“Coterminal” or “Coterm” is a special admissions process that allows students to matriculate into one of Stanford’s master’s degrees participating in the Coterminal Degrees Program. Students entering graduate careers via this process are referred to as “coterms.” Coterms are both undergraduate AND graduate students at the same time for at least one quarter prior to undergraduate degree conferral.
What Do You Mean By...?
Matriculate/Matriculation - When coterms matriculate into a graduate program, their graduate career opens. They will then have a graduate transcript in addition to the undergraduate transcript.
Career vs. Degree - Career refers to a student’s undergraduate or graduate record. A student typically will work towards a degree (or occasionally more than one degree) on a single career. For example, a student could pursue a BA degree and a BS degree on their undergraduate career. A coterm is pursuing a master’s degree on their graduate career.
Degree Conferral – Degrees are conferred upon (or awarded to) students at graduation. Students must apply for degree conferral or graduation.
When do coterms begin enrolling in units on the graduate career?
By having both the undergraduate and graduate careers open concurrently, coterm undergraduates have the flexibility to enroll in courses that may apply to the undergraduate career (transcript), and/or courses that may apply to the graduate career within the same quarter.*
For each quarter when a student has both careers open prior to undergraduate degree conferral, coterms may enroll on either or both careers based on their individual situation. 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.
How does coterm course transfer work?
Coterm students may move/transfer courses from the undergraduate career to the graduate career, from two or more quarters prior to the matriculation quarter.
When do coterms graduate?
Most coterms will apply for undergraduate degree conferral with their class, though coterms may choose to keep the undergraduate record open longer. Coterms may apply for both degrees at once. In that situation, it would be the terminal quarter for both careers, the origin of the word “coterminal”. There are A LOT of implications related to the timing of degree conferral.
*With the exception of Coterms in the STEP program. These students may not enroll in units applicable to the graduate career until after undergraduate degree conferral.
Earn an M.A. in Public Policy in as little as one year, while completing your undergraduate degree. Participate in an intellectually-rigorous program that provides a strong foundation in policy and public service. Students from all undergraduate majors are encouraged to apply.
The coterminal M.A. is also a gateway to the M.P.P. degree program. Stanford undergraduates may apply to the coterminal M.A. in Public Policy and then, after one quarter in the M.A. program, apply to the M.P.P. program. Earning the B.A. and M.P.P. typically takes at least five years. Students may also apply directly to the M.P.P. program as seniors or alumni.