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Changes of Degree Programs

Graduate students are admitted to Stanford for a specific degree program. Students who have attended Stanford for at least one term and who are currently enrolled may submit a Graduate Program Authorization Petition to make one of the following changes: (1) change to a new degree program in the same department; (2) change to a new degree program in a different department; (3) add a new degree program in the same or a different department to be pursued with the existing program. Coterminal students must have the bachelor's degree conferred before adding a second advanced degree program. Summer term enrollment is optional for students beginning a new degree program in the Autumn term provided that they have been enrolled the prior Spring term.

It is important that the attempt to add or change degree programs be made while enrolled. Otherwise, a new Application for Graduate Admission must be submitted and an application fee paid. The Graduate Program Authorization Petition is submitted electronically through Axess to the department in which admission is requested. If applying for a higher degree program, students may also be required to submit other application materials such as GRE Subject Test scores, a statement of purpose, or new letters of recommendation. Decisions on the petitions are made by the programs or departments to which they are directed, and are at the discretion of those programs or departments.

International students changing departments or degree programs must also obtain the approval of the Foreign Student Adviser at the Bechtel International Center. If the requested change lengthens their stay, they also are required to submit verification of sufficient funding to complete the new degree program.

Students who wish to terminate study in a graduate program should submit a properly endorsed Request to Permanently Withdraw from Degree Program form to the Student Services Center. To return to graduate study thereafter, the student is required to apply for reinstatement (if returning to the same degree program) or admission (if applying to a different program). Both applications require payment of a fee.

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