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Coterm FAQs

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On this page: Coterm Enrollment FAQS • Coterm Application Process FAQS • Coterm Tuition Group, Billing and Financial Aid FAQS • Coterm Exceptions FAQS • Coterm Graduate Assistantships FAQS • Housing FAQS • Leave of Absence FAQS • Graduation FAQS

Coterm Enrollment FAQS

Q: Axess let me enroll in more than 20 units now that I am a coterm. Do I still need to submit a request for an exception to exceed maximum units?

A: Although we can, and do, view how many total units coterms are enrolled in across both careers, when it comes to enrollment, Axess will allow the maximum number of units set for each career, which means coterms can enroll themselves in more than 20 units if using both careers.  

Any students in the undergraduate tuition group wishing to enroll in up to 23 units must submit a request for an exception to exceed maximum units even if Axess allows enrollment in over 20 units.

If students in the UG tuition group exceed units without approval, an enrollment hold is placed on the record. Students in the graduate tuition group do not need approval (up to 24 units), though they will be charged for each additional unit for any unit beyond 18. 

Q: Do I need to enroll in courses on both transcripts/careers?

A: No. You have the flexibility to enroll in courses that may apply to your undergraduate career and/or courses that may apply to your graduate career within the same quarter.

For each quarter you have both careers open prior to undergraduate degree conferral, you may enroll in either or both careers based on your needs. There is no university policy requiring coterms to enroll in units applicable to the graduate career (or the undergraduate career) while both careers are open.

Q: How many units to I need to take for academic progress?

A: This depends on your student tuition group. If you are in the undergraduate tuition group, as are many newly matriculated coterms, you will still have to enroll in at least 12 units on either or across both transcripts. If you are in the graduate tuition group, you may enroll in 8-10 units or 11 or more.

You move to the graduate tuition group automatically ONLY if your UG degree is conferred or once you reach the 13th quarter. The registrar’s office outlines all ways students move tuition groups and has helpful details about how quarters are counted for tuition assessment and how to determine your tuition group.

Coterm Application Process FAQS

Q: Do I need the GRE and/or prerequisites?

A: You should refer to the website for the specific program, bulletin, and/or Student Services Officer, Program Manager, or the program’s Admissions staff.

Q: Do all my recommendations need to be from faculty?

A: It is generally preferred that recs be from faculty that have taught you in a class, particularly if you are only submitting two, though it is not always essential. Each program’s website will have specifics about acceptable recommendations.

Q: Questions about the likelihood of acceptance. (e.g. What is the acceptance rate?)

A: It is better to focus on the characteristics of a successful applicant in that specific program. Some program have general minimum GRE and GPA preferences, while others do not.

Q: What types of opportunities will this degree help me secure? How does this degree help me in the job market?

A: This is an important question that requires multiple conversations and resources. It is important to understand the job market for certain fields in general. Career minded resources like BEAM and Computer Forum can help you understand the best tools to find this type of information and often make employment connections. You should also speak with faculty in the potential graduate program, people in positions similar to those you find compelling (informational interviews), and consider coursework and programming opportunities that assist with career and personal value exploration. (See below for more resources.)

Q: What are other students in this degree program doing after graduation?

A: The availability of this information depends on a program’s connections with alumni and how they view their role in preparing students for life after graduation. Many programs are able to connect students with alumni and other students about to graduate who may have helpful information. You should check out the alumni database.

Q: Are there any timing considerations for when I should apply?

A: You should be aware that if you plan to move units from one career/transcript to the other, that you are only eligible to do so within a specific time frame designated by your department. This is called the quarters back rule. The registrar’s page on coterm course transfer is the best resource for details regarding how many quarters back you can go before matriculation to bring units from your undergraduate degree into your graduate degree.

Q: Is applying to a coterm allowed while I am on a leave of absence?

A: In general, yes, though many departments do not allow it. You should make sure to consult the academic program before applying.

Coterm Tuition Group, Billing, and Financial Aid FAQS

Q: How/When do I change tuition groups? How can I check my current billing group?

A: Coterm Tuition Assessment

Q: What will I be charged once I change tuition groups?

A: Tuition, Fees & Housing Overview

Q: Will I stay in the UG tuition group as long as I have UG financial aid?

