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How to Apply

Public Policy graduate students visit RAND in DC

Graduate students visit RAND in Washington, D.C. over spring break

There are two coterminal degree application deadlines for the 2017-18 academic year: November 16, 2017; February 22, 2018. Applicants may be contacted for an interview. A $125 fee is charged when adding the M.A. degree program in Axess.

To apply for admission to the Public Policy coterminal M.A. program, students should submit the following materials by the appropriate deadline:

  1. Coterminal application
  2. Statement of purpose, 500 words maximum (indicate interest in M.P.P. degree, if applicable)
  3. One-page resume
  4. GRE Scores; official GRE scores sent to Stanford University and an unofficial copy submitted with the application. Official test scores must be reported directly 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).
  5. A preliminary program proposal
  6. A current unofficial undergraduate transcript
  7. Two confidential letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty members familiar with the student's academic work (make sure to give your recommenders enough time to submit by the application deadline)
  8. Coterm Program Approval for undergraduate department

University regulations govern both the coterminal M.A. degree application process and the requirements for the degree. Undergraduates with strong academic records may apply for admission upon completion of 120 units, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. The University requires that units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements of more than one degree; that is, no units may be double-counted. In addition, although University policy allows students to count courses towards a coterminal MA taken in the three quarters prior to the first graduate quarter, in most cases Public Policy will not approve courses taken more than two quarters back. All courses counting towards the master’s degree NOT considered core requirements must be approved by petition by the Public Policy Program.

Public Policy students are never required to take a course which duplicates material they have already mastered. Students may, by petition, substitute a different course for a requirement whose material would be duplicative.

The coterminal M.A. is also a gateway to the M.P.P. degree program. Stanford undergraduates may apply for the coterminal M.A. in Public Policy and then, after one quarter in the M.A. program, apply to the M.P.P. program by submitting an unofficial transcript and statement of purpose to the program director. Students accepted to the M.P.P. program must confer their bachelor's degree, submit the Graduate Authorization Petition in Axess, withdraw from the M.A. degree program, and complete the requirements for the 90-unit M.P.P. degree. This does not reduce the total number of units required for the bachelor's or master's degree. Earning the B.A. and M.P.P. typically takes at least five years. Students considering this option should be familiar with the University's coterminal degree policies and procedures and should consult the director and staff of the Public Policy program early in their planning. There is a $125 fee for submitting the Graduate Authorization Petition to change the M.A. to the M.P.P degree.

Applicants will be notified of the admission decision in writing, typically 2-3 weeks after the application deadline. If a student is approved for admission into the coterminal program, the student must respond to the department within the same quarter the offer of admission was made.

The University requirements for the coterminal M.A. are described in the Registrar's Coterm Webpage. For University coterminal degree rules and forms, also see the Publications and Online Guides web site. For program policies on the Public Policy coterm degrees, please see the "Master's" section of the Public Policy bulletin.