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Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Program in Modern Thought and Literature

Each year, one or two undergraduates who are exceptionally well prepared in literature and at least one foreign language and whose undergraduate course work includes a strong interdisciplinary component, may petition to be admitted to the program for the purpose of completing a coterminal M.A. degree. Admission to this program is granted only on condition that in the course of working on their master's degrees they do not apply to enter the Ph.D. program in Modern Thought and Literature. The deadline for application is early February.

To apply, applicants submit:

  1. An unofficial grade transcript from Axess.
  2. A Petition for Admission to the Coterminal Program from the Registrar's Office.
  3. A statement giving the reasons the student wishes to pursue this program and its place in his or her future plans. This statement should pay particular attention to the reasons why the student could not pursue the studies he or she desires in some other way.
  4. An initial plan of study listing, quarter by quarter, each course by name, units, and instructor, to be taken in order to fulfill the requirements for the degree for a total of 45 units, including at least 20 units of advanced work in one literature, and at least 20 units in a coherent interdisciplinary program of courses taken in non-literature departments. (Changes in the course list are to be expected.)
  5. A writing sample of critical or analytical prose, 20 pages maximum.
  6. Two letters of recommendation from members of the faculty who know the applicant well and who can speak directly to the question of his or her ability to do graduate-level work.
  7. A designated adviser from among the Stanford faculty; normally one letter of recommendation will be from this faculty member.

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, see


The candidate for the M.A. must complete at least 45 units of graduate work, to be divided in the following manner:

  1. The introductory seminar, MTL 334A, Concepts of Modernity 1, 5 units; students may substitute 334B, Concepts of Modernity 2, with the director's permission.
  2. At least 20 units of advanced course work in literature, to be approved by the director.
  3. At least 20 units of course work in a coherent and individually arranged interdisciplinary program, to be approved by the director.

By the end of the course of study, each candidate must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.

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