Stanford University

Coterminal Master’s Degree

Only currently matriculated undergraduate students at Stanford University are eligible to apply for the Coterminal Master’s Degree.

The Department of Mathematics accepts applications to the Coterminal Master’s Degree. We do not have many students pursuing this degree; typically at most one student at any given time, usually none. The appropriateness of this degree program should be determined individually for each student and depends on the student’s background in mathematics and future educational and career goals.

The Coterminal Master’s Degree in Mathematics is intended for students who have a strong background in undergraduate mathematics. This background is evidenced by successfully completing, with a grade of A- or better, at least 4 courses offered by the Stanford Mathematics Department numbered 101 and above, and at least 1 course from an introductory Math graduate series at Stanford, such as Math 205ABC, 210ABC, or 215ABC. These courses must be completed before the application is submitted. The Master’s Degree requires a minimum of 5 to 6 graduate-level Mathematics Department courses and students must be adequately prepared for this coursework before starting the degree program.

Students who would like to pursue a PhD in Mathematics are advised to apply directly to such programs rather than to the Coterminal Master’s Degree.

Prospective applicants must meet with the Director of Graduate Studies prior to submitting an application. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss your background in mathematics, the requirements for the Master’s degree, and your reasons for wanting to apply to the Coterminal Master’s Degree, to determine if this is a good option for your educational and career goals. Please email the Director of Graduate Studies to set up a time to meet well in advance of the application deadline. Please note that approval to apply does not guarantee admission.

Before submitting an application:

1.) Review relevant University and Department policy:

2.) Contact the Director of Graduate Studies to set up a meeting as described above.

3.) Contact the Student Services Manager to have the Coterm Program Approval form signed.

The application is submitted online. Before submitting an application, prospective applicants must first complete the three items listed above.


Application Requirements:

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation from Stanford faculty
  • Statement of Purpose which describes your reasons for applying to the Master’s program and your future educational and career goals
  • Current unofficial Stanford transcript
  • Before submitting an application, applicants must have successfully completed, with a grade of A- or better, at least 4 courses offered by the Stanford Math Department numbered 101 and above, and at least 1 course from an introductory Math graduate series at Stanford, such as Math 205ABC, 210ABC, or 215ABC
  • GRE scores are not required

Application Deadlines:

Admission to Winter 2019/20: November 1, 2019

Admission to Spring 2019/20: February 1, 2020

Admission to Summer 2019/20: Applications not accepted for this term

Admission to Autumn 2020/21: May 1, 2020

Please note: Letters of Recommendation are required by the application deadline.

Application Decisions:
Applicants can expect to receive an admissions decision approximately 2 weeks after the application deadline.

Responding to Offer of Admission:
If admitted, the response to the offer of admission should be sent to:

Master’s Degree Requirements:
See the Stanford Bulletin for full text of the departmental policy for the Master of Science in Mathematics, including requests for transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree.

The following are specific departmental requirements:
Candidates must complete an approved course program of 45 units of courses beyond the department requirements for the B.S. degree, of which at least 36 units must be Mathematics Department courses, taken for a letter grade. The Mathematics Department courses must include at least 18 units numbered 200 or above. The candidate must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) over all course work taken in Mathematics, and a GPA of 3.0 (B) in the 200-level courses considered separately. Course work for the M.S. degree must be approved during the first quarter of enrollment in the program by the department’s Director of Graduate Studies.