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Graduate Degrees: Master's

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Degree-Specific Requirements (Master's Degrees)

Master's Program Proposal

Students pursuing an M.A., M.F.A., M.S., or M.P.P. degree are required to submit an acceptable program proposal to their department during the first quarter of enrollment using the Program Proposal for a Master's Degree form. Coterminal students must submit the proposal during the first quarter after admission to the coterminal program. The program proposal establishes a student's individual program of study to meet University and department degree requirements. Students must amend the proposal formally if their plans for meeting degree requirements change.

In reviewing the program proposal or any subsequent amendment to it, the department confirms that the course of study proposed by the student fulfills all department course requirements (for example, requirements specifying total number of units, course levels, particular courses, sequences, or substitutes). The department confirms that all other department requirements (for example, required projects, foreign language proficiency, or qualifying exams) are listed on the form and that all general University requirements (minimum units, residency, and so on) for the master's degree will be met through the proposed program of study. Students who fail to submit an acceptable proposal may be dismissed.

Time Limit for Completion of the Master's Degree

All requirements for a master's degree must be completed within three years after the student's first term of enrollment in the master's program (five years for Honors Cooperative students). Students pursuing a coterminal master's degree must complete their requirements within three years of the first graduate quarter.

The time limit is not automatically extended by a student's leave of absence. All requests for extension, whether prompted by a leave or some other circumstance, must be filed by the student before the conclusion of the program's time limit. Departments are not obliged to grant an extension. The maximum extension is one additional year. Extensions require review of academic progress and any other factors regarded as relevant by the department, and approval by the department; such approval is at the department's discretion.

Master of Arts and Master of Science

In addition to completing the general requirements for advanced degrees and the specified program requirements, candidates for the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) must outline an acceptable program of study on the Master's Degree Program Proposal and complete their degrees within the time limit for completion of the master's degree.

Master of Public Policy

The degree of Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) is a two-year program leading to a professional degree. Enrollment in the M.P.P. program is limited to candidates who have earlier been accepted to another Stanford graduate degree program and to recent (within three years) Stanford graduates. In addition to completing the general requirements for advanced degrees and the program requirements specified in the "Public Policy" section of this bulletin, candidates for the degree of Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) must outline an acceptable program of study on the Program Proposal for a Master's Degree form and complete their degrees within the time limit for completion of the master's degree.

Master of Business Administration

The degree of Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) is conferred on candidates who have satisfied the requirements established by the faculty of the Graduate School of Business and the general requirements for advanced degrees. Full particulars concerning the school requirements are found on the M.B.A. program web site of the Graduate School of Business. The M.B.A. must be completed within the time limit for completion of the master's degree.

Master of Fine Arts

In addition to completing the general requirements for advanced degrees and the program requirements specified in the "Art and Art History" section of this bulletin, candidates for the degree of Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) must outline an acceptable program of study on the Master's Degree Program Proposal and complete their degrees within the time limit for completion of the master's degree.

Master of Liberal Arts

The Master of Liberal Arts (M.L.A.) program is a part-time interdisciplinary master's program in the liberal arts for returning adult students. In addition to completing the general requirements for advanced degrees, candidates for the degree of Master of Liberal Arts (M.L.A.) must complete their degrees within five years, an exception to the rule specified above.

Engineer

In addition to completing the general requirements for advanced degrees and the requirements specified by their department, candidates for the degree of Engineer must be admitted to candidacy and must complete a thesis per the specifications below.

Candidacy

The Application for Candidacy for Degree of Engineer is an agreement between the student and the department on a specific program of study to fulfill degree requirements. Students must apply for candidacy by the end of the second quarter of the program. Honors Cooperative students must apply by the end of the fourth quarter of the program. Candidacy is valid for five calendar years.

Thesis

A University thesis is required for the Engineer degree. Students have the option of submitting the thesis electronically or via the paper process. Standards for professional presentation of the thesis have been established by the Committee on Graduate Studies. Directions for preparation of the thesis for electronic or paper submission are available at the Office of the University Registrar dissertation/thesis web site.

The deadline for submission of theses for degree conferral in each term is specified by the University academic calendar. If submitting via the paper process, three copies of the thesis, bearing the approval of the adviser under whose supervision it was prepared, must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar before the quarterly deadline listed on the University academic calendar. A fee is charged for binding copies of the paper thesis. If submitting via the electronic process the signed thesis signature page and title page must be submitted to the Student Services Center and one final copy of the thesis must be uploaded, and approved by the Final Reader, on or before the quarterly deadline indicated in the University's academic calendar. There is no fee charged for the electronic submission process.

Students must be registered or on Graduation Quarter in the term in which they submit the thesis; see "Graduation Quarter" section of this bulletin for additional information. At the time the thesis is submitted, an Application to Graduate must be on file, all department requirements must be complete, and candidacy must be valid through the term of degree conferral.

Master of Legal Studies

The Master of Legal Studies degree (M.L.S.), a nonprofessional degree, is conferred upon candidates who satisfactorily complete courses in law totaling the number of units required under the current Faculty Regulations of the Stanford Law School over no less than one academic year and who otherwise have satisfied the requirements of the University and the Stanford Law School. The Stanford Law School Advanced Degree Programs provides detailed information on degree requirements.

Master of Laws

The degree of Master of Laws (L.L.M.) is conferred upon candidates who satisfactorily complete courses in law totaling the number of units required under the current Faculty Regulations of the Stanford Law School over no less than one academic year and who otherwise have satisfied the requirements of the University and the Stanford Law School.

The degree is designed for international graduate students trained in law and is available only to students with a primary law degree earned outside the United States. The L.L.M. program offers students a choice of three areas of specialization: Corporate Governance and Practice; Law, Science, and Technology; or International Economic Law, Business; and Policy. The Stanford Law School Advanced Degree Programs provides detailed information on degree requirements.

Master of the Science of Law

The degree of Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.) is conferred upon candidates who satisfactorily complete courses in law totaling the number of units required under the current Faculty Regulations of the Stanford Law School over no less than one academic year and who otherwise have satisfied the requirements of the University and the Stanford Law School.

The degree is primarily designed for those qualified students who hold a J.D. or its equivalent and who are at the Stanford Law School for independent reasons (for example, as teaching fellows) and who wish to combine work toward the degree with their primary academic activities. Specially qualified lawyers, public officials, academics, and other professionals who have worked outside the United States may apply for the degree through the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS). The Stanford Law School Advanced Degree Programs provides detailed information on degree requirements.