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. These policies describe when and how undergraduate and graduate policies pertain to coterminal students.
The Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degree Program permits matriculated Stanford undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree while completing their bachelor’s degree in the same or a different department. Under authority granted by the Committee on Graduate Studies, any department offering the M.A. or M.S. may choose to admit coterminal students.
Undergraduates with strong academic records may apply for admission to a Stanford Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) program that offers coterminal admission via the process outlined below. Any master’s degree granting program may elect not to offer coterminal admission.An undergraduate is eligible to apply for admission once all of the following conditions have been met:
To apply for admission to a coterminal master’s program, students must submit to the prospective graduate department or program the following:
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and additional requirements may be specified by the prospective program, and may be found in the Stanford Bulletin and on department web sites.
Applications must be submitted no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. If admitted, students must also respond to an offer of admission no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree. Students who accept an offer of admission and matriculate into a master’s degree program via the coterminal program application process are assessed a $125 application fee.
1.3.1 Adding or Changing Master's Degree ProgramsThe bachelor’s degree must be conferred before a student may apply to an additional advanced degree program.
Coterminal students who wish to change from one master’s degree to another before conferral of the bachelor’s degree must submit an approved request to withdraw from the original degree program using the Request to Permanently Withdraw from Degree Program form, and a completed and approved application for admission to the new program in the same quarter. In this case, all courses, including any prior course transfer from the undergraduate career, remain in the graduate career. The new degree program may choose not to approve all courses towards the new master’s degree program requirements. The student may elect to transfer courses back to the undergraduate career, if the bachelor’s degree has not been conferred.
1.5.1 Undergraduate Coterminal Tuition GroupCoterminal students are normally placed in and remain in the undergraduate coterminal tuition group until the completion of 12 undergraduate full-tuition quarters, or until conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), if that happens earlier. 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; units earned in multiple Summer Sessions are not added together in this calculation.
Students in the undergraduate coterminal tuition 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.
1.5.2 Graduate Coterminal Tuition GroupCoterminal students are automatically moved from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal tuition group in the 13th quarter (or 16th quarter for students with two undergraduate degrees) and are then assessed either the standard graduate tuition rate or the graduate Engineering tuition rate. Students are also moved to the graduate coterminal tuition group after the conferral of all undergraduate degrees.
Coterminal students may request to be moved to the graduate coterminal tuition group prior to the 13th quarter (or 16th quarter for students with two undergraduate degrees) in order to enroll for fewer units as permitted for graduate students, or to be eligible for a teaching (CA/TA) or research assistantship (RA) appointment. Students make this request to the Student Services Center through a HelpSU ticket. Students may request to be moved to the graduate coterminal tuition group under the following conditions:
A coterminal student is subject to graduate tuition assessment and adjustment policies once placed in the coterminal graduate tuition group. They may register at the reduced 8-, 9-, or 10-unit tuition rate if their enrollment plans are accepted by the master’s degree program. Students whose master’s programs are in the School of Engineering are assessed the graduate Engineering rate; all students are assessed additional graduate or Engineering tuition on a per-unit basis beginning with the 19th unit, and are subject to the 24 unit maximum enrollment per quarter. Students holding a 20 hour (50%) teaching or research assistantship may not enroll in more than 10 total units.
- Students must have completed 180 undergraduate units, including transfer, Advanced Placement exam, and other external test credit. Students with two undergraduate degrees must have completed 225 units.
- Once students have moved to the graduate coterminal tuition group, they may not move back to the undergraduate coterminal tuition group.
Coterminal students are not eligible for reduced graduate tuition rates below 8 units during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters prior to conferral of the undergraduate degree.
1.6.1 Coterminal Course TransferAfter accepting admission to a master’s degree program, coterminal students may request transfer of Stanford courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. Transfer of courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of the graduate program on a case by case basis. Approved course transfer requests require the review of the undergraduate major program(s). Unless a master’s degree program specifies otherwise in the Stanford Bulletin, courses taken three quarters prior to the first graduate quarter, or later, are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career. Neither Summer Quarter nor quarters spent on approved leave of absence are included in the quarter-back count. In exceptional circumstances, a student may petition the exceptions committee of the Committee on Graduate Studies to transfer courses taken more than three quarters back. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements. (Note: Coterminal students whose first graduate quarter was prior to Autumn 2015 are subject to the coterminal policies that were in place when they began their master’s program.)
