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Residency Policy for Graduate Students

Each type of graduate degree offered at Stanford (for example, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy) has a residency requirement based on the number of academic units required for the degree. These residency requirements and the maximum allowable transfer units for each degree type are listed below.

The unit requirements for degrees can represent solely course work required for the degree or a combination of course work, research, and a thesis or dissertation. Academic departments and schools offering degrees may establish unit requirements that are higher than the minimum University residency requirement, but they may not have a residency requirement that is lower than the University standard. In addition to the University's residency requirement based on a minimum number of units for each degree, the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Business may establish residency requirements based on the number of quarters of full-time registration in which students are enrolled to earn a degree. However, in no case may a student earn fewer units than the University minimum for each degree. All residency requirements are published in the Stanford Bulletin. Students should consult the Stanford Bulletin or their academic department to determine if their degree program has residency requirements that exceed the minimum.

Students eligible for Veterans Affairs educational benefits should refer to "Veterans' Educational Benefits" in the "Admissions and Financial Aid" section of this bulletin.

It is Stanford University's general policy that units are applicable toward only one degree. Units may not normally be duplicated or double-counted toward the residency requirement for more than one degree. Exceptions to this general policy for specified combinations of degree types, known as Joint Degree Programs, may be approved by agreement of the Faculty Senate and the deans of the schools affected, with review by the Committee on Graduate Studies. See the "Joint Degree Programs" section of this bulletin for additional information.

Only completed course units are counted toward the residency requirement. Courses with missing, incomplete, in progress, or failing grades do not count toward the residency requirement. Courses from which a student has formally withdrawn do not count toward the residency requirement.

Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) is available to graduate students who have met all of the conditions listed in the "TGR" section of this bulletin.

This policy is effective for students who enter graduate programs beginning in the Autumn Quarter of the 2001-02 academic year. For information about the residency policy in effect for students who entered prior to Autumn Quarter 2001, see the Stanford Bulletin 2000-01.

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