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Accelerated MA Program

For Undergraduates Only

Admission to the Accelerated M.A. Program (the 4+1 program) for UVA Undergraduates

Admission decisions are made by a three-person committee consisting of the Director of Graduate Admissions, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Director of the Undergraduate Program. Students should normally plan to apply by the end of their third year. 

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of merit, which is determined holistically.  The committee will consult with faculty members familiar with your work and take into account factors such as your GPA, especially in philosophy classes, and your reasons for seeking admission.  GREs are not required and there is no admission fee.

To apply, email the DGA a brief letter describing your reasons for seeking admission, an unofficial copy of your transcripts, a recent piece of philosophical writing, and the names of two professors who can speak to your work in philosophy.  The deadline for applications is March 1st and decisions will be made by April 1st.  (In exceptional circumstances, we may consider extending this deadline.)

If you would like further information, please talk to one of the committee members (currently, Rebecca Stangl, Walter Ott, or Ross Cameron). Interested applicants should still apply to graduate with a B.A. at the end of their fourth year. They should plan on graduating with a B.A. regardless of the outcome of their application to the 4 + 1 program.

M.A. in Philosophy

  1. Two semesters of full-time residential study.

  2. 30 hours of graduate-level courses.  No transfer credits are accepted. Up to 6 hours may be satisfied through Non-Topical Research.  Students who previously enrolled in courses offered through GSAS while completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the University of Virginia may count up to six credits of such coursework towards a master’s degree as long as those credits were not used to fulfill requirements for the prior degree.

  3. Completion of one qualifying paper.  Each student must submit a qualifying paper to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will convene a committee of 2-3 faculty members to evaluate each paper.  Students are allowed two submissions.

Typically, students in the Accelerated MA Program will either (i) write their qualifying paper during their second semester, on the basis of a first-semester term paper, and graduate in May; or (ii) write their qualifying paper during the summer, using a second-semester term paper as its basis and graduating in August.  Please note that graduating in August requires registering for Degree Conferral in Absentia over the summer and paying the associated fee.

A successful qualifying paper will exceed, in both quality and substance, the minimal standard for a grade of “A” on a graduate seminar term paper. Qualifying papers must be between 4,000 and 10,000 words in length.  Qualifying papers are typically significantly revised graduate seminar term papers. When a considering developing a term paper into a qualifying paper, a student should consult the instructor of the seminar for advice. (Upon initially submitting a term paper, the student may ask the instructor to read the paper with an eye towards whether it might serve as the basis for a qualifying paper.) The instructor will provide guidance as to whether the project is promising, and may suggest possible changes the student might make to the paper, to render it suitable. Such changes may be substantial. In addition to altering the existing argument of the paper, the instructor may suggest that the paper address works not read in the seminar; that it respond to further objections; etc. The instructor’s guidance is advisory only; following this advice does not guarantee that the paper will be accepted as a qualifying paper.