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Pre-Project Research Requirements

Each master's student must submit the Project Area Statement (PAS) and Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) to the Symbolic Systems Program Office.

Project Area Statement (PAS)

The Project Area Statement Form is due no later than May 1 of the academic year prior to a student's expected graduation year. The PAS must identify an area in which you plan to carry out your research project and it must be signed by a SymSys affiliated faculty member, who agrees to be your master's project advisor and who is qualified to advise you in your chosen area.

The PAS is subject to approval by the SymSys Program Office and should be sent to symsys-directors [at] (symsys-directors[at]lists[dot]stanford[dot]edu), with a cc to the prospective project advisor. Failure to submit by the deadline and gain approval for the PAS will result in a hold being placed on the next quarter of the student's registration.

Qualifying Research Paper (QRP)

The purpose of the Qualifying Research Paper requirement is to ensure that each student has experience completing an original research project prior to embarking on the main phase of the master's project.

The Qualifying Research Paper and QRP Form are due no later than the last day of the Summer Quarter prior to a student's expected graduation year. 

  • For coterminal students, this will be the summer following senior year.
  • For students admitted from outside institutions, this will be the summer at the end of the first year of study.

An honors or senior thesis that has been approved as part of a student's degree program at an accredited undergraduate institution may be submitted as a QRP, subject to a final determination by the program office. Other original research papers may also be approved on the recommendation of the student's project advisor.

PDFs of the paper and the QRP form should be sent to symsys-directors [at] (symsys-directors[at]lists[dot]stanford[dot]edu). Failure to submit by the deadline will result in a hold will be placed on the following quarter's registration.