Blended B.A. + M.A. Degree Program

Program Overview

The English Department’s blended BA + MA degree program — the only one of its kind within the CSU system — offers English majors the opportunity to complete their Bachelors and Masters in English on an accelerated, five-year time frame. Majors in good academic standing (3.25 major GPA and 3.25 cumulative GPA) can apply to the program when they have sophomore or junior standing (typically, in their 2nd or 3rd year at Cal Poly). Those admitted to the program begin their graduate coursework in their fourth year. At the end of that year, they will transition from undergraduate to graduate standing and receive both degrees at the culmination of their five-year experience. Students in the blended program complete both an undergraduate senior project and a graduate portfolio project. 

Why Apply to the Blended Program?

There are many excellent reasons to consider applying to our blended program:

  • It gives our majors the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in half the time (and at approximately half the cost) of our traditional two-year graduate program. 
  • Students work closely with graduate program faculty to develop advanced, highly individualized research projects that reflect their unique intellectual concerns.
  • For those looking to pursue careers in secondary or post-secondary education, technical and professional writing, publishing, and editing, a Master's in English considerably expands and deepens students’ knowledge and skill sets, making them competitive on a broad range of job markets. 
  • Not only does it provide an excellent option for students considering, if not yet fully committed to, PhD programs, it also enables those students who decide to pursue additional graduate studies to craft strong applications. 
  • Beyond all these particular reasons (and there are indeed many more), our blended program was designed for those students who love learning about literature and language so much that they want to read more, learn more, and accomplish more than a traditional B.A. program permits. 

How Do I Apply to the Blended Program?

Students who wish to apply to the blended program should be in good academic standing (3.25 major / 3.25 cumulative GPA) and have either sophomore or junior standing. If your GPA falls below those requirements, then please reach out to the department graduate coordinator as it may still be possible to apply. 

To begin the application process, students should submit an email to Gregg Parras ( and Dr. Ryan Anthony Hatch ( stating their intent to apply. Gregg will initiate the application form and send it to the student to complete.

A complete application entails:

  • Blended program application: This application consists of a series of forms available at the link provided below.
  • Personal statement: This document should explain your reasons for wishing to participate in the blended program. In it, we encourage you to reflect on how a Master's degree might help you to achieve your intellectual and professional goals. The graduate committee reviews personal statements to determine how well your academic interests and goals align with the MA program’s learning outcomes. Ideally, your statement should be approximately 500 words in length. 
  • Writing sample: We encourage you to submit a scholarly essay, written for one of your major courses, that demonstrates your capabilities as a critical thinker, researcher, and writer. Your writing sample should be no fewer than five and no more than twelve pages in length.
  • Two faculty references: Submit the names and email adddresses of two academic references; at least one must be faculty in the English department
  • Applications are due by Friday, June 14, 2024.


If you have any additional questions, then please reach out to the department’s graduate coordinator, Dr. Ryan Anthony Hatch, at


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