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Coterminal Academic Progress

 On this page: Academic ProgressAdvising • Enrollment Leaves of Absences Adding or Changing a Coterm Program •  Permanently Withdrawing from a Coterm Program

Academic Progress

Prior to the conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), a coterminal student’s academic progress is monitored by the coordinator of coterminal advising in the Undergraduate Advising and Research Office (UAR, a unit of the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education) in conjunction with the student’s advisers and the graduate program. After conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), the student’s degree progress is monitored by the graduate adviser and graduate program.

After conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), the student’s degree progress is monitored by the graduate adviser and graduate program.

All courses taken during a quarter, whether enrolled in the undergraduate or graduate career, are used to assess whether minimum academic progress standards, including number of units enrolled and number of units earned, have been met.

Students in the undergraduate coterminal tuition group are evaluated according to the undergraduate degree progress standards. These standards are described in the "Academic Progress" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

Students in the graduate coterminal tuition group are evaluated according to the graduate degree progress standards. These standards are described in the "Minimum Progress Requirements for Graduate Students" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

Students are expected to maintain an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) which meets the University’s undergraduate standards, and a graduate GPA which meets University and program requirements for graduate progress. Courses which have been transferred from the undergraduate to the graduate career are calculated as part of the graduate GPA.

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Advising

In the first graduate quarter, a coterminal student is assigned an adviser in the master’s department or program for assistance in planning to meet the requirements for the master’s degree. The plan is outlined on the Program Proposal for a Master’s Degree (pdf), which is submitted by the student and approved by the master’s department or 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, although course numbering varies by department). All courses must be in the graduate career.

Coterminal students pursuing a master’s degree must complete their requirements within three years of their first quarter of graduate standing. Authorizations for master’s programs expire three calendar years from the first graduate quarter. An extension requires review of academic performance by the department (see GAP 4.1 Master’s Degrees).

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Enrollment 

Stanford University does not require coterm students to enroll in graduate courses in their first graduate quarter (the quarter that the student is matriculated/activated), however, students should work with their graduate program advisor to complete their Program Proposal (by the end of the first quarter) to outline which courses will be taken (and when) to complete their master's degree. Once admitted and matriculated into their graduate program, coterm students may enroll in undergraduate and/or graduate courses by designating the career when enrolling. 

Enrollment Requirements

Minimum and maximum enrollment policies are dictated by which billing group (undergraduate or graduate) a student is active in. Students should refer to the Coterm Tuition Assessment page for additional information about billing groups. 

Student Billing Group Minimum Enrollment Requirement Result if Minimum Enrollment Requirement Not Met Maximum Enrollment Permissible Result if Maximum # of Permissible Units Exceeded
Coterm undergraduate billing group (COTU) 12 units (across both careers) in Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters $200 late study list fee assessed. Please see the Preliminary Study List Deadline page for more details. 20 units (across both careers) in Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters.  Prior to Final Study List Deadline: To-do Item appears in Axess, warning student to drop below maximum units or petition to exceed maximum units.

After Final Study List Deadline: Enrollment hold is placed for future quarters.
Coterm graduate billing group (COTG) 8 units (across both careers) in Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters $200 late study list fee assessed. Please see the Preliminary Study List Deadline page for more details. 24 units (across both careers) in Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters.  Prior to Final Study List Deadline: To-do Item appears in Axess, warning student to drop below maximum units.

After Final Study List Deadline: Enrollment hold is placed for future quarters.

Course enrollment errors

Occasionally, coterms encounter an error when trying to drop a course from a career where they are (or would be) above the minimum enrollment requirement. For instance, if a coterm was enrolled in 15 units in their undergraduate career and 5 units in their graduate career, they would receive an error message if they tried to drop any of the 5 units in the graduate career from their study list, since the minimum enrollment requirement for graduate students are set at 8 units.  If needing to move those units from one career to the other, please complete a Coterm Course Transfer formIf needing to drop those units (but not move into the other career), please complete the Request for Course Enrollment form.
 

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Leaves of Absence

Coterminal students who wish to take a leave of absence are subject to the Leave of Absence policies for undergraduate and graduate students, as described in the "Leaves of Absence and Reinstatement (Undergraduate)" and "Leaves of Absence (Graduate)" sections of the Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate students, including coterminal students, must obtain permission from the master’s degree program. A coterminal student whose undergraduate degree has not been conferred must also obtain permission from the office of Undergraduate Advising and Research, and may not take a leave of absence unless approved for both the graduate and undergraduate leave.

Coterminal students are permitted to request a leave of absence for the first quarter of the graduate program.

Leaves of absence are granted for a maximum of one calendar year, or four quarters. An extension of leave, for a maximum of one year or four quarters, is approved only in unusual circumstances. Leaves of absences may not exceed a cumulative total of two years (8 quarters including Summer quarters), including both undergraduate and graduate programs.

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Adding or Changing Master's Degree Programs

Coterminal students who wish to change from one master’s degree to another before conferral of the bachelor’s degree must submit all of the following as one packet to the Student Services Center:

  1. An approved request to withdraw from the original degree program using the Request to Permanently Withdraw from Degree Program (pdf) form
  2. A completed and approved application for admission to the new program in the same quarter. Please refer to the Applying to Coterm page for additional information
  3. Optional: a personal statement 

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. If the bachelor's degree has not yet been conferred, the student may elect to transfer courses back to the undergraduate career. Any coterm program that has been discontinued will appear on the transcript in a 'Discontinued' status.

Coterminal students who wish to add an additional advanced degree program, may only do so once the bachelor's degree has been conferred. This change is made via the Graduate Program Authorization petition (please see the Graduate Program Authorization page for further details).

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Permanently Withdrawing from a Coterm Program

Coterminal students who wish to discontinue their coterminal/graduate program may do so by submitting the Request to Permanently Withdraw from a Degree Program form. Note that although discontinuations are not considered an academic demerit, the graduate program will appear on the transcript in a discontinued status, as the discontinued status is an accurate reflection of the academic history. If the student has no plans to return to Stanford to complete a graduate degree, then they should also review their record and transfer courses from their graduate career to their undergraduate career via Coterm Course Transfer, if appropriate (please visit the Coterm Course Transfer page for more information).  

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