Stanford University

Coterminal Admissions

The Symbolic Systems M.S. Program admits a handful of coterminal students each year. Coterminal students usually complete the program in one academic year. Before you begin, review Coterm Information and Coterm Eligibility and Application Details for University requirements and policies.

To be eligible, all coterminal applicants must have earned 120 units towards graduation (UTG) as shown on the undergraduate unofficial transcript. These units can include Advanced Placement (AP) and transfer credit. 

The GRE is no longer required for coterm applicants. 

Application Requirements

  • Project Area Statement: Current Stanford students are strongly encouraged to include a Project Area Statement (PAS) with a commitment from a prospective project advisor when they apply for admission to the M.S. program. Students who expect to take more than one year to complete the Symbolic Systems M.S. program may apply without including a PAS. Read more about the PAS requirement
  • Original Research Paper: all applicants are highly encouraged, but not required, to include in their application one original research paper. A draft or work in progress of the paper is acceptable. 
  • In addition, the coterminal application must include the following:

    • Official coterminal application form

    • Program Proposal

    • Statement of Purpose outlining your goals and motivations for applying to the program.

    • Two letters of recommendation (one of which should come from a student’s prospective project advisor if a Project Area Statement is included). 

    • Two copies of your Stanford undergraduate transcripts. Official Stanford transcript may be requested and submitted through the online application. Please do not request an official paper transcript from the Registrar’s Office.

    • Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Application Deadline

The deadline for coterminal students entering the program in the Spring of 2020-21 is February 1, 2021. Applicants will be notified in mid-March.

A second round deadline of May 1, 2021 is available to students who wish to enter the coterm program in Autumn Quarter 2021-22. Applicants will be notified by early June. 

Coterm Course Transfer

After accepting admission to a master's degree program, coterm students may request the transfer of Stanford courses between the undergraduate and graduate careers if certain conditions are met. The Symsys M.S. program allows students to transfer in courses taken during the Autumn quarter of sophomore year and later. Please review Coterm Course Transfer Policies for more details.