A: Financial aid and Tuition are separate. Most of the policies align so that eligibility to be in the UG tuition group is available for the financial aid time period with the following exceptions:

  • If you earned units in high school and matriculate in to a coterm: Though dual enrollment units earned in high school typically do not impact the number of quarters of financial aid, every 15 units of high school transfer credit on the Stanford transcript is counted as one of the quarters you may remain in the undergraduate tuition group. You are eligible for UG tuition for 12 quarters (or 15 quarters if pursuing dual BA and BS degrees) and move tot he graduate tuition group upon completion of those quarters. For example, if you had 25 units of transfer credit earned in high school, you would move to the graduate tuition group after 11 winter, fall, or spring quarters* at Stanford. This would mean that you could have one more quarter of UG financial aid remaining, even though you would move to the graduate tuition group.
  • Summer units: Though summer enrollment* does not impact the number of quarters coterms are permitted to remain in the UG tuition group, if financial aid is used for summer enrollment (as opposed to VPUE-funded or self-funded experiences), then it would reduce the number of aid quarters moving forward. You should always consult with the Office of Financial Aid for questions about how enrollment impacts aid.
  • *Summer 2021 will count as a quarter in the UG tuition group if enrolled full-time.

Q: What does it mean to be in the graduate tuition group if I still have UG financial aid?

A: You can be a coterm in the graduate tuition group and receive undergraduate financial aid. You would still need to enroll in the minimum number of units required to receive your financial aid. If your tuition increases, as is typical for engineering coterms enrolling in more than 10 units, note that your financial aid would not increase. You will want to plan for the cost of any additional tuition. Please double check with the Office of Financial Aid if there are any questions about how your tuition group or enrollment would impact financial aid.

Q: Can I keep my UG Financial Aid and have a Graduate Assistantship?

A: Yes, but you should consult with Financial Aid because your UG aid will be adjusted/decreased.

Q: Can I apply for 13th quarter aid?

A: Coterm applications for undergraduate aid for the 13th quarter are generally not approved. You should speak to financial aid about the ramifications of matriculating into a coterm if you need 13th quarter aid for undergraduate purposes.

Coterm Exceptions FAQS

Q: How do I request an exception to academic policy, such as a late change in enrollment, or late change of grading basis?

A: If the course is on the UG transcript, then students should submit a request for exception form to the Office of Academic Advising.

If the course is on the graduate transcript, it is not possible to request a late change of grading basis. All other requests are made via the Student Services Center.  To request an enrollment change on your graduate transcript, visit the eForms portal on Axess and search for Enrollment Change Petition - GR.

If the request involved two linked requests for exceptions where a course in question one is on the GR transcript and another is on the UG transcript, work with a coterm advisor in Academic Advising. These will be reviewed together by an ad hoc committee.

Q: Do I still need to submit a request for exception to exceed units if Axess let me enroll in more than 20?

A: If you are in UG billing group, then you need to submit a request for exception to exceed max units, or you will have a hold placed on your record.

Coterm Graduate Assistantships FAQS

Q: Can I have an Assistantship and take more than 10 units?

A: Yes, but only if you have a 40% assistantship or less. If you have a 50% assistantship (20 hours a week) or have reached the same percentage when adding multiple assistantships together, you must limit yourself to 10 units per quarter. See:

Q: Does my coterm program offer assistantships, what kind/percentage, and how do I apply?

A: You should reach out to the student services officer/manager or program manager for clarification.

Housing FAQS

Q: Can I graduate early/before the 12th quarter and remain in undergraduate housing?

A: If there is availability. You will need to fill out a formal request via the housing office. Availability is lowest in autumn and highest in spring during the regular academic year.

Most coterms do not choose to graduate early because they do not want to make the request and/or lose guaranteed status early. That said, if you have a reason to graduate early, it does not necessarily mean you will have to leave campus or move before the end of the academic year. Make sure you speak to housing and understand that the outcome can depend on when you are asking.

Q: Can I live on campus after my guaranteed UG housing status ends (usually at the end of the 4th year/12th quarter)?

A: Coterms are eligible to live on campus as “returning” graduate students. Coterms in the 5th year (based on freshman matriculation year) do not have automatic guaranteed undergraduate housing. While there is likely to be space in graduate housing, since there is no guarantee, you should apply early for the best chance to secure a spot in graduate housing. If you apply after the draw you will go to the end of the waiting list. You should speak with housing if you feel your situation warrants an exception.

Q: If I leave my UG degree open beyond the 12th quarter, can I maintain my guaranteed housing like other undergraduates who need more time because of the pandemic?

