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The GAP provides background and rationale for Stanford's academic policies related to graduate students; defines certain university-wide requirements; and offers implementation guidance to describe how the various functions within the university support graduate students’ academic progress.

The GAP is designed primarily for university staff in school, department and program offices and in the several central units that support student administration and degree progress, such as the Office of the University Registrar. The GAP should also be helpful to all faculty who advise graduate students, in particular Department Chairs, Directors of Graduate Studies and Directors of Graduate Admissions.

Within schools, departments and programs, some of the processes described here may be carried out differently depending on local circumstances and the particular facts of individual students' cases. The information contained here is university-wide in its scope, however, and should provide a starting point for local implementation.

Using the GAP

The GAP was migrated to a Drupal platform in Summer 2016 to align better with other Stanford policy guides, such as the Research Policy HandbookAdministrative Guide, and the Stanford Bulletin. Each sub-chapter was divided into two pages: Policy and Implementation. Each policy page notes the Authority and Applicability of the policy. The Footnotes section at the bottom of the Policy pages lists related policies in the GAP or other policy guides and has links to forms and documents referred to in the policy.

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Sources of Information

The information contained here is drawn from several sources, including:

  • the record of actions taken by the Academic Senate and its Committee on Graduate Studies
  • the Stanford Bulletin, containing university and degree-specific requirements
  • various degree progress forms and processes overseen by the Stanford University Office of the Registrar
  • documentation related to the PeopleSoft Student Administration (SA) and Graduate Financial Support (GFS) applications.

The GAP frequently refers and links to relevant sections of the Stanford University Bulletin. Where the Stanford Bulletin addresses 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.