Coterminal Bachelorís and Masterís Degrees in Earth Sciences
The Stanford coterminal degree plan enables an undergraduate to embark on an integrated program of study leading to the master's degree before requirements for the bachelor's degree have been completed. This may result in more expeditious progress towards the advanced degree than would otherwise be possible, making the program especially important to Earth scientists because the master's degree provides an excellent basis for entry into the profession. The coterminal plan permits students to apply for admission to a master's program after earning 120 units, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree.
Under the plan, the student may meet the degree requirements in the more advantageous of the following two ways: by first completing the 180 units required for the B.S. degree and then completing the three quarters required for the M.S. degree; or by completing a total of 15 quarters during which the requirements for the two degrees are completed concurrently. In either case, the student has the option of receiving the B.S. degree upon meeting all the B.S. requirements or of receiving both degrees at the end of the coterminal program. Students earn degrees in the same department or program, in two different departments, or even in different schools; for example, a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences. Students are encouraged to discuss the coterminal program with their advisers during their junior year. Additional information is available in the individual department offices.