Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE)

The English department invites academically superior majors to apply for admission to the AGRADE program, which allows qualified seniors to enroll simultaneously in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the department. Applications will be accepted no earlier than the semester in which ninety credits are completed. Applicants must have an overall grade point average of 3.5 and not less than a 3.6 in the major courses already completed. A plan of work is required, and credit restrictions apply.

Contact Royanne Smith, English undergraduate advisor for more information.


The AGRADE program provides the opportunity for top undergraduate students to enroll simultaneously in an undergraduate and graduate program. Students can apply a maximum of 16 credits towards both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in English. Students in the AGRADE program may expect to complete their bachelor's and master's in five years of full-time study. This allows students to save both time and money as they pursue their undergraduate and graduate degrees, making the most of their experiences at Wayne State.

Students must apply for the AGRADE program during the semester that they earn 90 credits toward an undergraduate degree (typically during their senior year). Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 and final approval will come from the English department director of graduate studies.

Note: Students should be advised that the full descriptions of university rules concerning AGRADE are to be found in the current Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins. The following description covers the Department of English's procedures and some, but not all, of those of the university. In cases where this guide departs from relevant sections of the bulletins or the Department of English bylaws then those documents will prevail.


Role Name
Department chair Dr. Caroline Maun
Associate chair Dr. Lisa Ze Winters
Director of graduate studies (DGS)
Serves as the academic advisor to all incoming graduate students and also provides guidance on AGRADE graduate course selection. 
Dr. Chera Kee

Undergraduate advisor

Serves as undergraduate advisor and initial contact for prospective AGRADE students

Royanne Smith
Graduate program specialist
Receives the applications and gathers the letters of recommendation from the faculty.
Laurean Butcher


  • GPA: You must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall, with a strong showing in English classes.
  • Credits: You can apply to the AGRADE program in the term in which you will complete 90 credits (usually senior year).


When to apply

Applications are accepted for fall and winter entry terms. No AGRADE applications are accepted for the spring/summer term.

Applications must be received at least two weeks before the end of the term prior to when the applicant expects to start the program (e.g., two weeks before the end of the fall semester for winter entry). Please be advised that students wishing to enter in the fall semester should turn in their applications two weeks before the end of the winter term.

How to apply

  1. Discuss your interest in AGRADE with your undergraduate advisor. You'll learn which courses you need to satisfy B.A. graduation requirements and get introduced to some graduate-level courses that will fulfill the master’s degree. Your undergraduate advisor can provide links to AGRADE application materials and may also suggest that you speak with either the graduate program specialist or the director of graduate studies.
  2. Submit to Laurean Butcher (
    1. An AGRADE application form. See Sample AGRADE Application in Appendix A.
    2. A statement of purpose: A concise two to three-page statement about yourself and your academic goals. This statement should address your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial and educational opportunities or challenges and explain how this program will help you meet your objectives. In writing this statement, think about how being in AGRADE will help you achieve your educational goals, but also be sure to give readers some insight into who you are as a person and as a student.
    3. The names of two professors who will provide a letter of recommendation for you. These should be professors who have knowledge of your writing and aptitude in your English classes and have agreed to write a letter for you. The English department will contact them to get their letters of recommendation. Please be sure that you contact these recommenders and get their agreement to write you a letter at least two weeks before your application is due.

After you submit a completed application, you'll be notified within two to four weeks whether you have been accepted into the program.

Your AGRADE semesters

Congratulations! You are on the path to earn graduate-level credits that can be applied toward a master’s degree in English at Wayne State. Please note of the following:

  • Your undergraduate advisor is the same until you graduate with your B.A.
  • Your graduate school credits are only applicable toward an M.A. at Wayne State.
  • You must still formally apply to the M.A. program. Admission into the AGRADE program does not guarantee admission into the M.A. program in English.
  • If you're accepted into the M.A. program, your AGRADE credits will be applied to your transcript at the end of your first term in the M.A. program.
  • Plan of work

    Upon entering the AGRADE program, you will schedule a meeting with the director of graduate studies to complete an AGRADE plan of work. This plan of work will declare the classes you intend to take as an AGRADE undergrad and as an M.A. graduate student. This is a living document that can change as you proceed in the program. It is not binding. See sample AGRADE plan of work.

    The AGRADE plan of work designates the plan you intend to follow as a master’s student (Plan A, B or C). If the plan of work includes upper-division courses in which both undergraduate and graduate students participate, AGRADE students will be held to the course standards required of the graduate students. It is the AGRADE student’s responsibility to communicate that with their professors.

    Upon entry into the M.A. program, you will need to fill out a new plan of work with the director of graduate studies. This plan of work can be identical to your previous AGRADE plan of work, or you may wish to update it to reflect new courses you have taken.

  • Registration

    Registration for approved AGRADE coursework is no different from normal registration procedures. If any approved courses are at the 7000-level, the student may have to obtain a registration override from the department. AGRADE students will receive their Bachelor's degree at the normal time.

  • Tuition

    Graduate courses taken as part of the AGRADE program carry undergraduate tuition.

  • Transfer of courses

    Because grades of "B-", “C” and "D" are treated differently at the graduate and undergraduate levels, only those AGRADE-approved courses in which the student earns a "B" or higher will transfer to the graduate transcript.

  • Identification

    Upon acceptance into AGRADE status by the Department and College, the Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Office will process an AGRADE curriculum code for the student. You will see the AGRADE designation on your student record, and classes you take that will be counted towards your M.A. will look like A*ENG0000 on the course list.

  • Final approval of graduate status

    You must still complete a Graduate School application to the M.A. program at Wayne State for the term you want to enter the graduate program. Normally, this is the semester after you graduate with your B.A.

    To be considered for funding, M.A. applications are due by Jan. 15 for fall admission. Otherwise, to be considered for Winter admission (without funding), you should submit your application materials by Oct. 15 and to be considered for fall admission (without funding), you should submit your application materials by Aug. 1. Check English graduate admissions for more details.

    Students are encouraged to apply for the M.A. in a timely fashion.

  • The graduate transcript

    After successful completion of the first semester of the master's program, AGRADE coursework will be entered onto the graduate transcript by the Office of the Registrar. Students who drop the AGRADE program at any time prior to completion of the master's degree will not have AGRADE courses posted on the graduate transcript.

  • Retroactivity

    Courses already on the student's transcript at the time of application cannot be approved for AGRADE status. Students who have already completed the Baccalaureate degree are not eligible for AGRADE status.

  • M.A. handbook

    Once an AGRADE student has graduated with a B.A. and been accepted into the M.A. program, they should refer to the M.A. handbook for guidance.