Coterminal Master of Arts in Sociology

Stanford undergraduates, regardless of undergraduate major, who wish to pursue an M.A. in Sociology may apply for the coterminal master’s program. The coterminal M.A. in Sociology is a flexible, self-designed program. It is possible for students to complete their B.A. and Sociology coterminal M.A. in the fourth year; historically, most students have completed a Sociology M.A. during their fifth year at Stanford.

Application and Admission

To apply for a coterm degree, undergraduates must meet eligibility requirements set by both the Registrar's Office and the Sociology department. General requirements for coterm applications include completion of at least 120 units and six non-summer quarters at Stanford. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous undergraduate work is required for admission. It is also highly recommended that applicants have completed at least one Sociology course at the 100 level with a grade of ‘B’ or better.

The department accepts applications once a year; the application deadline is February 8, 2023 for Spring Quarter enrollment. There are no exceptions to this deadline. All application materials are submitted online. The GRE is not required for a Sociology master's program application.

The department does not fund coterminal M.A. students. To learn more about graduate financial assistance, please visit the Stanford Financial Aid Office.

To apply for admission to the Sociology coterminal M.A. program, students must submit the following:

  1. The Application for Admission to Coterminal Master's Program available online in mid-September;

  2. Statement of purpose: limited to 2 pages, double-spaced. Applicants should outline reasons for pursuing the M.A. in Sociology, including career aspirations, plans for additional advanced degrees, or other aspects of their academic experiences that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating their motivation for graduate study. Students interested in a research-intensive curriculum should also describe their specific research interests and plans to complete an original research project, a research apprenticeship with Sociology faculty, or both.

  3. Preliminary Program Proposal for Master’s Degree: this form should be uploaded to the online application. At least 45 units of coursework relevant to the degree program must be specified. Example proposals for the 2021-22 academic year appear under the "degree requirements" section;

  4. Undergraduate Coterm Application Approval form: available under "Student eForms" in Axess;

  5. Current unofficial undergraduate transcript;

  6. Two letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty familiar with the student’s academic work. Additional letters from teaching assistants, employers, or other individuals are accepted as supplemental materials but are not required. Letters from Sociology faculty or department affiliates are highly recommended, especially for students with GPAs at or near the minimum requirement.

University Coterminal Requirements

Coterminal master’s degree candidates are expected to complete all master’s degree requirements as described in this bulletin. University requirements for the coterminal master’s degree are described in the “Coterminal Master's Degrees” section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

After accepting admission to this coterminal master’s degree program, students may request transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy requirements for the master’s degree. Transfer of courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of both the undergraduate and graduate programs on a case by case basis.

In this master’s program, courses taken three quarters prior to the first graduate quarter, or later, are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

Course transfers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

The University requires that the graduate advisor be assigned in the student’s first graduate quarter even though the undergraduate career may still be open. The University also requires that the Master’s Degree Program Proposal be completed by the student and approved by the department by the end of the student’s first graduate quarter.

Master of Arts in Sociology for Current Stanford Graduate Students

The M.A. degree in Sociology is available to current Ph.D. candidates in Sociology and to students in advanced degree programs (Ph.D., J.D., M.D.) from other Stanford departments and schools.

Students who wish to engage in more in-depth study on a specific topic may do so by focusing on coursework within an area of study, such as Poverty and Inequality, Social Psychology, Organizations and the Economy, or Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration.

Although formal application to the M.A. program is not required, applicants from outside of the Sociology department must submit:

  1. Graduate Authorization Petition form, available electronically through Axess;

  2. Program Proposal for an M.A. form available for download from the registrar's office website, submitted to Sociology Graduate Student Services Manager;

  3. Short statement of purpose; 1 page double-spaced, submitted to Sociology Graduate Student Services Manager.

Sociology Ph.D.s may receive their M.A. in their second or third year of graduate study. Interested students from other degree programs should visit the Sociology department web site.