At Stanford, students can get both a BS and MS degrees together by participating in the Coterminal Master's Program, or "coterm" for short. This program is extremely popular in computer science, with students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds (including CS, EE, Psychology, and more) pursuing an MSCS. You can learn more about the application process here.
How soon can I apply?
Students can apply after earning a minimum of 120 units toward graduation (UTG) as shown on the undergraduate unofficial transcript. This includes allowable Advanced Placement (AP) and transfer credit.
Can I count undergrad courses towards the master's degree?
Units for a given course may only be applied to either your undergraduate or your master's program sheet. If you have already taken certain required course for your master's as part of your undergrad career (for example, CS 140 for the Network and Security depth), you can waive the requirement and instead take additional depth units.
If you've taken courses in your undergraduate career that you would like to apply towards your master's degree, you can file for a course transfer, depending on when you took the course:
- If your first quarter in the coterm program was Autumn 2015/16 or later, (admitted to the coterm program Spring 2014/15), you can transfer any courses from during or after your first sophomore quarter.
- If your first quarter in the coterm fell prior to Autumn 2015/16, you can transfer any courses from the two quarters before the quarter starting the coterm. For example, if you are accepted in Autumn 2014/15 and start in Winter 2014/15, you could count classes you took Spring 2013/14 or later towards your master's degree.
Be sure to submit your coterminal course transfer form prior to conferral of your undergraduate degree! Once your BA or BA has been conferred you can no longer move courses.
When do I have to decide which classes count for each degree?
When you sign up for classes on Axess, you must assign courses to either your undergraduate or graduate degree. If you later want to switch classes from one career to another, request a course transfer. Once you have graduated with your BS, the classes you used towards that degree cannot be transferred or changed.
What does "matriculating" mean?
"To matriculate" means "to enroll", so switching to graduate student status is called "matriculating" since one is then considered a graduate student. It is possible to matriculate as a graduate student anytime after you have 180 units. If you have 180 units, coterm students will automatically be matriculated after 12 quarters at Stanford. If you were mistakenly matriculated or not matriculated after 12 quarters, or if you would like to matriculate early, contact Meredith Hutchin. Matriculation brings all of the drawback and benefits of being a graduate student. For example, matriculated students pay graduate student tuition rates but are eligible for TA/RA-ships. For more information, see the MSCS FAQ.
How much is tuition?
After matriculating, you must pay grad student tuition, which is priced variably based on number of units taken. Reduced tuition allows students to take 8-10 units per quarter and is about 2/3 the price of full tuition. Students are still considered full-time students when enrolled at the reduced tution rate. Most graduate students enroll at this rate since it can be difficult to take more classes than 8-10 units allows.
Where can I find more information about the application process?
See the CS Graduate Admissions Office coterm page for all sorts of valuable information, including application details and deadlines.