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Coterminal Degrees (GAP 4.2)

Document 4.2

Coterminal Degrees

Current version

October 25, 2013

Initial policies and approval of coterminal degree programs adopted by the Faculty Senate 11/14/1968 and 3/27/1969. Amended by the Faculty Senate April, 1988 and November 6, 2003.

Contact Office
  • Committee on Graduate Studies (policy)
  • Office of the Registrar via HelpSU (implementation)
  • Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Undergraduate Advising and Research Office (implementation)
  • Departmental Office (implementation)
Applicability

Students pursuing and programs granting coterminal degrees

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If you have questions or suggestions about this handbook, contact the office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

This handbook is a reference for Stanford faculty, staff and students. Where the current Stanford University Bulletin includes coverage of these topics, the current Bulletin is the governing policy. Stanford University reserves the right to make changes to its applicable policies, procedures and other materials contained here at any time and without prior notice.

Summary

The Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degree Program permits Stanford undergraduates to study for a bachelor's and a master's degree simultaneously, in the same or different departments. This document describes when and how undergraduate and graduate policies pertain to coterminal students.


Rationale

The Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degree Program permits matriculated Stanford undergraduates to study for a master’s of arts or master’s of science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree in the same or different departments. Under authority granted by the Committee on Graduate Studies, any department offering the M.A. or M.S. may choose to allow to coterminal students.

1. POLICY

1.1 Application

Effective Autumn quarter 2013-14, students who accept an offer of admission and are matriculated into the program are assessed a $125 coterm application fee.

Application policies and procedures are established by each master’s department.

Applications for admission to a coterminal program must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Applicants must have earned a minimum of 120 units toward graduation (UTG) as shown on the undergraduate unofficial transcript. This includes allowable Advanced Placement (AP) and transfer credit.
  • Applicants must submit their application and, if admitted, respond to the offer of admission no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree. This is normally the Winter quarter prior to Spring quarter graduation.
  • Applicants must meet the requirements and deadlines established by the department or program to which they are applying.
  • Applicants are only permitted to apply to one coterminal program per term.

To apply for admission to a coterminal master’s program, students must submit to the prospective graduate department the following:

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or other requirements may be specified by the prospective department.

1.2 Admissions

Each master’s department is responsible for admissions/acceptance decisions for coterminal applicants. Departments or programs must admit coterminal applicants and submit the completed and approved application for admission to the Office of the Registrar no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. This is normally the last day of classes in Winter quarter prior to Spring quarter graduation.

Students may defer admission to the coterminal program to a later quarter as long as they still meet all University and departmental requirements for coterminal admission. This may require postponement of conferral of the undergraduate degree.

1.3 Tuition Assessment

The tuition schedule for graduate programs differs from that for undergraduates (and the tuition rate for graduate engineering is higher than for other graduate programs). Students enrolled in a coterminal program begin to pay the appropriate graduate tuition rate after 12 full-tuition undergraduate quarters. Once charged under the graduate tuition schedule, the tuition will not revert thereafter to the undergraduate rate.  

Coterminal students with two undergraduate degrees are assessed the appropriate graduate tuition rate in the quarter after they have been enrolled for 15 full-tuition quarters.

Coterminal students would also start paying the appropriate graduate tuition rate if any undergraduate degree is conferred or if they are granted any graduate aid (assistantships or graduate fellowships) before the completion of the 12th undergraduate quarter.

Coterminal students will be assessed tuition on the basis of the student group (either undergraduate or graduate) into which they are coded by the Office of the Registrar. The following guidelines apply:

1.3.1 Undergraduate Coterminal Student Group

Students in the undergraduate coterminal student group are assessed the undergraduate tuition rate, and are subject to the 20-unit maximum enrollment per quarter. Students enrolled in over 20 units are subject to an enrollment hold effective the following quarter.

Students will normally remain in the undergraduate coterminal student group until the completion of 12 undergraduate quarters. For students with transfer credit (not AP or other test credit), 15 transfer units equals one Stanford quarter.

For students with Stanford Summer Session units, 15 units equals one Stanford quarter.

Students in the undergraduate coterminal group who have fewer than 12 quarters at Stanford but who want to enroll at the 8, 9, 10 unit graduate tuition rate may request to be moved to the graduate coterminal student group under the following conditions:

  • They must have completed 180 undergraduate units. This includes transfer credit but not AP and other external test credit.
  • Once students have moved to the graduate coterminal student group, they may not move back to the undergraduate coterminal student group.

1.3.2 Graduate Coterminal Student Group

For coterminal students, the quarter following completion of 12 full-tuition undergraduate quarters is identified as the first graduate quarter for tuition assessment. Thus, coterminal students are changed from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal student group in the 13th quarter and are then assessed either the regular graduate tuition rate or the graduate Engineering tuition rate.