Individual programs have the discretion to set their own policy regarding course transfer for their coterminal master’s students, provided that no student counts a course taken earlier than the first quarter of sophomore year. The program’s policy is stated in the relevant department or program section of the Stanford Bulletin.
All course transfer requests must be submitted to the Student Services Center no later than the Final Study List Deadline of the intended bachelor’s degree conferral quarter.
Course transfers between careers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.
Undergraduate credit from transfer courses or tests may not be transferred to the graduate career.
Each type of degree offered at Stanford (for example, Bachelor
of Arts, Master of Science) has a requirement, called residency for
graduate degrees, based on the minimum number of academic units
required for the degree (see GAP 3.2 Residency Policy for Graduate
Students). It is Stanford University's general policy that units are
applicable toward only one degree, that is, units may not normally be
duplicated or double-counted toward the residency requirement for more
than one degree. Courses counted towards the undergraduate degree(s)
and graduate degree(s) are separately recorded on the undergraduate and
graduate transcripts respectively.
Students pursuing coterminal bachelor’s and master’s degrees are expected to meet the minimum requirements for each of the degrees, as follows:
In the first graduate quarter, a coterminal student must be
assigned an adviser in the master's program 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 approved by the master's program by the end of the first
graduate quarter. The preliminary program proposal from the coterminal
application may inform the Program Proposal, but does not satisfy this
master’s degree requirement.
The course of study for each student’s master’s degree should
be outlined on the student’s Program Proposal form. The decision as to
which courses a program approves in the student’s master’s program
proposal, including changes from the typical curriculum, is within the
purview of the department or program. The conversation between the
student and the student’s graduate adviser is important in this regard.
The master’s program proposal must meet University minimum
requirements for the master’s degree, including at least 45 units taken
at Stanford, all courses at 100-level or above, 50% of units designated
primarily for graduate students (typically 200-level or above). All
courses must be in the graduate career. See GAP 4.1, Master’s Degrees.
All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within three years after the first graduate quarter. An extension requires review of academic performance by the department or program, and is within the discretion of the program (see GAP 4.1, Master’s Degrees).
1.13.1 HousingEligibility for Other Particular Benefits Coterminal students who opt to live on campus are required to live in undergraduate housing for the duration of their four years of guaranteed undergraduate housing regardless of their student status. Once these four years have been used, students can apply in the annual Spring lottery for graduate housing, where they apply with a coterm priority. Coterminal students are not guaranteed housing and are assigned after all new first-year graduate students who are guaranteed housing, but before continuing graduate students.
1.13.2 Financial AidStudents are considered for University scholarship eligibility during their first four years of undergraduate enrollment. Students who enroll for a fifth year in pursuit of a coterminal program are not eligible for University scholarship consideration but may apply for student loans and federal grants.
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.)
Submits to the prospective graduate department or program the following application package:
|2.||Submits a completed Coterminal Course Transfer Form with the coterminal application package, indicating which courses the student requests for transfer from the undergraduate to graduate career.||Student|
|3.||Creates a PeopleSoft application record for an admitted Coterminal applicant. Posts an admissions decision.||Department|
|4.||When admitted, responds to the offer of admission no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree.||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 Coterminal Master’s Program” to the Office of the Registrar (at the Student Services Center) no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree.||Department|
|7.||Process completed coterminal applications and coterminal course transfers in PeopleSoft.||Registrar|
|8.||Student is assessed a $125 application fee.||Student Services Center|
Graduate tuition assessment is governed by the policies defined in GAP 6.1, Graduate Tuition Categories.
|1.||Following the policy described in Section 1.5 of this policy, establishes the student in either the undergraduate or graduate coterminal student group in PeopleSoft.||Registrar|
|2.||Submits a request to the Student Services Center via a HelpSU ticket to change from the undergraduate to the graduate coterminal tuition group, if moving prior to bachelor’s degree conferral or the 13th quarter (or 15th quarter if pursuing more than one bachelor’s degree).||Student|
|2.||Reviews the student request to move the student to the graduate coterminal tuitino group in PeopleSoft.||Registrar|
|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(s).||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|