Early Entry to the MA Program

Early Entry to MA Program in Ethics and Applied Philosophy

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may apply to this Early Entry Program to begin work toward a graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.


  • Students admitted to the Early Entry program in philosophy can double-count 3 graduate courses (9 credit hours) toward both their undergraduate and graduate requirements
  • Early Entry students pay undergraduate tuition for up to 15 credit hours of graduate work and are eligible for undergraduate subsidized loans, which are no longer available to graduate students
  • This can reduce the time to completing a BA+MA degree and may make you more competitive for graduate schools or employers upon graduation

Admission requirements:

  • Philosophy major
  • At least 5 courses in philosophy completed or in progress at the time of application, 3 of which must be at the 3xxx/4xxx level
  • At least a 3.5 GPA in the major and 3.2 cumulative GPA at UNC Charlotte (if upon completion of courses in progress the philosophy GPA drops below 3.5, admission to the program may be rescinded)
  • Students should have completed at least 75 credit hours of undergrad work prior to admission to the graduate program (and usually at least 90 credit hours before the first graduate course)

Continuing requirements:

  • Students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or they may be dropped from the graduate program
  • Students must complete BA degree before (a) enrolling in more than 15 hours of graduate work or (b) registering for more than 2 graduate courses per semester

Of note:

  • Students in the Early Entry program are not eligible for Graduate Assistantships until they complete the undergraduate degree
  • Early Entry students on financial aid:
    • Undergraduate financial aid will only cover (a) courses that are undergraduate courses (1xxx–4xxx level) or (b) graduate courses that you are double-counting towards your BA
    • Financial aid requires enrollment in 12 credit hours/semester at the undergraduate level (including double-counted courses) to qualify for the full financial aid award
    • Therefore, in any given semester, any graduate level courses you take that are NOT counting towards your BA will not be covered by financial aid and may result in a reduced total financial aid award, unless you are already taking 12 credit hours that semester
    • Financial aid might particularly be an issue in your final semester of the BA program, when you may have only 1 or 2 courses to take to complete your BA
    • DO NOT try to ‘top off’ your credit hours with graduate-level-only courses or you will not receive financial aid that semester

Application Information:

  • In addition to meeting the admission requirements outlined above, all prospective students must submit the following materials with their application:
    • A personal statement outlining why the applicant seeks admission to the program
    • A philosophical writing sample, preferably addressing an ethical or other philosophical issue, uploaded within the online application system
    • Three academic letters of recommendation (to be uploaded by the Recommenders), attached to the recommendation forms required by the Graduate School, which address the student’s philosophical skills and/or ethical reasoning ability
    • Note: GRE scores are not required.
  • The online application for the Early Entry program is available through the Graduate School’s admissions system: https://gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/apply.

Please contact the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Lisa Rasmussen (lrasmuss@charlotte.edu) with any questions. Information about this program is also available in the University Catalog.