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Coterminal Master's Program

Stanford undergraduates, regardless of undergraduate major, who wish to pursue an M.A. in Sociology may apply for the coterminal master’s program. The coterminal M.A. in Sociology is a flexible, self-designed program. Most students complete a Sociology M.A. during their fifth year at Stanford; occasionally students are able to complete their B.A. and coterminal M.A. in the fourth year.


Coterminal M.A. students are required to take 45 units of course work during their graduate career.  All units for the coterminal M.A. must be taken at or above the 100 level; advanced-level course work is encouraged and a minimum of 20 units must be taken at the 200 level.  Students who wish to take courses outside the department must seek approval in advance from the Sociology student services office; coterminal master’s students are limited to 5 units from outside of the department and outside courses must be taken in other Social Science departments. Students may transfer a maximum of 10 units from their undergraduate career; to be eligible for transfer, courses must have been taken in the three quarters preceding the student's first graduate quarter.  Courses cannot be transferred after a student's BA has been conferred. Please see the Registrar's Office for additional information on course transfer policies. 

All units applied to the coterminal master’s degree must be taken for a letter grade, and an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better is required for the degree.  Coterminal students are strongly encouraged to take SOC 180A Foundations of Social Research, and SOC 180B Introduction to Data Analysis, in sequence when possible.  These methods courses provide skills for research opportunities within the department and in academic or professional careers. They are also an important component of graduate training in the social sciences. Coterminal M.A. students should meet with their assigned faculty adviser upon acceptance to the program to discuss their program proposal. Program proposals, which outline the courses to be completed for the Master's degree, must be submitted before the end of the student's first graduate quarter.

How to Apply

Admitted students must have at least one quarter of overlap in the undergraduate and graduate career prior to conferring their undergraduate degree. For example, if the first graduate quarter for the coterminal degree is Spring Quarter, then the earliest that the undergraduate degree can be conferred is the Spring Quarter.  A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous undergraduate work is required for admission; GRE test scores are required.  It is highly recommended that applicants have completed at least one Sociology course at the 100 level with a grade of ‘B’ or better. 

The department accepts applications once a year; the application deadline is February 5, 2019 for Spring quarter enrollment.  There are no exceptions to this deadline.  All application materials are submitted on-line.  The department does not fund coterminal M.A. students. 

To apply for admission to the Sociology coterminal M.A. program, students must submit the following:

  1. Application for Admission to Coterminal Master's Program available online in mid-September;
  2. Statement of purpose: should be 2-5 pages, double-spaced. Applicants should outline reasons for pursuing the M.A. degree in Sociology, including career aspirations and/or future plans for additional advanced degrees;
  3. Preliminary program proposal: this is a form in the application packet. At least 45 units of course work relevant to the degree program must be specified;
  4. Coterminal Application Approval form: downloaded from the Registrar's Office website and uploaded to the online application;
  5. Current unofficial transcript: please do not request an official transcript from the Registrar's Office;
  6. Two letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty familiar with the student's academic work; additional letters from teaching assistants, employers, or other individuals are accepted as supplemental materials but are not required;
  7. GRE scores: official GRE scores are required and must be reported direclty to Stanford from Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Stanford's ETS institutional code is: 4704; an individual department code number is not necessary.  Please be sure to list Stanford University as a Score Recipient in addition to listing it as your Graduate Institution (GI).

Please see the Stanford Bulletin for additional requirements and detailed information on Coterminal Degree Programs.