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Coterminal M.A. in Public Policy

The coterminal M.A. in public policy is a structured program designed to impart the basic analytical tools of public policy analysis, or to permit public policy majors to specialize in an applied field of policy analysis. Most students will complete their M.A. in a fifth year at Stanford; occasionally students may be able to complete their B.A. and coterminal M.A. in the fourth year.

Students seeking the coterminal M.A. in Public Policy follow one of two tracks through the program:

Application and Admission—There are two application deadlines for the 2009-10 academic year: November 13, 2009 and February 19, 2010. Seniors wishing to apply to the coterminal program must apply by November 13, 2009.

To apply for admission to the Public Policy coterminal M.A. program, students should submit the following materials directly the Public Policy office:

  1. the coterminal application;
  2. 1-2 page statement of purpose;
  3. a preliminary program proposal;
  4. a current unofficial undergraduate transcript;
  5. two confidential letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty members familiar with the student's academic work.

All applicants must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) required preparatory course work (MATH 51, POLISCI 2, ECON 1A, 1B, 50, 51, 102A and 102B) prior to application.

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." Also, no courses taken more than two quarters prior to admission to the coterminal master's program may be used to meet the 45-unit University minimum requirement for the master's degree.

To graduate with a coterminal M.A. in Public Policy, students must:

  1. Take all courses applied to the coterminal master's degree for a letter grade. No units are counted for courses in which a student earns a grade less than B-. (Courses offered only for C/NC or other non-letter grade system may be applied upon approval of a petition to the program director.)
  2. Achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better for all courses taken towards the M.A.
  3. Comply with all relevant University and program deadlines and policies.

Advising—Coterminal M.A. students in Track B (for non-majors) should meet with their assigned faculty adviser upon acceptance to the program. Students in Track A (for majors) must meet with their proposed faculty adviser prior to application as well as upon acceptance. Advisers in Track A must confirm that the courses proposed for each applicant's course of study are likely to be taught during the applicable period, or that appropriate substitute courses are available. Public Policy student services will verify scheduling of courses.

Financial Aid—The Public Policy Program does not provide financial assistance to coterminal M.A. students. For information on student loans and other sources of support, please consult the Stanford Financial Aid Office. Students who enter public service employment with local, state, or federal agencies, schools, or certain non-for-profit organizations may obtain forgiveness for educational loans, based on years of public service employment.

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