Department of Modern Culture and Media

5th Year Master’s Degree

MCM concentrators may continue working towards their master’s degree at Brown after completing the bachelor’s degree.

Two courses taken as an undergraduate will be counted toward the master’s degree, leaving six courses to be taken in the postgraduate year and only six tuition units to be paid for the usual eight course degree.

Students cannot transfer a graduate course taken at another school.

Integration of Undergraduate and Graduate Coursework

University regulations mandate that the student must take enough courses to earn each degree independently; that is, no courses may count towards both degrees. Because of this, the department requires that, by the end of the fourth year, the candidate must have taken two extra MCM courses over and above requirements for the MCM concentration. These extra courses must be appropriate for graduate credit (1000- or 2000-level MCM courses.)

Eight courses are required for the M.A. in Modern Culture and Media. First-year graduate students normally take six courses, and this is what 5th Year Master’s students will do during their fifth year. Therefore, to meet the eight-course requirement for the fifth year, the department requires two applicable courses before the fifth year.

Note: While, the two extra courses applying to the M.A. may not count towards an undergraduate concentration in MCM, they may still count towards the 30-course graduation requirement for the bachelor’s degree.

MCM concentrators considering applying to this program should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies as well as their undergraduate advisor about the two extra courses. In the fifth year, courses will be chosen in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, who will be the student’s advisor.


A student must apply for the program no later than the second week of the final semester of undergraduate study. Admission must be approved by the Department of Modern Culture and Media and by the Graduate School. While a student must be enrolled as an active undergraduate student at the time of application, admission to the graduate program can be deferred for up to two years with approval of the program. 

Requirements for Admission to the program
The applicant must be a concentrator in MCM with a 3.5 GPA in MCM courses.
Application deadline
A student must make application no later than the second week of their final semester of undergraduate study.
Submissions to the department
The applicant must write a letter to the Director of Graduate Studies informing the department in writing that she or he is applying to the 5th Year Master’s program in MCM. This letter should indicate MCM faculty with whom the applicant has worked. The applicant must also provide a writing sample of work done for an MCM class. The writing sample should be included with the letter.
Submissions to the Graduate School
In addition, the applicant must complete the online application and the 5th-Year Master’s Degree Application Supplement Form. Both applications can be obtained from the Graduate School website. Two letters of recommendation are required.



A total of 8 courses suitable for graduate credit (1000- or 2000- level, including production) and approved by the MCM Director of Graduate Studies. None of these may be courses that count towards the undergraduate degree. Among these eight courses, candidates are required to take at least one 2000-level MCM course in each of the following areas: 

  • Theory
    (Normally fulfilled by one of the following: MCM2100, MCM2110, MCM2120) 
  • Textual Analysis
    (Normally fulfilled by one of the following: MCM2300, MCM2310) 
  • Historical/Cultural Locations
    (Normally fulfilled by one of the following: MCM2500, MCM2510)

90-minute Qualifying Review

Administered by the Graduate Committee upon completion of coursework. There is a description of the Qualifying Review for doctoral candidates in the department’s Graduate Student Handbook. The exam will be modified to make it suitable for a terminal M.A. candidate.