Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does enrollment work for coterm students?

A: Starting with your first Coterm Quarter, you will have two careers on Axess: an undergraduate career, and a graduate career. When you enroll in a course, you can either place it in your undergraduate career or graduate career. You can decide whether you want to enroll in undergrad courses, grad courses, or both. 

Q: What if I don’t want to take graduate classes right away?

A: As a coterm student, you choose which classes to take each quarter. You can take undergrad courses, graduate courses, or both. 

Q: If I already took a course as an undergrad, can I use it towards my graduate requirements instead? 

A: Any course that you took sophomore year or later can be used towards your MSCS requirements. Any course that you took frosh year cannot be used towards your MSCS  requirements. Keep in mind: Every course that you want to list on your BSCS Program Sheet must be in your undergraduate career on Axess. Every course that you want to list on our MSCS Program Sheet must be in your graduate career on Axess. To move a course that you already took to another career, use the Coterm Course Transfer form, which can be found in Axess.

Q: How does tuition work?

A: Coterms fall into one of two categories when it comes to tuition: coterm-undergrads, and coterm-grads. This is also referred to as your Billing Group: Undergraduate Billing Group and Graduate Billing Group. This status only applies to how you are charged tuition. It has nothing to do with whether you’ve completed your bachelor degree or which classes you’re taking.

Coterms have undergrad status through the end of your 12th quarter, meaning you’re charged undergraduate tuition for your first 12 quarters. Starting with your 13th quarter, coterms reach coterm-grad status and are charged graduate tuition. Again, this has nothing to do with what classes you’re taking or whether you’ve conferred your bachelors degree.

In either case, you’re welcome to take undergrad courses, graduate courses, or both. The university looks at the total number of units that you’re taking, and charges you tuition according to your status.

The tuition rates can be found here: You'll want to look at the Graduate Engineering rates.

Q: Can I move to coterm-grad status early, before my 5th year?

A: Yes. You can move to coterm-grad status early if you a) confer your bachelors degree, or b) request to move to coterm-grad status early. In either case, you need to have completed at least 180 undergrad units. 

Q: Why would I want to move to coterm-grad status early?

A: If you want to be hired as a Research Assistant or Course Assistant. We can only hire graduate students as CAs/RAs, and this means that you’ll need coterm-grad status.

Q: What else do I need to know about moving to coterm-grad status early?

A: Once you move to grad status, you cannot move back to undergrad status.

Moving to grad status might affect your undergraduate financial aid package. Talk to the Financial Aid office to see how your aid package might be affected.

You are still covered by the university’s guaranteed housing through the end of your fourth year.

Q: Who is my MSCS Advisor?

A: Coterm students who have a CS faculty advisor for their BS will continue with that same advisor through completion of their CS MS degree program. If you would like a new advisor, first get permission from the new advisor, and then send an email to Meredith Hutchin asking to change your MS advisor.

Q: When should I turn in a Program Sheet?

A: You should submit a MSCS Program Sheet by the end of your first quarter in the coterm program. In order to submit a Program Sheet, log in to with your CS ID and password, and click on the Dashboard link. If you took a course as an undergrad that is required on the Program Sheet, you can satisfy the MSCS requirement but apply 0 units towards your MS degree. You cannot double-count units towards both your bachelors and masters degree. The MSCS Program must include at least 45 unique units. If you’ve taken courses in previous quarters that you’re not using for your undergraduate degree, and that you now want to count towards your CS MS, you’ll need to submit a Coterminal Course Transfer Form to move them to your graduate career. You can move a course from your undergraduate to your graduate career as long as you took the course during your sophomore year or later. Be sure to file this form before your BA or BS is conferred; once your BA or BS has been conferred, you can no longer move any courses. The ‘Coterminal Course Transfer Form’ can be found on Axess under the ‘Student eForms’ link.

Q: How does a Leave of Absence work?

A: As a coterm student, you’ll need to take a LOA from both your bachelors and masters programs. The CS Department will let you take a LOA for any reason. You can take a maximum 1 year LOA from the CS masters program.

Q: What if I want to take a Leave of Absence for two years?

A: The CS Department will allow a maximum one year LOA. After this year expires, your MSCS program is discontinued. Once your program has been discontinued, you’ll need to Apply for Reinstatement to return to the MSCS program. Applying for Reinstatement involves paying a fee and filling out a form. The CS department is not obligated to accept you back into the program. (But really as long as you left Stanford in good academic standing, we want to see you come back.)

Q: When should I graduate?

A: Coterm students must have one Overlap Quarter during which both your bachelor's and master's programs are open. After your overlap quarter, you are free to confer your bachelors degree (i.e. graduate) and continue to take graduate coursework, or you can wait and confer your BS and MS degrees simultaneously. There are two things you can’t do: you can’t graduate before your overlap quarter, and you can’t graduate with your MS before you graduate with your BS degree.

Please see the university's Coterm FAQ page for more helpful information.