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Coterminal Master of Arts in Sociology

Stanford undergraduates, regardless of undergraduate major, who wish to pursue an M.A. in Sociology may apply for the coterminal master's program. The coterminal M.A. in Sociology is a flexible, self-designed program. Most students complete their M.A. in a fifth year at Stanford; occasionally students are able to complete their B.A. and coterminal M.A. in the fourth year.

Application and admission—Undergraduates must be admitted to the program and enrolled as a graduate student for at least one quarter prior to their B.A. conferral. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous undergraduate work is required for admission; GRE test scores are required. It is highly recommended that applicants have completed at least one Sociology course at the 100 level with a grade of 'B' or better. The department accepts applications once a year; the application deadline is February 15th for admission in the Spring quarter immediately following. There are no exceptions to this deadline. All application materials are submitted directly to the Sociology graduate student services office. The department does not fund coterminal M.A. students. To apply for admission to the Sociology coterminal M.A. program, students must submit the coterminal application and the following:

  1. a 2-5 page statement of purpose;
  2. a preliminary program proposal that specifies at least 45 units of course work relevant to the degree program with at least 40 units in Sociology;
  3. a current unofficial undergraduate transcript;
  4. two letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty familiar with the student's academic work;
  5. GRE scores.

Program requirements—Coterminal M.A. students are required to take 45 units of course work during their graduate career; 40 of these units must be in Sociology courses. Students who wish to engage in more in-depth study in a specific area may do so by focusing on course work within an area of study. All units for the coterminal M.A. must be taken at or above the 100 level; advanced-level course work is encouraged and a minimum of 20 units must be taken at the 200 level. Students who wish to take courses outside the department must seek prior approval from the Sociology student services office; coterminal master's students are limited to 5 units from outside of the department; outside courses must be taken in other Social Science departments. Students may transfer a maximum of 10 units from their undergraduate career; to be eligible for transfer, courses must have been taken in the two quarters preceding admission to the M.A. program. All units applied to the coterminal master's degree must be taken for a letter grade, and an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better is required for the degree. Because research methods are an important component of graduate training in the social sciences, coterminal students are encouraged to take SOC 180A, Foundations of Social Research, and 180B, Evaluation of Evidence, in sequence when possible. These methods courses provide skills for research opportunities within the department and in academic or professional careers. Coterminal M.A. students should meet with their assigned faculty adviser upon acceptance to the program.

For University coterminal degree program rules and University application forms, see For detailed information regarding the Sociology coterminal M.A. and how to apply, see

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