The dual-enrollment BA-MA is an integrated program in which some credits taken to fulfill your undergraduate requirements can be counted toward fulfilling the requirements for an M.A. as well.


There are many benefits for academically advanced undergraduates who are enrolled in the dual program. You will be encouraged to take graduate-level courses when you are an upper level undergraduate, exposing you to an exciting and intellectually accelerated environment. You’ll be included in the Linguistics graduate program’s events, including social events and professional development, where you can get to know other dual-degree students as well as the program’s MA and PhD students.

With respect to time, for many students the dual enrollment program can allow you to complete the MA degree in less than the usual two years. Economically, the BA-MA program allows you to count up to 9 credits of your Linguistics courses toward the the M.A. These credits will be assessed at the undergraduate tuition rate, even if they are 800-level graduate courses. They will count toward your BA degree and toward your MA degree.

Therefore the dual degree may result in significant cost savings in both direct (e.g. tuition fees) and indirect (e.g. housing) expenses during your studies. In addition, the GRE test requirement is waived, saving you both time and a fee.


To be eligible to apply, you must be an undergraduate Linguistics major at MSU, with a GPA in courses labeled LIN of 3.5 or above. Applications cannot be submitted until at least the fall semester of your sophomore year.

Deciding whether and when to apply

It is important that you talk to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in Linguistics as early as possible, to see if this is an appropriate program for you. Check the Linguistics program website or talk to your academic advisor if you’re not sure how to contact the DGS. The sooner you begin the conversation, the sooner the DGS can work with your undergraduate academic advisor on a co-ordinated plan. The dialog can begin as early as freshman year. If you’d like to get the maximum financial benefit of the BA-MA, you will want to dual-count 800-level courses, i.e. take graduate courses at the undergraduate tuition rate. Since some of these courses have 400-level prerequisites or must be taken in a prescribed sequence, you’ll need to discuss your course plan with the DGS.

Your courses can start to dual-count no earlier than the start of your junior year. Thus, if you want to dual-count courses in your junior year, you should ideally apply to the BA-MA program in your sophomore year, or in the fall of junior year. We strongly recommend that you apply to the program no later than the end of junior year, so that you can dual-count courses in your senior year.

Application Procedures

To apply to the dual enrollment B.A.-M.A. degree program, please follow the information below:

  • Submit a graduate school application.
  • Submit a request for dual enrollment.
  • Personal Statement: Please indicate that you are applying for the B.A.-M.A. dual enrollment program.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least 2 of the 3 must be submitted by core Linguistics faculty.
  • GPA: A minimum 3.5 in LIN courses is required.
  • Transcripts: You do not need to submit your university transcripts, as the department will request them from MSU’s Office of the Registrar directly on your behalf.
  • Application Deadline: No later than the end of your junior year.

NOTE: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please ensure that the DGS knows that you’ve submitted your application, since the DGS will not receive an automatic notification from the admissions system.

For official details about admissions policies and policies governing the structure of the graduate programs, consult our graduate handbook.

Linguistics Graduate Handbook 2023

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