A: Coterms in the 5th year (based on freshman matriculation year) do not have automatic guaranteed undergraduate housing. You should speak with housing if you feel your situation warrants an exception.

Q: If I am not graduating after 4 years of housing and need to be on campus over the summer, where should I apply to live?

A: Remember the academic year is September-September. If you just completed your 12th full-time quarter, then you would apply for undergraduate housing for the subsequent summer and graduate housing for the following autumn (if applicable).

Leave of Absence FAQs

Q: Am I allowed to take leave?

A: UG students are allowed 2 years of leave. Coterms do not have any additional leave, but may still use any remaining UG leave if the coterm program allows leave.

Leave policy varies by program. You may only request one year at a time, but may renew after a year if you have not maxed out their time. Smaller programs often cannot accommodate leave. 

Q: Can I matriculate while on leave?

A: In general, yes, though many departments do not allow it. Sometimes this means you should defer matriculation IF the program is flexible about when students matriculate. Sometimes this means you have to reapply. Remember, you must matriculate and have an overlap quarter before UG degree conferral.  

Graduation FAQs

Q: Do I have to apply to graduate when I have completed all of my undergraduate requirements?

A: No, once you have completed your undergraduate requirements, you may apply for undergraduate degree conferral at any point before or when you also apply for graduate degree conferral. Housing implication: If you finish your undergraduate requirements in the middle of an academic year or prior to your 4th year, then you may wish to delay applying for undergraduate graduation so as not to disrupt your undergraduate housing eligibility. See additional questions below.

Q: If I apply for undergraduate graduation early, will it mess up my housing?

A: Maybe. Seniors should speak with housing regarding availability. There may be paperwork or other required action in order to remain in your undergraduate housing if you are applying to graduate in the middle of an academic year. See Housing FAQs above.

Q: If I delay undergraduate graduation, will I be able to stay in undergraduate housing and/or extend my financial aid?

A: Coterms in their 5th year (based on year of freshman matriculation) are no longer guaranteed undergraduate housing unless they have been granted an exception. If you need another quarter for undergraduate courses only, then you may qualify for 13th quarter aid, but you must speak to the financial aid office before applying or you will be automatically denied based on your coterm status.

Q: Can I delay applying to graduate just in case I want to transfer units between my undergraduate and graduate careers or for any other reason?

A: Yes, you have the option to keep your undergraduate career open, but there are additional factors that may be relevant, depending on your plans.

Please note the following

  1. All students need active registration to apply for graduation
  2. Coterms may not use the graduation quarter special status unless conferring both degrees
  3. Coterms with open undergraduate careers do not qualify for the graduate petition for part-time enrollment, TGR, nor all other graduate special registration statuses. The only exception is the graduate petition for part-time enrollment - OAE accommodation. Students who wish to qualify for these statuses outside the exceptions noted above must plan for UG degree conferral at the end of a previous quarter.
  4. It is a good idea to discuss your plans with an advisor if you plan to take a leave of absence before applying for undergraduate degree conferral

Active Registration

Everyone needs active registration to apply for degree conferral. This causes confusion sometimes for those on leave of absences or those who (for example) want to graduate at the end of a summer learning opportunity without registration.

If you have both careers open and want to take a leave of absence, please note that you cannot apply for undergraduate graduation before you return and enroll again. The only way to graduate without enrolling would be if you withdrew from the coterm in order to qualify for “graduation quarter”. Coterms are not eligible for the graduation quarter special status unless they are having both degrees conferred.

Grad petition for part-time enrollment Coterms are not eligible for this special registration status for graduate students in their final quarter unless they have previously had their undergraduate degrees conferred. Students with this status are those who need to enroll in fewer than 8 units to graduate and wish to pay per unit for 3-7 units for that final quarter.

Other considerations regarding coterm degree conferral

  • You have 3 years from the matriculation quarter to complete the graduate degree. Students may request an extension via the graduate program.
  • Stanford's study abroad programs require undergraduate status.
  • You may not transfer units after undergraduate degree conferral
  • If you are an athlete, check with your UAD for Student-Athletes about whether degree conferral affects eligibility.
  • If you are an international student, check on the visa and/or OPT implications with Bechtel
  • Any students planning to apply to the part-time graduate student option through the SCPD honors cooperative program must have the undergraduate degree awarded before they can begin in addition to the other admission requirements of that program.