In general, the M.S. degree in Computer Science is intended as a terminal professional degree and does not lead to the Ph.D. degree. Most students planning to obtain the Ph.D. degree should apply directly for admission to the Ph.D. program. Some students, however, may wish to complete the master’s program before deciding whether to pursue the Ph.D. To give such students a greater opportunity to become familiar with research, the department has a program leading to a master’s degree with distinction in research. This program is described in more detail below.


Applications to the M.S. program and all supporting documents must be submitted and received online by the published deadline. Information on admission requirements is available on the department's web site; see also the department's deadlines page. Exceptions are made for applicants who are already students at Stanford and are applying to the coterminal program.