a minimum enrollment of 12 semester hours during the BA/MA (i.e. their “senior”) year of the program.
➢ Student must maintain full-time status, i.e. 9 semester hours of graduate courses, during the MA/BA (or +1) year of the program.

• Make satisfactory progress:

➢ Student must complete four graduate writing courses by the end of BA/MA year, including Core I and Core II.
➢ Student must earn at least a B in those four graduate courses.
➢ Student must maintain a 3.5 GPA in the major and a 3.0 GPA overall.
➢ Student must complete the entire 4+1 or BA/MA program requirements within four consecutive semesters of enrolling in the program.

Any student who fails to maintain full-time status or make satisfactory progress, as defined above, during the BA/MA year of the program will be admitted back into the BA in Writing Arts program, subject to the requirements of that program.

Any student who fails to make satisfactory progress, as defined above, during the MA/BA (or +1) year of the program will be dropped from the dual program and must apply for graduation from the BA. In addition, if the student wishes to obtain an MA in Writing, he or she has to apply to the traditional 30-credit MA program.

A student with extenuating circumstances may request an exception to the satisfactory progress stipulations by obtaining written approval of the MA Graduate Coordinator, Coordinator of the Undergraduate Major, and any other approvals that are required under university policy.

Tuition Costs
Students enrolled in the BA/MA year (or “senior year”) of the program will pay undergraduate tuition and fees for all courses—whether the courses are undergraduate or graduate—until they are accepted into the MA/BA year. Upon transition into the MA/BA year, students will pay graduate tuition and fees for all courses, and all graduate requirements apply. Under no circumstances are students allowed to take more than 12 graduate credits while they are enrolled into BA/MA program as undergraduate students.

Transfer credits
Students may transfer up to 9 credits from other institutions into the required and related electives banks of the undergraduate portion of the BA/MA program. No courses may be transferred into the MA/BA.