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Frequently Asked Questions

Students and faculty at grad dinner
Chris Alleyne-Levy

"I really appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of the Public Policy Program. Pairing all of the required skills-building classes with courses in our areas of interest has given me the ability to both get the skills and look into where I want to apply them, which is really exciting!" - Hope Sheils, MA, class of 2017

Q. When can students apply for the Public Policy coterm?

A.  Application deadlines for 2017-2018 are November 16, 2017 and February 22, 2018. Coterminal applications must be submitted no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of their undergraduate degree. This is generally the Winter Quarter prior to Spring Quarter graduation.

Q. Is the two-year professional M.P.P. degree available as part of the coterm program?

A. Students now have the option to pursue the M.P.P. degree, using the M.A. coterminal as an entry point. If you are a current Stanford undergraduate interested in the M.P.P. program, you should contact the Public Policy student services staff as early as possible in order to plan your program, which begins with preparation in mathematics, statistics, and economics. Thereafter, you should apply for the coterminal M.A. in public policy. After completing at least one quarter in the coterminal M.A. program, you may apply to the M.P.P. program. This will permit you, with careful planning, to complete either the B.A. or B.S. (180 units) and the M.P.P. (90 units) in five years rather than the usual six. Please note that there is a $125 processing fee, assessed by the University Registrar, for submitting the Graduate Authorization Petition to change the M.A. to the M.P.P.

Q. Is the the GRE required for application to the coterm program?

A. Yes, as of the 2017-18 academic year, the GRE is required for all coterm MA applications. There is no minimum score.

Q. Is there a fee to apply for the coterminal degree in Public Policy?

A. There is no cost to apply, but if you are accepted and begin the M.A. degree, a $125 processing fee will be assessed by the University Registrar in order to add your graduate career in Axess.

Q. Is the coterminal degree program open to students currently majoring in Public Policy?

A. Yes. For students majoring in public policy, the coterminal M.A. consists chiefly of a concentration in one of the following fields: health care policy; education policy; international and national security policy; legal and regulatory intervention; resources, environment, and energy policy; science and technology policy; or a self-designed concentration. See Degree Requirements.

Q. What is the coterminal program in Public Policy for students majoring in a field other than Public Policy?

A. Students who are not Public Policy majors undertake a program designed to cover the core skills of public policy analysis. See Degree Requirements.

Q. When are students eligible to apply for the Public Policy coterminal degree program?

A. The university rules governing eligibility are complex. Among other requirements, students must apply no later than the quarter before the quarter in which they would otherwise be eligible to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, and no earlier than when they have accumulated 120 units toward the Bachelor’s degree. See the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education's website at: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/advising/student-guides/applying-coterm and the Registrar’s website at http://exploredegrees.stanford.edu/#text

Q. How far ahead can I take classes that will apply to the coterm?

A. 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. Please note, however, that units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements for more than one degree; that is, no units may be double-counted. NOTE:  If you plan to use any courses from your undergraduate degree for your coterminal masters degree, you must move the course(s) before your undergraduate degree is conferred. Fill out the Coterm Course Approval Form to move your course(s) from your undergraduate to graduate career. For more information, see the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education's website at: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/advising/student-guides/course-registration-degree-conferral-and-transferring-courses-between

Q. How many students will be admitted to the coterminal program?

A. Because of resource constraints the program will be highly selective.

Q. Where can I find more information?

A. The detailed program description is available online. The Public Policy student services office is in the Landau Economics Building (579 Serra Mall) on the first floor.