The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the European Union Center are proud to offer the option of a 5-year program for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Science (120 hours) and a Master of Arts degree in European Union Studies (36 hours). This opportunity offers current LAS undergraduate students interested in pursuing an MA in European Union Studies (MAEUS) an accelerated path, with the opportunity to complete both programs of study at the same time while still meeting the same requirements as students who pursue a traditional two-year course of study.

In consultation with a student’s department undergraduate advisor and EUC graduate advisor, this accelerated path program can be paired with a BALAS degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Not sure if your degree is a BALAS degree? Click here for the comprehensive list!

The 5-Year BA/MA program has initially begun with the following majors:

  • Political Science
  • Global Studies
  • French and Italian
  • Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Slavic Studies
  • Anthropology

If you are still interested but your major is not a BALAS, please let us know at We’re always looking to serve the interests of the undergraduate population at the University of Illinois.

Why 5 Year BA/MA?

This program is intended for undergraduate students with enough credits to allow space for 12 credits graduate-level coursework in their final year of undergraduate study. The 5 Year BA/MA program allows students to continue and complete a full masters degree (36 credits, with a thesis or with a finishing exam) in one extra year beyond their bachelor’s program, rather than two with a more traditional program. This broadens opportunities for undergraduate learning, such an accelerated timeline for a graduate degree. Students interested in this pathway are encouraged to reach out early in their undergraduate career to EU Center Associate Director Markian Dobczansky ( to explore how this might work.


Students can apply for this program when they have 60 hours of credit. For students, this usually means applying in their sophomore or junior year. Additionally, to be eligible for enrollment, all student must have:

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater 
A major GPA of 3.0 or greater

Students interested in pursuing the 5-Year BA/MA are typically approved for the program by both the European Union Centerand the student’s undergraduate department before they formally apply. Students should meet with the EUC’s Academic Programs Coordinator as a step towards pursuing approval, typically in their sophomore or junior year. European Union Center staff, working in consultation with the undergraduate adviser of the student’s BA department, will determine if a student is in good academic standing and has made sufficient progress towards their undergraduatedegree. A 1000-word statement of purpose, a 12-20 page writing sample, and a resume/CV will also be required before approval. Students will be expected to keep their GPA at or above these minimum levels up until they begin as MA students, after which they will be subject to the expectations of the Graduate College.

Statement of Purpose(1000 words): This statement should show how the MA degree in European Union Studies fits into the student’s educational and career plans, and include a personal statement regarding goals for graduate study and a professional career.

Writing Sample(12-20 pages): The writing sample should demonstrate capacity for graduate-level research and communication skills, and should represent the student’s best work. Though the EUC encourages submitting a writing sample involving a European topic, it is not necessary if the student’s best work involves a different topic, especially if the student clearly describes how European studies will benefit their long-term goals.

Resume/CV: This document should show an overall academic and professional snapshot ofthe applicant. We encourage applicants to highlight relevant coursework, employment, honors and awards, and service in the resume or CV. This document should not be limited to 1 page—please take as many as needed. Students should also list contact information for the undergraduate advisor and two other faculty who would serve as good references.

Students do not formally apply to the Graduate College until they are within 5 credit hours of completing their bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois. The earliestopportunity to be formally admitted into the graduate portion of the degree program is the first semester of the fourth year. The latestopportunity to be formally admitted into the graduate portion of the degree program would be the first semester of the fifth year. In the fall semester of the fourth year, students will start core courses for the MA in EU Studies. The maximum guaranteed amount of graduate credits that can be transferred from undergraduate credits is twelve, which leaves 24 graduate credits (12 per term) to be completed in the fifth year.


Requirements for this degree program are identical to those for the stand-alone BA and for the stand-alone MAEUS. This program does not alter any credit-based requirements for any existing degree. Students must have at least 120 hours of credit for their undergraduate BA program. And students will need at least 36 hours of credit for their MAEUS. Students are allowed to transfer less than twelve credit hours, but those who do so cannot be guaranteed that their M.A. degree will be completed in one year. The 5-Year BA/MA requirements for the European Union Center are:

• Students must take EURO 501 and 502
• Students must meet a language requirement by demonstrating proficiency in a language of the European Union (not English), at the third-year level. 7 of these third-year, or advanced, languages can be used in completing the MA hours requirement
• At least two substantial research papers on European Union topics during courses that are relevant to the student’s professional orientation
• Coursework must come from at least three different academic units
• No more than 12 hours may be credited for MA-equivalent study abroad courses
• No more than 8 hours for internship placement may be credited
• Minimum GPA for MAEUS related courses must be: 2.75

The MAEUS is a flexible degree that can be completed with or without a thesis. If a student decides to complete a thesis, the student must complete EURO 599: Thesis Research. The minimum of hours is 0 and the maximum of hours is 8. The number of hours for this course is counted towards the degree.