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Introduction

The new BA/MA dual degree in English & Comparative Literature with concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture creates a pathway for ECL majors to earn both a B.A. and M.A. in just five years! Students enrolled in the BA/MA program can complete up to 9 credit hours of MA coursework while completing the BA, thereby expediting the graduate portion of the program.

Current UNC undergraduate students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Major in English & Comparative Literature with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have a demonstrated interest in health humanities

Admissions

Admission to the BA/MA program occurs in two stages: provisional admission in your 3rd or 4th year of the BA and formal admission in your final semester of the BA.

Provisional Admission

Students may apply for the first stage of admission as early as their fourth semester and no later than one academic year before they plan to matriculate into the MA portion of the program. The program will review applications once per semester.

To be considered for provisional admission, submit the materials listed below to Prof. Kym Weed (kweed@unc.edu) by November 1 for fall admission or April 1 for spring admission.

  1. Statement of purpose: Your statement of purpose should be 2 pages (maximum 750 words) and should provide readers with a sense of your interests in literature, medicine, and culture and how this program will serve your professional or personal goals. Your statement should include relevant details about your academic or professional experience, background, qualifications, and skills as they relate to the program.
  2. Writing sample (5-10 pages): Your writing sample should be a 5-10 page document that represents your abilities as a humanities scholar. It should be analytical rather than creative in content. Readers will assess your ability to make a compelling argument, to incorporate and enlarge upon existing scholarly research, and to support your argument using analytical evidence. Your writing sample can focus on any humanities discipline related to medicine and culture (not just literature).
  3. Two letters of recommendation: These recommendation letters should come from faculty (at least one in the humanities) who can attest to your ability to carry out interdisciplinary academic work at the graduate level. Recommenders should send letters directly to Prof. Kym Weed. 
  4. Transcript(s): You may submit unofficial transcripts from each university attended. If offered admission, official transcript(s) will be required at a later date.
  5. No GRE scores required! 
  6. Interview with LMC Faculty: Once you submit items 1-4, the LMC Associate Director will schedule an interview in early-December or early-May.

Formal Admission

Provisionally admitted students must formally apply to the Graduate School in the semester before they plan to graduate from the B.A. portion of the program. To be formally admitted, you must complete all of your undergraduate degree requirements in good standing and with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0, demonstrate skills in critical reading, interpretation, and analysis, and articulate an interest in and understanding of health humanities topics and approaches.

To be considered for formal admission, submit the materials listed below to Prof. Kym Weed (kweed@unc.edu) by June 8 for fall matriculation or October 13 for spring matriculation.

  1. Graduate School Special Admissions Application: This is a paper application rather than the Graduate School online application. You can obtain a copy of the application from Prof. Kym Weed.
  2. Statement of purpose: Your statement of purpose should be 2 pages (maximum 750 words) and should provide readers with a sense of your interests in literature, medicine, and culture and how this program will serve your professional or personal goals. You may revise your statement from the provisional admission process for this application. 
  3. Writing sample (10-20 pages): Your writing sample should be a 10-20 page document that represents your abilities as a humanities scholar. This writing sample may build on the writing sample you submitted for provisional admission or come from MA coursework you completed during the BA portion of the program.
  4. Three letters of recommendation: These recommendation letters should come from faculty (at least one in the humanities) who can attest to your ability to carry out interdisciplinary academic work at the graduate level. Recommenders should send letters directly to Prof. Kym Weed. 
  5. Transcript(s): You may submit unofficial transcripts from each university attended. If offered admission, official transcript(s) will be required at a later date.
  6. No GRE scores required! The GRE is waived for the BA/MA Dual Degree Program.

Requirements

The degree requirements for the graduate portion of the BA/MA program are the same as the MA program. However, BA/MA students may transfer up to 9 credit hours of coursework completed during the BA portion of the program as long as those courses did not count toward your bachelor’s degree.