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Graduate Minimum Progress Requirements

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In addition to the degree requirements specific to your graduate program, there are university-wide degree requirements that apply to all graduate programs. 

Minimum Progress

As a graduate student, you must meet the following standards of minimum progress as indicated by units and grades. These standards apply to all advanced degree programs except the School of Business Ph.D., and the M.B.A., M.L.S., J.D., L.L.M., J.S.M., J.S.D., M.D., and M.L.A., which follow guidelines issued by the respective schools.

  • If you are enrolled in 11 or more units, you must pass at least eight units by the end of each term.
  • If you are enrolled in fewer than 11 units, you must pass at least six units by the end of each term unless other requirements are specified in a particular case or for a particular program.
  • You must maintain a 3.0 ('B') grade point average overall in courses applicable to the degree.

Standards for completed units and grade point averages can fluctuate by department. Such department requirements take precedence over the university policy. Any standard variations must be published in the Graduate Degrees: Degree Progress policy.

If you do not meet the requirements for minimum progress, your department will determine whether the problem lies with administrative matters (such as reporting of grades) or with academic performance. You will have the opportunity to explain any special circumstances. 

Approval for continuation in the degree program is contingent upon agreement by you and your department to a suitable plan to maintain appropriate progress in subsequent quarters. Dismissal of graduate students is addressed in the Graduate Degrees: Leaves & Reinstatement policy.

Residency Requirements

Every graduate degree offered at Stanford has a residency requirement based upon the number of required academic units for that degree. The residency requirements and maximum allowable transfer units for each degree type are listed in the Graduate Degrees Residency policy.