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Minimum Progress Requirements for Graduate Students

The academic requirements for graduate students include completion of University, department, and program requirements, such as admission to candidacy, successful completion of qualifying exams, and so on in a timely and satisfactory manner. Graduate students must also meet the following standards of minimum progress as indicated by units and grades. (These standards apply to all advanced degree programs except the School of Business Ph.D., and the M.B.A., J.D., L.L.M., J.S.M., J.S.D., M.D., and M.L.A., which follow guidelines issued by the respective schools and are described in their respective school bulletins.)

Graduate students enrolled for 11 or more units must pass at least 8 units per term by the end of each term. Those registered for fewer than 11 units must pass at least 6 units per term by the end of each term, unless other requirements are specified in a particular case or for a particular program.

In addition, graduate students must maintain a 3.0 (B) grade point average overall in courses applicable to the degree.

Department requirements for minimum progress that set a higher standard for units to be completed, or a higher or lower standard for grade point average to be maintained, take precedence over the University policy; any such different standards must be published in the Stanford Bulletin.

Students identified as not meeting the requirements for minimum progress and timely and satisfactory completion of requirements are reviewed by their departments to determine whether the problem lies with administrative matters such as reporting of grades or with academic performance. Students have the opportunity to explain any special circumstances. Approval for continuation in the degree program is contingent on agreement by the student and department to a suitable plan to maintain appropriate progress in subsequent quarters. Dismissal of graduate students is addressed in separate guidelines.

Graduate students who have been granted Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status must enroll each term in the TGR course (801 for master's and Engineer programs or 802 for doctoral programs) in their department in the section appropriate for the adviser. An 'N' grade signifying satisfactory progress must be received each quarter to maintain registration privileges. An 'N‑' grade indicates unsatisfactory progress. The first 'N‑' grade constitutes a warning. A second consecutive 'N‑' grade normally causes the department to deny the student further registration until a written plan for completion of degree requirements has been approved by the department. Subsequent 'N‑' grades are grounds for dismissal from the program.

Students receiving federal student aid funds, including student loans, must maintain satisfactory academic progress standards that may be stricter than departmental standards. See the Financial Aid Office web site at for details.

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