For coterminal students with two undergraduate degrees, the quarter following completion of 15 full-tuition undergraduate quarters is identified as the first graduate quarter for tuition assessment. Thus, coterminal students are changed from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal student group in the 16th quarter and are then assessed either the regular graduate tuition rate or the graduate Engineering tuition rate.

Students in the graduate coterminal student group are subject to the 24-unit maximum enrollment per quarter. Students enrolled in over 24 units are subject to an enrollment hold effective the following quarter.

Beginning with this quarter, coterminal students are subject to graduate student policies and procedures (including those described in the “Graduate Degrees” section of the Stanford Bulletin) in addition to undergraduate minimum progress standards. These policies include continuous registration or leaves of absence for quarters not enrolled and minimum progress guidelines.

Once students have moved to the graduate coterminal student group, they may not move back to the undergraduate student group.

Coterminal students are not eligible for reduced graduate tuition rates below 8 units prior to conferral of the undergraduate degree.

Students in the graduate coterminal student group are assessed additional graduate or Engineering tuition on a per-unit basis beginning with the 19th unit.

1.4 Course Enrollment

Once admitted to the coterminal program, students have two active careers in PeopleSoft Student Administration (graduate and undergraduate) under which they may enroll in courses.

Students must use the graduate career to enroll in courses which count toward the master’s degree. Students must use the undergraduate career to enroll in courses which count towards the bachelor’s degree.

Coterminal students are permitted to count coursework taken in the two quarters immediately prior to their first graduate quarter toward their graduate degree.  (Summer quarter is not included in the two quarter back count.) However, if a student is on an approved leave of absence in the two quarters prior to the admit term, the course transfer option may not be applicable.

Students must submit a completed Coterminal Course Transfer form with their application for admission to the coterminal program, indicating which courses must be transferred from the student’s undergraduate to graduate career. All course transfer requests should be submitted no later than the quarter prior to the intended degree conferral quarter as coursework cannot be transferred once the undergraduate degree is conferred. Once transferred, no further changes are permitted. No transfer of courses from one career to another is permitted after the student’s Coterminal Course Approval form has been processed.

Coterminal students must submit the master’s program proposal during the first quarter after admission to the coterminal program (see GAP 4.1, Master’s Degrees).

1.5 Residency Requirement

The university minimum requirements for the coterminal bachelor’s/master’s program are 180 units for the bachelor’s degree plus 45 (or higher departmental requirement, as determined by each graduate department) unduplicated units for the master’s degree (see GAP 3.2, Residency Requirements for Graduate Students). The requirements for the coterminal program with dual undergraduate degrees are 225 units for the two bachelor’s degrees, and 45 units for the master’s degree. For the 45-unit university minimum for the master’s degree, all courses must be at or above the 100 level and 50 percent must be courses designated primarily for graduate students (typically at least at the 200 level). Department requirements may be higher. Units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements of more than one degree, that is, no units may be double-counted. No courses taken more than two quarters prior to admission to the coterminal master’s program may be used to meet the 45-unit university minimum requirement for the master’s degree.

1.6 Academic Progress

Once the student is in the Graduate Coterminal Student Group (for tuition purposes), coterminal students are subject to graduate student policies and procedures, as described in the “Graduate Degrees” section of the Stanford Bulletin, in addition to undergraduate minimum progress standards.

Up until the conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), coterminal students’ academic progress is monitored by the Undergraduate Advising and Research Office (UAR, part of the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education) in conjunction with the graduate department. After the conferral of the undergraduate degree, the students’ degree progress is evaluated using the graduate degree progress standards (see GAP 4.1, Master’s Degrees, and refer to departmental procedures) and monitored by the advisor and graduate department.

Once the coterminal student is subject to graduate degree progress standards, all courses taken during a quarter, whether enrolled in the undergraduate or graduate career, are used to evaluate graduate minimum progress.

In the first graduate quarter, a coterminal student is assigned an adviser in the master’s department for assistance in planning a program of study to meet the requirements for the master’s degree. The plan is outlined on the Program Proposal for a Master’s Degree, which is submitted by the student and approved by the master’s department by the end of the first graduate quarter.

Students pursuing a coterminal master’s degree must complete their requirements within three years of their first quarter of graduate standing. Authorizations for master’s programs expire three calendar years from the first graduate quarter. An extension requires review of academic performance by the department (see GAP 4.1, Master’s Degrees).

See the chart summarizing registration, enrollment and academic progress requirements for coterminal students.

