About the 4+1 Master’s Program

The Department of Marketing Communication in Emerson College’s School of Communication offers an accelerated master’s track for selected Emerson undergraduates to complete a Master of Arts (MA) in Strategic Marketing Communication in just one additional year after completing their undergraduate degree.

Benefits of the 4+1 Master’s Program

The 4+1 format is a fantastic opportunity for current Emerson students who are interested in pursuing a master’s-level qualification to jumpstart their careers while still obtaining a graduate degree.

  • Accelerated study. Students who are accepted to the program will be allowed to take master’s (600-level) classes during their senior year. These classes will be double-weighted, counting toward both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees. By taking these classes during senior year, students will complete up to 3 of the 9 required courses before the end of the bachelor’s degree. This accelerates the pace of the master’s degree, making it possible to complete both the BA and the MA within five years.
  • Cost savings. Any 600-level credits that students take while they are still registered for their bachelor’s degree will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate, saving lots of money on tuition! A maximum of 16 600-level credits can be double-counted and charged in this way. Assuming that the student’s status as a full-time student is maintained, their financial aid will not be affected while they are still enrolled as an undergraduate student.
  • The Emerson Edge. The 4+1 format requires the same number of graduate credits as a normal master's degree, meaning students can graduate with their master’s sooner and bring a competitive edge to the communication industry.

Curriculum and Eligibility Requirements

All Emerson undergraduate majors are eligible to apply except those graduating with a BFA. Students should contact their advisor for specific details.

Students are eligible to apply for the 4+1 program in the first semester of their junior year.
The 4+1 will require students to take four graduate-level courses. Each course will be taken during their senior and one year post-undergraduate graduation.

A maximum of four graduate courses (16 credits) may be taken in the senior year. The four courses are:

MK601 Introduction to SMC (Seminar)Fall Semester
MK610 Brand/Marketing ManagementFall Semester
MK636 Creative Thinking & Problem SolvingSpring Semester
MK669 Behavioral EconomicsSpring Semester

It is strongly advised that interested students meet with Graduate Program Director Brenna McCormick and Academic Advising by the start of their junior year in order to determine eligibility and/or plan to meet the prerequisite requirements of the program.

Application Requirements

Students apply during the first semester of their junior year. Application requirements include:

  • Graduate Admission Application
  • Transcript of grades
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • No GRE required
  • Students applying for the 4+1 program should have a strong academic record. If accepted, students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the graduate level. In addition, courses in which a grade below B- is earned will not be credited toward any graduate degree. This includes courses taken at the graduate level while enrolled as an undergraduate student.
  • Admission Essay: Emerson College's graduate programs form a vibrant and engaged community of creative artists, professionals, scholars, and clinicians who all believe in the power of language and communication to transform society. Your careful responses to the following prompts will help us determine if the program you are applying to is the right fit for you. Please answer each prompt as thoughtfully as possible.
    • How does the focus and curriculum of the 4+1 Strategic Marketing Communication program align with your experience and goals? What particular aspects of your current and/or future work do you hope to develop while in graduate school? 500 words.
    • Drawing on your personal, professional, creative, and/or academic experience, please share an example of a time that you overcame an individual or collective challenge and the approach you took to address that challenge. 250–500 words.
    • The mission of Emerson College is the betterment of society through communication and the arts. With this in mind, what impact do you want your work to have? 500 words.

Have questions about the application requirements? Please feel free to contact Charlotte Coberley, the Graduate Admission representative for this program, at charlotte_coberley [at] emerson.edu (charlotte_coberley[at]emerson[dot]edu)

Application Deadlines

Fall 2024

Priority: November 1

Spring 2025

Priority: April 1

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