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Coterminal Degrees at Stanford

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What is a Coterm?

The Coterminal Degrees program is a special admissions process that allows undergraduates at Stanford to apply to participating master's degrees offering coterminal admission. Matriculated "Coterminal" or "Coterm" students may begin enrolling directly on their graduate careers, typically in the junior or senior year. Coterms are both undergraduate AND graduate students at the same time for at least one quarter prior to undergraduate degree conferral.

Coterminal Admission allows most students to begin taking graduate units while they are still undergraduates. Coterms must complete all required undergraduate units and all required graduate units. Units applied to one degree may not also be used to fulfill requirements for the other degree. Double counting of units across careers is not permitted.

While most coterms complete some number of units for their master’s degrees during what typically would be fully undergraduate quarters of enrollment, there are many factors that impact how many units applicable to the graduate degree (if any) a coterm student might complete within the typical time a student spends as an undergraduate. How much bandwidth a student will have to begin additional graduate units will be influenced by factors such as whether or not a student completed units via transfer or test credit prior to matriculation at Stanford, pacing of undergraduate majors and the graduate programs, other opportunities such as minors, honors, research, extracurricular activities, etc.

Coterms may move units between their graduate and undergraduate transcripts via coterminal course transfer. This allows undergraduates to try out units before applying to the program and, within a certain number of quarters before coterminal matriculation, subsequently move them to the graduate degree. For students with units potentially applicable to either their UG or GR degrees, it also allows flexibility for planning their degrees.

Undergraduates typically apply for coterminal admission in the junior or senior year. Before applying, students are expected to review and understand the following:

Note: application deadlines vary by program. A program may allow students to apply during one or more quarters each year.

Students may only enter one graduate program via coterminal admission. Students wishing to add a second graduate program to their academic plans may only do so after the conferral of the undergraduate degree. See adding or changing master’s degree programs. The only exception is for students changing from one coterm program to another while the undergraduate degree is still open. If a matriculated coterm student applies for graduate admission via the coterm application to a subsequent program and is admitted, withdrawal from the initial program is necessary in order to be matriculated into the new graduate program. See coterm program changes.

Short Coterm Advising Videos

Coterm applications and considerations

What are coterminal degrees/how do they work?

Coterm tuition and funding

Still have questions?  You can also make an appointment with our UAD for Coterminal Degree Programs, Paula Aguilar.

Upcoming Events

General Coterm Information Sessions

Monday, June 14, 2023 at 4:00pm (PST)

August, and September Information Sessions TBD

Recently accepted to a Coterm?

All students accepted to coterms will receive an email invitation to join one of multiple orientation sessions options, typically immediately prior or at the start of the next term. The same information will be covered in all orientation sessions.

Program Information Sessions

Communication (Media Studies or Journalism)

The COMM Department encourages interested students and prospective applicants to the media studies or journalism coterm programs to schedule a meeting with the student services manager.

Community Health and Prevention Research (CHPR)

Typically offers sessions in the autumn quarter each year.

CHPR website

Earth Systems Coterm Info Sessions

Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 12:00pm

Undergraduates from any major are welcome to attend this information session via Zoom. Please RSVP.

The Earth Systems Coterminal Master of Science program allows you the opportunity to select a focus and deep dive in areas of science, economics, and environmental policy needed to tackle the world's most pressing social-environmental problems.  You will become part of a generation of scientists, professionals, and citizens who approach and solve problems in a systematic and interdisciplinary way.

The Earth Systems Coterminal Master of Arts - Environmental Communication program provides students with enhanced theoretical frameworks, analytical tools, and applied skills in various domains of environmental communication. Specialization is gained through courses, independent project work, and a professional practicum placement.

Sustainability Science & Practice

Typically offers session in the autumn quarter each year.

SUST website