Contacts | General Information | Joint BA/MA Program | How to Apply | Application Requirements | Program Requirements | Preceptors/Graduate Advisors

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General Information

The MA Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) is an intense, intellectually transformative one-year program. Students concentrate in Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology. Some pursue interdisciplinary work in Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis, Comparative Human Development, Social Thought, or Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. Many students also pursue a graduate certificate in Education and Society, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or the Institute for the Formation of Knowledge.

All BA/MA students take nine graduate courses, beginning in the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year of undergraduate study, selected from all University of Chicago departments and professional schools. Each student works closely with the program directors, our senior academic staff, and an assigned preceptor, designing a customized curriculum and defining an area of scholarly research. They work closely with their preceptor and departmental faculty on the MA thesis. 

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.

MAPSS offers preeminent training for those aspiring to go on to funded PhD study in the social sciences. The program places a large number of graduates in funded PhD programs each year. Over the last decade, MAPSS has sent an average of 82 students into fully funded doctoral programs each year. Eighty-five percent of MAPSS students applying to PhD programs have been successful in their applications, with success defined as at least one fully funded offer. Because students are most successful in securing a PhD placement when they have completed the MA thesis and a year of graduate-level coursework at the University of Chicago, they typically apply to PhD programs in the fall/winter after they graduate from MAPSS.

MAPSS also offers an exceptional program of career placement, working directly with our Senior Director of Career Services and Employer Relations Manager, with weekly workshops, on-campus recruitment, and visits by leading alumni who provide mentorship in a variety of fields.

Joint BA/MA Program

Students who wish to pursue a joint BA/MA degree in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences should review requirements and should consult with their College adviser. They should also meet with the Assistant Dean of Students in the Social Sciences (Lindsey Weglarz, in the Autumn Quarter of their third year. 

Please see BA/MA Degree Requirements to review the eligibility requirements for the joint degree.

How to Apply

Applicants are recommended, but not required, to have a GPA of 3.55 or higher. The application is submitted to the Dean of Students of the Division of the Social Sciences. More information on the application process can be found at Applications are due on the same timeline as all applications for MA admission.

Application Requirements

  • A completed online graduate application. 
  • A candidate statement exploring your motivations and preparation for undertaking graduate studies in MAPSS specifically. 
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from academic writers familiar with your work as a student and/or supervisors familiar with your work as a researcher. 
  • A double-spaced, solo-authored writing sample of approximately 15 pages, ideally from a single seminar paper or research project. 
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial transcripts

BA/MA applicants are not charged an application fee, and GRE scores are not required.

Prospective BA/MA students must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in their College major, filling out a form available for download from the online application, to confirm their eligibility for the BA/MA, to specify how many of the nine graduate courses they would take will be double-counted to satisfy their BA requirements, and to assure that all BA requirements will be met no later than the June Convocation of their fourth year. That form, with the signature of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (or their designee), must be submitted as part of the BA/MA application. 

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. 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 an MA paper that is approved by the faculty adviser.
  3. Completion of both the BA and MA degrees, the second awarded no later than the August convocation following a September matriculation.

By default, the nine MA-level courses during the dual enrollment year (fourth year) can be double-counted as general elective credit toward the bachelor's degree. BA/MA students may choose instead to double-count MA courses toward BA major or minor electives or requirements, with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies for their major/minor. Questions regarding double-counting or degree logistics should be directed to Lindsey Weglarz, Assistant Dean of Students ( 

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
1155 E. 60th St., Room 285B


Program Director
Darcy Hughes Heuring
1155 E. 60th St., Room 405

Executive Director

Managing Director of MA Programs & Assistant Dean
Chad Cyrenne
1155 E. 60th St., Room 285 E

Faculty Director

Prof. of Political Science and Faculty Director of Social Science MA Programs
Jon Rogowski


Deans of Students

Assistant Dean of Students
Lindsey Weglarz
1126 E. 59th St., Suite 101