Accelerated MA

BA Honours to MA: An Accelerated Master's in Sociology or Anthropology

The Accelerated Master’s Programs in Sociology or Anthropology provide a way for students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology to start on their MA degree while still an undergraduate. With this program, an MA degree that would usually take at least two years can be completed in as little as one year.

Students should start planning for an Accelerated MA before their fourth undergraduate year. This page provides an introduction to the programs. Students interested in either of them should contact the Undergraduate Advisor to confirm eligibility, and the Graduate Chair or Undergraduate Chair to talk more about the requirements, the application process, and funding opportunities.

What is an Accelerated MA?

Students begin fulfilling Master’s requirements during the last year of their Honours undergraduate program. They do this by completing two required graduate courses and their BA honours thesis.

The Fall after graduating with their BA Honours, students formally enter the MA program. There, they complete the remaining graduate coursework and Master’s thesis. The graduate work they completed while still an undergraduate allows them to finish their MA degree more quickly.

As a rule, it is expected that students who plan on an MA in Anthropology will complete either the Honours in Anthropology or Joint Honours in Sociology and Anthropology, and students who plan on an MA in Sociology will complete either the Honours in Sociology or Joint Honours in Sociology and Anthropology.

Who is eligible, and how do students apply?

Students must meet eligibility requirements for both the Accelerated MA and BA Honours programs. For the Accelerated MA program, students must have completed 90 credits with a CGPA of 3.67 or higher, and must maintain a 3.67 CGPA. Students who meet these requirements generally also meet GPA requirements for the BA Honours program.

Before registering for the Fall term of their final undergraduate year, students who are interested in the Accelerated MA submit a Statement of Intent and Information to the department. The purpose of this Statement is two-fold: students notify the department that they intend to apply to the program, and the department consults with students about program eligibilty, design and purpose. Click here for the Statement form.

The deadline for the formal application to the MA program is January 31 of the final undergraduate year. Acceptance to the graduate program is announced during Spring term, and is conditional on students successfully graduating with their BA Honours degree.

How do students complete an Accelerated MA?

The Accelerated MA programs have two components: what students do during their final undergraduate year, and what they do once they are a member of the graduate program the year after.

During the Fall and Spring of their final undergraduate year prospective Honours and Accelerated MA students register for the following graduate and undergraduate courses, in addition to any other courses needed to complete their BA:

Planned MA Program
Fall Term
Spring Term

SA 850 Selected Topics in Social Theory (5)
SA 856 Qualitative Sociological Research Methods (5)

SA 870 Theories in Anthropology (5)

SA 875 Ethnographic Methodology: Sociocultural Anthropology (5)
Both Programs

SA 495 (Project Mapping Seminar) (4)

SA 499 (Honours Essay) (4)

The two required graduate courses are the theory and methods courses for MA students. They can fulfill both undergraduate and graduate requirements, at the same time.

The two required undergraduate courses are used to complete the thesis component of the BA Honours program. Prospective Accelerated MA students use the Honours thesis to plan their MA thesis. This prepares them to get their MA thesis proposal approved at the end of the Spring term, so they can start conducting and writing up their research the next Fall.

To complete admission to the MA program, students submit a formal application to the Graduate Program this year, during the open application period (normally, October through January).

Students are encouraged to apply for an SSHRC MA Graduate Scholarship during the Fall semester. See the section on Costs and Funding, below.

During their MA year students complete the graduate pro-seminar (SA 840) and two graduate elective courses, and their MA thesis research and writing.

Costs and Funding

Students pay the graduate tuition rate for the two graduate courses they take while an undergraduate. The Graduate Chair can advise you about current rates. Otherwise, costs are the same as for other undergraduate and graduate students. Because Accelerated MA program students are prepared to complete their MA degree more quickly, their total costs for the MA will be lower than they would be for the normal MA program.

Students are eligible for normal funding opportunities. We also encourage undergraduates working toward an Accelerated MA to apply for an SSHRC MA Graduate Scholarship, to fund their MA year. This is available to domestic students, and the application deadline is normally December 1 of their final undergraduate year. Contact the Graduate Chair for more information and guidance about this opportunity.