Coterminal Admissions

Students having class on the lawn

Application Materials

There are two coterminal degree application deadlines for the 2023-24 academic year: October 24, 2023 and January 18, 2024. A $125 fee is charged when adding the M.A. degree program in Axess.


  1. Coterminal application
  2. Statement of purpose: 1 to 2 pages max, single spaced (indicate interest in M.P.P. degree, if applicable)
  3. One-page resume
  4. A preliminary program proposal
  5. A current unofficial undergraduate transcript
  6. 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)

Pre-Requisite Requirements

  • Public Policy (track A) and Economics (track B)  majors should have completed, or currently be enrolled in, the required preparatory course work prior to applying. These courses include:
    • MATH20 - Calculus
    • ECON1 - Principles of Economics
    • ECON50 - Economic Analysis I OR PUBLPOL 50 Intermediate Economics for Public Policy
    • ECON51 - Economic Analysis II
      OR ECON52 - Economic Analysis III
    • ECON102A - Introduction to Statistical Methods (Postcalculus) for Social Scientists
    • ECON102B - Applied Econometrics
  • For Track C students, the prerequisite requirements are MATH20 and ECON1. These courses do not count towards the 45-unit M.A. requirement. If you received AP credit and passed out of MATH 20, please indicate that in the "Additional Information" section. Please note that, if admitted, students who did not take MATH 20 should plan to do the math bootcamp, as all students will be expected to use the material in class even though it may have been several years since you have studied the material. 

The GRE exam is not required for admission to the coterminal Public Policy program. 

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, students may count courses towards a coterminal MA taken in the three quarters prior to the first graduate quarter.  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.

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.

Admission to the Public Policy coterminal program is competitive. Students who are admitted typically have a 3.5 GPA or higher. 

For those considering graduate school, see this helpful resource:  Guide on Getting Into Grad School

Interested in the MPP Program?

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.

University Coterminal Resources

The University requirements for the coterminal M.A. are described in the Registrar's Coterm Webpage.  For program policies on the Public Policy coterm degrees, please see the "Master's" section of the Public Policy bulletin.