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Graduate Program Authorization Petition

The Graduate Program Authorization (“Grad Auth”) petition is submitted through Axess by graduate and professional students in order to request a new degree program or to request a change of degree programs. There is a $125 application fee to submit the Grad Auth petition.

Ph.D. Minor

To add a Ph.D. minor, graduate and professional students should use the Application for Ph.D. Minor (pdf).

Procedure for Submitting a Grad Auth Petition

The Grad Auth may be submitted for the current term or the upcoming future term. During Spring Quarter, petitions may be submitted for Spring, Summer, or Autumn. Summer term enrollment is optional for students who have been approved to begin a new degree program in the Autumn term, provided that they have been enrolled the prior Spring term.

The deadline to submit the Grad Auth Petition is the last day of classes for the requested quarter. The petition must be submitted prior to conferring degree

In order to submit a Grad Auth, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Enrolled at Stanford at least one quarter

  • Have an active academic status (not discontinued or on leave)

  • Undergraduate degree must be conferred

  • Only one Grad Auth can be submitted per quarter

  • Cannot add a duplicate academic program

Residency Requirements

Students should carefully consider the impact of adding a program on their University residency requirements, as the units required to graduate may increase when adding additional programs. See the Residency Policy for Graduate Students and the University Minimum Residency Requirements for Graduate Degrees in the Stanford Bulletin. 

How to Submit a Grad Auth Petition through Axess

  1. Log into Axess, and go to Student tab

  2. In Academics section, click on drop down menu and select “Petitions and Forms.”

  3. Select Petition “Graduate Program Authorization Petition.”

  4. Complete the petition

    1. If switching programs, select “I wish to discontinue this program…”, and the current academic program will be discontinued at the end of the current term.

    2. Select effective term

    3. Select joint degree only if participating in a Stanford joint degree program

    4. Select new academic program. Click the look up icon to identify the program and plan.

    5. Save.

A $125 petition fee is assessed for submitting the Graduate Program Authorization petition, regardless of outcome.


The submitted petition is electronically routed first to the current department, and then to the proposed department. If the current and proposed departments are the same, only one approval is required. International students’ requests are also routed to the Bechtel International Center for approval. An email is sent to the student upon every approval, and a final approval email is also sent.

If the Grad Auth petition is approved, the new program is immediately added to the student record in Axess. If the petition is returned because more information is needed or the petition needs to be edited, the student can edit the petition in Axess and resubmit. If the petition is denied, the student is notified and no further changes can be made to the petition.

Enrollment Agreement for Students with Multiple Programs

If the Grad Auth petition is submitted for a program in a different school than the original program (e.g., School of Education M.A. adding a Graduate School of Business M.B.A.), the Application for Ph.D. Minor (pdf) form is required to determine the tuition amount assessed each quarter and to prevent duplicate tuition charges.