1.7 Leaves of Absence

Approved coterminal students may not take a leave of absence during their first quarter as a graduate student. Coterminal students are required to register their first graduate quarter. Leaves of absence may not exceed a cumulative total of two years (eight quarters, including Summer quarters). Coterminal students should be aware that the cumulative total of eight quarters includes both undergraduate and graduate programs (see GAP 5.3, Leaves of Absence and Reinstatements).

1.8 Eligibility for Appointment to Assistantships

Students must have completed 180 undergraduate units (or 225 for students completing two undergraduate degrees) to be eligible for research or teaching assistantships. Advanced placement and transfer units may be used towards the 180 units (or 225 for students completing two undergraduate degrees), subject to university policies regarding the acceptance of external credit.

Students who receive Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Assistant (CA/TA) appointments from the department prior to the 13th quarter (or 16th quarter for students completing two undergraduate degrees) are changed to the graduate coterminal student group and assessed the applicable graduate tuition rate for the quarter in which they hold the assistantship appointment. Students with RA and CA/TA awards enroll at the 8, 9, 10-unit tuition rate, and they are eligible for the Cardinal Care health insurance subsidy (see GAP 7.3, Assistantships).

Once students have moved to the graduate coterminal student group, they may not move back to the undergraduate coterminal student group even if they no longer hold an assistantship appointment.

Undergraduate financial aid is normally available for 12 quarters unless the student receives an assistantship appointment (RA of CA/TA) or another type of graduate award prior to the 13th quarter. If the student receives a graduate award (an assistantship or graduate fellowship) while still eligible for undergraduate financial aid, the undergraduate aid will be recalculated. Consult with the Financial Aid Office for further information.

1.9 Other Considerations

Conferral of each degree is applied for separately by the deadlines given in the University Bulletin. The master’s degree may be conferred simultaneously with, or after, the bachelor’s degree.

Coterminal students must have the bachelor’s degree conferred before adding a second advanced degree program.

Current Stanford undergraduates wishing to complete the requirements for a teaching credential should apply to the coterminal program at the School of Education. Stanford University is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and is authorized to recommend candidates for credentials. The University offers a complete training program for the Single Subject Teaching Credential. The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is only available to Stanford undergraduates who are admitted to the coterminal program. Upon completion of a Stanford approved program, the credentials will allow teachers to serve in California public schools.

1.9.1 Eligibility for Other Particular Benefits

Coterminal students are covered by the four-year guarantee of housing for undergraduates. Upon conversion to the graduate coterminal student group, students are eligible for graduate student housing, and for graduate financial support.

Coterminal students are not eligible for the Permit to Attend (PTA), Permit to Attend for Services Only (PSO), or 13th Quarter tuition rates. These are tuition rates that are available only to undergraduates or nonmatriculated students.  Graduation Quarter status is available only for the final quarter of the master’s degree program. 

2. IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES

2.1 Application and Admissions

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1.

Submits to the prospective graduate department the following application package:

  • Application for Admission to Coterminal Masters’ Program,
  • statement of purpose,
  • preliminary program proposal,
  • two letters of recommendation from Stanford professors,
  • a current Stanford transcript,
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or other requirements specified by the prospective department.
Student
2. Submits a completed Coterminal Course Transfer Form with the coterminal application package, indicating which courses must be transferred from the student’s undergraduate to graduate career. Student
3. Creates a PeopleSoft application record for an admitted Coterminal applicant. Posts an admissions decision. Department
4. Responds to the offer of admission no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree. This is normally the Winter quarter prior to Spring quarter graduation. Student
5. Obtains and records the student’s response to the offer of admissions. Department
6. Submits the completed and approved application for admission to the coterminal program to the Office of the Registrar no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. This is normally the last day of classes in Winter quarter prior to Spring quarter graduation. Department
7. Process completed coterminal applications and coterminal course transfers in PeopleSoft. Registrar
8. Student is assessed a $125 application fee. Student Services Center

2.2 Tuition Assessment

Graduate tuition assessment is governed by the policies defined in GAP 6.1, Graduate Tuition Categories.

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1. Alerts the Registrar’s Office of a coterminal student’s intention to change from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal student group. Student
2. Following the policy described in Section 1.3 of this policy, establishes the student in either the undergraduate or graduate coterminal student group in PeopleSoft. Registrar

2.3 Academic Progress

PROCESS STEPS RESPONSIBILITY
1. Submit the Master’s Program Proposal during the first quarter after admission to the coterminal program. Student
2. Monitors academic progress of coterminal students who have not completed their undergraduate degree. VPUE (UAR) in conjunction with graduate department
6. Monitors academic progress of coterminal students upon completion of the undergraduate degree. Graduate Department
4. Applies separately for each degree to be conferred by university deadlines. The master’s degree may be conferred simultaneously with, or after, the bachelor’s degree. Student

 

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