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5.11.1 Postdoctoral Scholars in Degree Programs: Policy

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Last updated on:
Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Provides for the simultaneous enrollment of a postdoctoral scholar as an advanced nonmatriculating graduate student and as a matriculated student in a Stanford graduate degree program. 


Postdoctoral scholars are appointed at Stanford to a role that is defined within the category of advanced nonmatriculated graduate students. In some cases, the pursuit of an additional graduate degree can significantly enhance the specialized training and career preparation of the individual. Stanford has established a program called Advanced Residency Training at Stanford (ARTS) to facilitate these dual appointments.


When it is determined by the faculty mentor that completion of a graduate degree program is in the best interests of an appointed postdoctoral scholar, the postdoc may apply to be simultaneously appointed to both matriculated and nonmatriculated Stanford status. Upon approval, the individual may apply to, and upon acceptance, enroll in a Stanford graduate degree program, while maintaining the status and benefits of a postdoctoral scholar appointment. 

The individual is expected to abide by all policies pertaining to both postdoctoral scholars and graduate students. In cases when such policies conflict, such as access to benefits, the postdoctoral appointment supersedes (for example, these individuals have access to additional benefits as postdoctoral scholars, but do not have graduate student priority in housing). 

In addition to the matriculation described in this policy, postdoctoral scholars at Stanford are permitted to audit, on an occasional basis and with the permission of the instructor, individual Stanford classes. Such auditing will not be recorded on a Stanford transcript, nor is it intended to lead to an additional degree.



To all Postdoctoral Scholars in residence at Stanford and to the graduate degree programs to which they may apply.

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5.11.2 Postdoctoral Scholars in Degree Programs: Implementation

1. Eligibility

This policy provides enhanced opportunities for individuals who have already been appointed as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford.  Appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford is subject to the policies outlined in the Research Policy Handbook (RPH 10.3 Postdoctoral Scholars); postdoctoral scholar status is not available to enrolled graduate students.

Enrollment in a graduate degree program, while holding a postdoctoral appointment at Stanford, is contingent on: 1) approval by the postdoctoral scholar’s Stanford mentor, and 2) a successful application to and acceptance by the graduate degree program.  Graduate program application procedures are defined in GAP 2.1 Admitting Graduate Students to Matriculated Study. All decisions regarding admission are made by the admitting degree program, subject to verification of credentials by the Graduate Admissions Office.

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2. Financial Considerations

Postdoctoral scholars who are also enrolled in a graduate degree program under the provisions of this policy must be supported financially at the level required by Stanford for postdoctoral scholars (see funding rates and guidelines). During their enrollment in the degree program, these individuals remain eligible for the benefits of a postdoctoral scholar. 

In addition, the scholar will be charged the tuition associated with the degree program in which they will enroll. Agreements related to the payment of the graduate tuition must be confirmed before the start of the degree program. 

Postdoctoral scholars who make their own arrangements to enroll in courses or degree programs at Stanford, outside of the provisions of this policy, are responsible for paying associated tuition and fees.

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3. Period of Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment

Postdoctoral scholar appointments are limited to five years. Postdoctoral scholars pursuing a graduate degree remain subject to this limitation on the period of postdoctoral appointment. Extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

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4. Leaves of Absence

If it becomes necessary for the postdoctoral scholar to take a leave of absence, it is expected that he or she will separate from BOTH the postdoctoral (PD) and graduate (GR) careers. Readmission will require reactivation of both careers.

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5. Withdrawal from Program

A postdoctoral scholar may elect to voluntarily terminate EITHER the postdoctoral appointment or the matriculation in the Stanford degree program. Termination from one status will not necessarily end the other.

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