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Coterminal B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Geological and Environmental Sciences

The coterminal B.S./M.S. program offers students the opportunity to pursue graduate research and an M.S. degree concurrently with or subsequent to their B.S. studies. The M.S. degree can serve as an entrance to a professional degree in subdisciplines within the Earth sciences such as engineering geology and environmental geology, or to graduate course work and research as an intermediate step in pursuit of the Ph.D. Regardless of professional goals, coterminal B.S./M.S. students are treated as members of the graduate community and are expected to meet all of the standards set for regular M.S. students. Applicants must have earned no fewer than 120 units toward graduation, and must submit their application no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree, normally the Winter Quarter prior to Spring Quarter graduation. The application includes a statement of purpose, a current Stanford transcript, official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation from two members of the Stanford faculty (at least one of whom must be in the GES department), and a list of courses in which they intend to enroll to fulfill the M.S. degree requirements. Specific research interests should be noted in the statement of purpose and discussed with a member of the GES faculty prior to submission of the application. Coterminal students must complete a thesis describing research results.

The University requirements for the coterminal M.A. are described in the "Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" section of this bulletin. For University coterminal degree program rules and University application forms, also see

Students must meet all requirements for both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Students may either:

  1. complete 180 units required for the B.S. degree and then complete three full-time quarters (45 units at the 100-level or above) for the M.S. degree
  2. or. complete a total of fifteen quarters during which the requirements of the two degrees are fulfilled concurrently.

At least half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be designated as being primarily for graduate students, normally at the 200-level or above. No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement. Further information about this program may be obtained from the GES office.

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