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Coterminal Academic Progress

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On this page: Academic ProgressAdvisingEnrollment Leaves of Absences •  Permanently Withdrawing from a Coterm Program • Coterm Reinstatement

Academic Progress

Prior to the conferral of your undergraduate degree(s), your coterminal academic progress is monitored by the coordinator of coterminal advising in Academic Advising in conjunction with your advisers and the graduate program. After conferral of your undergraduate degree(s), your degree progress is monitored by the graduate adviser and graduate program.

All courses you take during a quarter, whether assigned to your undergraduate or graduate career, are used to assess whether you have met the minimum academic progress standards, including the number of units enrolled and the number of units earned.

If you are in the undergraduate coterminal tuition group, you are evaluated according to the undergraduate degree progress standards. These standards are described at Academic Progress.

If you are in the graduate coterminal tuition group, you are evaluated according to the graduate degree progress standards. These standards are described at Minimum Progress Requirements for Graduate Students.

You are expected to maintain an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) that meets the university’s undergraduate standards, and a graduate GPA that meets university and program requirements for graduate progress. Courses you transferred from the undergraduate to the graduate career are calculated as part of your graduate GPA.


In your first graduate quarter, you are assigned an adviser in the master’s department or program to assist you in planning to meet the requirements for the master’s degree. The plan is outlined in the Program Proposal for a Master’s Degree, which you submit and your master’s department or program approves by the end of the first graduate quarter. The preliminary program proposal from the coterminal application may inform the Program Proposal but does not satisfy this master's degree requirement.

Your course of study for your master's degree should be outlined on the student’s Program Proposal form. The decision as to which courses a program approves in the student’s master’s program proposal, including changes from the typical curriculum, is within the purview of the department or program. The conversation between you and your graduate adviser is important in this regard.

The master’s program proposal must meet university minimum requirements for the master’s degree, including at least 45 units taken at Stanford, all courses at 100-level or above, and 50% of units designated primarily for graduate students (typically 200-level or above, although course numbering varies by department). All courses must be in your graduate career.

You must complete your master’s degree requirements within three years of your first quarter of graduate standing. Authorizations for master’s programs expire three calendar years from the first graduate quarter. An extension requires review of academic performance by the department. (See GAP 4.1 Master’s Degrees.)


Stanford University does not require you to enroll in graduate courses in your first graduate quarter (i.e., the quarter that you are matriculated/activated); however, you should work with your graduate program advisor to complete your Program Proposal by the end of the first quarter to outline which courses you will take (and when) to complete your master's degree. Once admitted and matriculated into your graduate program, you may enroll in undergraduate and/or graduate courses by designating the which career when enrolling. 

Enrollment Requirements

Minimum and maximum enrollment policies are dictated by which billing group (undergraduate or graduate) you are active in. Students should refer to Coterm Tuition Assessment for additional information about billing groups. 

Leaves of Absence

If you take a leave of absence, you are subject to the Leave of Absence policies for undergraduate and graduate students, as described in Student Policies: Leaves of Absence and Reinstatement (Undergraduate) and Student Policies: Leaves of Absence (Graduate).

You must obtain permission from the master’s degree program. If your undergraduate degree has not been conferred, you must also obtain permission from the Academic Advising office, and may not take a leave of absence unless approved for both the graduate and undergraduate leave.

You are permitted to request a leave of absence for the first quarter of the graduate program.

Leaves of absence are granted for a maximum of one calendar year or four quarters. An extension of leave, for an additional maximum of one year or four quarters, is approved only in unusual circumstances. Leaves of absences may not exceed a cumulative total of two years (i.e., eight quarters including Summer quarters) for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Permanently Withdrawing from a Coterm Program

If you want to discontinue your coterminal/graduate program, you may do so by submitting a Request to Permanently Withdraw from a Degree Program form found in your Axess eForms portal. Only the signature of the coterminal master’s department is required. Note that although discontinuations are not considered an academic demerit, the graduate program appears on your transcript in a discontinued status, as the discontinued status is an accurate reflection of your academic history. If you do not plan to return to Stanford to complete a graduate degree, you should also review your record and transfer courses from your graduate career to your undergraduate career via Coterm Course Transfer, if appropriate. Visit the Coterm Course Transfer page for more information. 

Coterm Reinstatement

If you discontinued both your undergraduate and graduate degrees and want to reinstate into both programs, you must apply for reinstatement for each degree separately.

If you discontinued both your undergraduate and graduate degrees, but only want to reinstate into your undergraduate degree program, you should follow the information at Returning to Stanford and submit the Permanent Withdrawal from Degree Program form (found in the eForms portal in Axess) to formally withdraw from the graduate degree program.