The coterminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a master's degree while completing their bachelor's degree(s) in the same or a different department.
Undergraduates with strong academic records may apply for admission to a coterminal master's program upon completion of 120 units, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. Full-time enrollment during summer quarters and allowable undergraduate transfer credit are also counted toward quarters of undergraduate study. Students who wish to apply for a master's program after these deadlines must apply through the regular graduate admissions process.
Links to specific university residency policies, unit requirements and other issues for the bachelor's and master's programs are on the Graduate Programs page. For university application forms, see the Coterminal Forms web page.
Application and admission
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.
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 before spring quarter graduation.
- Applicants must meet the requirements and deadlines established by the department or program to which they are applying.
- Applicants are permitted to apply to only one coterminal program per term.
- Coterminal students must have the bachelor’s degree conferred before adding a second advanced degree program.
To apply for admission to a coterminal master’s program, students must submit the following to the prospective graduate department:
- Application for Admission to Coterminal Masters’ Program
- statement of purpose
- preliminary program proposal
- two letters of recommendation from Stanford professors
- current Stanford transcript
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or other requirements may be specified by the prospective department.
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, and the coterminal application has not yet been processed. This may require postponement of conferral of the undergraduate degree.
Admitted students must have one quarter of overlap in the undergraduate and graduate career prior to conferring their undergraduate degree. For example, if the admit term for the coterminal program is autumn quarter, then the earliest that the undergraduate degree can be conferred is autumn quarter.