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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Conferral of Degrees

Upon recommendation to the Senate of the Academic Council by the faculty of the relevant departments or schools and the Committee on Graduate Studies, degrees are awarded four times each year, at the conclusion of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms. All diplomas, however, are prepared and distributed after degree conferral in accordance to the distribution dates listed on the Registrar's Office web site at

Students must apply for conferral of a graduate degree by filing an Application to Graduate by the deadline for each term. The deadlines are published in the Time Schedule of Classes. A separate application must be filed for each degree program and for each conferral term. Applications are filed through Axess, the online service which allows students to update their administrative/academic records.

Requests for conferral are reviewed by the Office of the University Registrar and the student's department to verify completion of degree requirements. Students must be registered in the term of degree conferral. Students with unmet financial obligations resulting in the placement of a hold on their registration cannot receive a transcript, statement of completion, degree certificate, or diploma until the hold is released by the Office of Student Financial Services.

Students are typically expected to apply to graduate during the term in which they expect to be awarded a degree. The University, however, reserves the right to confer a degree on a student who has completed all of the requirements for a degree even though the student has not applied to graduate; such an individual would then be subject to the University's usual rules and restrictions regarding future enrollment or registration.

Students who wish to withdraw a request for conferral or make changes to the Application to Graduate should notify the Office of the University Registrar in writing. Students who withdraw their graduation applications or fail to meet degree requirements must reapply to graduate in a subsequent term.

Stanford University awards no honorary degrees.

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