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Minimum Residency Requirements for Graduate Degrees

Each type of graduate degree offered at Stanford has a residency requirement based on the number of academic units required for the degree. These residency requirements and the maximum allowable transfer units for each degree type are listed below. Academic Departments and schools offering degrees may establish unit requirements that are higher than the University residency requirement, but they may not have a residency requirement that is lower than the University standard. 

For more information, see the "Graduate Degrees Residency" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

University Minimum Residency Requirements for Graduate Degrees

Degree type 1 Minimum # of Stanford Units Required Maximum Allowable External Transfer Units
MA, MS, MFA, MLA, MSM 45 04
Engineer 2 90 45
MBA, MPP 3 90 04
PhD, DMA5 135 45
MD 235 90
MS in Physician Assistant Studies 6 186 04
JD 7,8 109 45
MLS, LLM, JSM 8 35 04
JSD 8 44 04, 9

Stanford University has authorized the granting of the M.A.T., the Ed.S. and the Ed.D. degrees, but they are not being offered.

  1. Stanford University has authorized the granting of the M.A.T., the Ed.S. and the Ed.D. degrees, but they are not being offered.

  2. Up to 45 units completed at Stanford toward an M.A. or M.S. degree or accepted as transfer credit, but not both, in an Engineering discipline may be used toward the 90 unit residency requirement for the Engineer degree. At least 45 units of work at Stanford are necessary to complete the 90 residency units for the Engineer degree.

  3. Enrollment in the M.P.P. program is limited to candidates who have earlier been accepted to another Stanford graduate degree program.

  4. Students eligible for Veterans Affairs educational benefits should refer to the Veterans Benefits section of the Stanford Bulletin.

  5. Up to 45 units completed at Stanford toward an M.A. or M.S. degree or accepted as transfer credit, but not both, may be used toward the 135 unit residency requirement for the Ph.D. or D.M.A. degree. At least 90 units of work at Stanford are necessary to complete the 135 residency units for the Ph.D. or D.M.A. degree.

  6. 6 units of the total are in an area of scholarly concentration.

  7. J.D. students entering prior to the Autumn Quarter 2009-10 must take the equivalent of 86 semester units.

  8. The Academic Senate approved these residency requirements on February 4, 2010, effective for the 2009-10 academic year.

  9. Up to 35 units completed at Stanford toward a JSM degree may be used toward the 44 unit residency requirement for the JSD degree. 

University Minimum Residency Requirements for Graduate Degree Combinations

Students with multiple degree programs must complete the residency requirements for all their degrees types.

Degree Combination Minimum # of Stanford Units Required Maximum Allowable External Transfer Units Minimum # of Residency Units Required
MA/MS/MSM   45 0* 45
  + MA/MS 90 0* 90
         
Engineer   45 45 90
  + MA/MS 90 0* 90
         
PhD   90 45 135
  + MA/MS 135 0* 135
  + 2 MA/MS 180 0* 180
  + Engineer 180 45 225
  + Engineer + MA/MS 225** 0* 225**
  + PhD 180 90*** 270

*  Students eligible for Veterans Affairs educational benefits should refer to the Veterans Benefits section of the Stanford Bulletin.

** Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students should refer to the CEE program page in the Stanford Bulletin for additional information regarding residency.

*** Up to 45 quarter units of work completed outside of Stanford may be applied towards a PhD via the Graduate Residency Credit petition process. Students may apply up to 45 unduplicated units towards each PhD (students may not use the same external course work towards both PhDs).

Joint Degree Programs

It is Stanford University's general policy that units are applicable toward only one degree. Units may not normally be duplicated or double-counted toward the residency requirement for more than one degree. Exceptions to this general policy for specified combinations of degree types, known as Joint Degree Programs, may be approved by agreement of the Faculty Senate and the deans of the schools affected, with review by the Committee on Graduate Studies. 

For additional information please see the Joint Degree Programs web site.