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Ph.D. Minor

Policy Summary

Students pursuing a Ph.D. may declare a minor course of study in another department that complements their degree program. The Ph.D. minor must consist of 20 units that are not counted toward any other program of study.

Policy Statement

Students pursuing a Ph.D. may pursue a minor in another department or program to complement their Ph.D. program. This option is not available to students pursuing other graduate degrees. Ph.D. candidates may not pursue a minor in their own major department or program. In rare cases, a Ph.D. student may complete the requirements for more than one minor. In that case, 20 unduplicated units must be completed for each minor.

Only departments that offer a Ph.D. may offer a minor, and those departments are not required to do so. Interdisciplinary Ph.D. minors, administered by a designated academic department, may be approved by the Faculty Senate. The minor should represent a program of graduate quality and depth, including core requirements and electives or examinations. The department offering the minor establishes the core and examination requirements. Elective courses are planned by the students in conjunction with their minor and Ph.D. departments.

The minimum University requirement for a Ph.D. minor is 20 units of course work at the graduate level (typically courses numbered 200 and above). If a minor department chooses to require those pursuing the minor to pass the Ph.D. qualifying or field examinations, the 20-unit minimum can be reduced. All of the course work for a minor must be done at Stanford and must be completed prior to a student moving to TGR status.

Units applied toward a Ph.D. minor count toward the residency requirement for doctoral students. Course work used to fulfill a Ph.D. minor may not be used to meet curricular requirements for the degree or for any additional Ph.D. minors.

Implementation Information

An Application for Ph.D. Minor outlining a program of study must be approved by the major and minor departments. Applications are submitted via the Student eForms portal in Axess. This form is submitted at the time of admission to candidacy and specifies whether representation from the minor department on the University oral examination committee is required.

Contact Information

Degree Progress, Office of the University Registrar