Contacts | Joint BA/MA Program | Application | Program Requirements | Preceptors/Graduate Advisors

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The Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) is a one-year program of graduate study, with nine courses over three academic quarters, culminating in an article-length MA thesis. It gives students the opportunity to specialize in doctoral-level study in anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology, or to pursue a highly individualized and interdisciplinary curriculum, with our mentorship and support. MAPSS students take the same classes as UChicago doctoral students, they work with the same faculty on their MA thesis, and they come away with professional-grade research methods that will advance their academic and professional careers.

All students must take MAPS 30000 Perspectives in Social Science Analysis, our core course, in the Autumn Quarter. In addition, students must satisfy a methods requirement by selecting among dozens of graduate alternatives in ethnography, historical methods, involved interviewing, network analysis, survey analysis, content analysis, game theory, rational choice, causal inference, statistics, interpretive methods, comparative case study, and others. Outside of MAPS 30000 and the methods requirement, students select seven graduate courses, in consultation with their preceptor, from all departments and professional schools. Finally, all students complete an MA thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor and their MAPSS preceptor.

MAPSS has an international reputation for the quality of students it admits and the placement outcomes they achieve. Ninety-one percent of those who elect to go on for funded PhD study are successful in doing so, and in very large numbers (55 to 70 students each year). Those who opt for non-academic paths go on for managerial-level positions in consulting, government, education, and other for-profit and non-profit careers. We have an in-house director of career services and a stable of experienced PhD advisers, who work tirelessly to achieve our placement outcomes. We provide close academic mentorship, to help all students learn how to make original, persuasive contributions for a professional readership at the graduate level.

Joint BA/MA Program

Qualified students in the College who wish to pursue a joint BA/MA degree in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences should consult with their College adviser, the associate dean of students in the social sciences (Kelly Pollock,, and Chad Cyrenne (, managing director of MAPSS, as early as possible in their third year, during the Autumn Quarter. They are expected to have a GPA of 3.55 or higher and to have chosen their major. Students will also be expected to have completed all of their general education requirements prior to entering the program; any exceptions must be approved in advance by the College and the Social Sciences Division.


Interested students should submit their formal application to the program by February 1. Applications should be submitted to the dean of students of the Division of the Social Sciences online at Please note that BA/MA applicants should not pay the application fee. Please email to ask how to receive the fee waiver.

Space in the MAPSS BA/MA program is limited, and admission is very competitive. The application is evaluated by the MAPSS Admissions Committee on the basis of the student's academic record, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of intellectual and academic goals. Admission to the MA program is also subject to approval by the College. Prospective BA/MA students are expected to complete all but three of their BA requirements before entering joint residence status for the three quarters preceding the anticipated quarter of graduation. Up to three graduate courses can be used as electives in the undergraduate program or they can be applied to the undergraduate major by petition to the director of undergraduate studies. Students in joint residence status are charged tuition at graduate rates.

Program Requirements

Students selected to participate in the joint degree program must meet all normal BA requirements for their particular field of study, as well as all general education requirements. In addition, joint degree students in MAPSS must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Completion of nine MAPSS-approved graduate-level courses for quality grades, including MAPS 30000 Perspectives in Social Science Analysis in the Autumn Quarter and a course that satisfies the graduate methods requirement.
  2. Completion of 48 total credits for the joint degree. Up to three courses taken at the graduate level in the fourth year may be double-counted toward both the BA and the MA degree, with permission from the College.
  3. Completion of an MA paper that is approved by the faculty adviser.
  4. Completion of both the BA and MA degrees, the second awarded no later than the August convocation following a September matriculation.

Preceptors/Graduate Advisors

Please contact E. G. Enbar ( to be put in touch with a preceptor who shares your disciplinary or research interests.


Administrative Contact

Student Affairs Administrator
E. G. Enbar
5730 S. Woodlawn, Room 402

Faculty Director

John Mark Hansen
5730 S. Woodlawn, Room 406


Managing Director
Chad Cyrenne
5730 S. Woodlawn, Room 306