BA/MA in Religion

Students enrolled at Columbia College, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Barnard, and the School of General Studies may apply for early admission to the MA program in Religion and begin their MA coursework in their senior year while completing their undergraduate degree. The department welcomes applications from students in a variety of majors who have excellent academic records.

Early Admissions Process

Students seeking early admission into the MA program should contact the Department of Religion's MA Program Director 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 April15th of the student's junior year for admission in the following fall semester or November 16th of the student's senior year for admission in the following spring semester. Decisions will be announced no later than one month after the application deadline. 

Successful applicants for early admission will have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 by the end of their junior year.

The department encourages applications not only from qualified majors in Religion, but also from students in any other major or concentration who have completed appropriate coursework with excellent academic records. 

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 MA program, with the exception that a GRE test is not required. 

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 standalone MA program. As such, students should refer to the MA Plan of Study and MA in Religion Checklist.

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 points at the 4000-level or above 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 financial aid once finish their fourth year and enroll in the MA program. However, they will be eligible for MA housing.