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Admission to Coterm

On this page: Admission ProcessFirst Graduate QuarterUnderstanding the Coterm Record

Admission Process

Each department is responsible for its admissions/acceptance decisions for coterminal applicants.

Once a coterm application is approved, the departments must create the coterminal application in Axess. Additionally, the department must submit the completed and approved coterm application to the Office of the Registrar no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. Department staff should refer to the Coterminal Resources for Staff page for more information.

If the coterminal program permits deferral, students may defer admission to the coterminal program and the first graduate quarter to a later quarter as long as their graduate career has not yet been activated and if the later matriculation will still meet all University and departmental requirements for coterminal admission.

  • Note: This may require postponement of conferral of the undergraduate degree. If the graduate coterm career has been activated, then deferring to a later term is not an option. Deferral is coordinated with the master's degree program, prior to the program submitting the completed application to the Office of the University Registrar.

First Graduate Quarter

The first graduate quarter is the quarter in which the coterminal student first matriculates (enrolls) into the master’s degree program, and is displayed on the student's graduate transcript once their coterm program is activated.

The first graduate quarter does not necessarily correspond to the first quarter in which a student enrolls in a course in the graduate career, nor is it affected by course transfer (please see Coterminal Course Transfer for additional information).

Admitted students must have at least one quarter of overlap in the undergraduate and graduate career prior to conferring their undergraduate degree. For example, if the first graduate quarter for the coterminal degree is Spring Quarter, then the earliest that the undergraduate degree can be conferred is the Spring Quarter. Once matriculated, students may enroll in graduate courses, however, enrollment in graduate courses is not required in the overlap quarter.

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 policies in the "Master’s Degrees" section of the Stanford Bulletin for more information.

Important Notes Regarding the Transcript 

Once a student's coterm program is activated, there are some key pieces of information that can be found on the transcript:

  • Quarters Back: With certain limitations, coterm students are able to request coursework taken during their undergraduate careers to be transferred to their graduate careers (or vice versa). Once a student's coterm program becomes active, students may request (with undergraduate and graduate department approvals) to transfer any course completed after the quarters back date. Students should refer to the Stanford Bulletin and the Coterm Course Transfer web pages for more information regarding the policies and process.

  • First Graduate Quarter: The first graduate quarter (also referred to as the matriculation quarter or quarter of coterm program activation), is the quarter in which the coterminal student first matriculates into the master’s degree program. All coterm and graduate policies (as outlined in the Stanford Bulletin and the Stanford GAP) are tied in with the first graduate quarter.

  • Student Billing Group: Coterm students are placed in either the undergraduate or graduate student billing groups, depending on how far along in their undergraduate program they are. On the transcript, students can see the effective dates of these billing groups. Please refer to the Stanford Bulletin, Stanford GAP, and Coterm Tuition Assessment web pages for more information about how coterms are assessed tuition and learn more about when they can expect to transition from the undergraduate billing group to the graduate billing group.

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