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The coterminal degree program allows you to pursue a master's degree while completing a bachelor's degree at Stanford. IPS is a two-year master’s program, although some students are able to complete their degree and graduate in Winter Quarter of the second year.

In the coterminal master’s program, courses taken three quarters prior to the first graduate quarter, or later, are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate degree. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

To earn an IPS master's degree, students are required to complete a minimum of 73 units.  To learn more, please see the M.A. Curriculum for details.  


Prerequisite Course Work

The IPS program requires the completion of five prerequisite courses prior to matriculation (Stanford equivalent in parentheses):

Prerequisite courses may be taken at community colleges, at four-year institutions, or through online courses. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.  Proof of completion, which is usually verified by a transcript, is required.

Completion of prerequisite coursework is not required to apply. However, we encourage you to begin taking these courses as soon as possible so you can complete all five prior to matriculation.

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions for additional details.


Language Requirement

In order to earn the M.A. degree in International Policy Studies, students must be proficient in a foreign language. Proficiency can be demonstrated by:

  • Completion of three years of university-level coursework in a foreign language (verified by a transcript)

  • Passing an oral and written proficiency exam at Stanford prior to graduation

  • Status as a non-native English speaker


How To Apply

Please visit the Coterm website for details on how to apply.  

The deadline for all application materials is January 5, 2016.

You will need to submit the following materials:

1.    Coterminal Application

2.    Statement of Purpose

  • 2-3 pages and double spaced
  • Succinctly explain your reasons for applying to IPS, including your preparation for this field of study, academic and research interests, and future career goals

3.    Two Letters of Recommendation

4.    Academic Writing Sample (8-15 pages, double-spaced; any topic)

  • A piece of analytical writing completed at Stanford
  • 7-15 pages and double spaced

5.    Unofficial or electronic Stanford Transcript

6.    Area of Concentration and Prerequisites Form

NOTE: Coterm applicants to IPS do not need to take the GRE exam.  

Please send all application materials to:

Castaña Aguirre
IPS Program Coordinator
Encina Hall West, Room 216
Stanford, CA 94305-6045

Additional Information

If you are interested in learning more about the IPS coterminal program, please consult Castaña Aguirre, IPS Program Coordinator, at 650-725-9075 or

For general information on coterm programs, please visit Stanford Undergrad.