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Coterminal Academic Progress

Academic Progress

Prior to the conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), a coterminal student’s academic progress is monitored by the Undergraduate Advising and Research Office (UAR, part of the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education) in conjunction with the student’s advisers and the graduate program.

After conferral of the undergraduate degree(s), the student’s degree progress is monitored by the graduate adviser and graduate program.

All courses taken during a quarter, whether enrolled in the undergraduate or graduate career, are used to assess whether minimum academic progress standards, including number of units enrolled and number of units earned, have been met.

Students in the undergraduate coterminal tuition group are evaluated according to the undergraduate degree progress standards. These standards are described in the "Academic Progress" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

Students in the graduate coterminal tuition group are evaluated according to the graduate degree progress standards. These standards are described in the "Minimum Progress Requirements for Graduate Students" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

Students are expected to maintain an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) which meets the University’s undergraduate standards, and a graduate GPA which meets University and program requirements for graduate progress. Courses which have been transferred from the undergraduate to the graduate career are calculated as part of the graduate GPA.


In the first graduate quarter, a coterminal student is assigned an adviser in the master’s department or program for assistance in planning to meet the requirements for the master’s degree. The plan is outlined on the Program Proposal for a Master’s Degree (pdf), which is submitted by the student and approved by the master’s department or program by the end of the first graduate quarter. The preliminary program proposal from the coterminal application may inform the Program Proposal, but does not satisfy this master's degree requirement.

The course of study for each student’s master’s degree should be outlined on the student’s Program Proposal form. The decision as to which courses a program approves in the student’s master’s program proposal, including changes from the typical curriculum, is within the purview of the department or program. The conversation between the student and the student’s graduate adviser is important in this regard.

The master’s program proposal must meet University minimum requirements for the master’s degree, including at least 45 units taken at Stanford, all courses at 100-level or above, 50% of units designated primarily for graduate students (typically 200-level or above, although course numbering varies by department). All courses must be in the graduate career.

Coterminal students pursuing a master’s degree must complete their requirements within three years of their first quarter of graduate standing. Authorizations for master’s programs expire three calendar years from the first graduate quarter. An extension requires review of academic performance by the department (see GAP 4.1 Master’s Degrees).

Leaves of Absence

Coterminal students who wish to take a leave of absence are subject to the Leave of Absence policies for undergraduate and graduate students, as described in the "Leaves of Absence and Reinstatement (Undergraduate)" and "Leaves of Absence (Graduate)" sections of the Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate students, including coterminal students, must obtain permission from the master’s degree program. A coterminal student whose undergraduate degree has not been conferred must also obtain permission from the office of Undergraduate Advising and Research, and may not take a leave of absence unless approved for both the graduate and undergraduate leave.

Coterminal students are permitted to request a leave of absence for the first quarter of the graduate program.

Leaves of absence are granted for a maximum of one calendar year, or four quarters. An extension of leave, for a maximum of one year or four quarters, is approved only in unusual circumstances. Leaves of absences may not exceed a cumulative total of two years (8 quarters including Summer quarters), including both undergraduate and graduate programs.