Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Coterminal MS Program

Main content start

The coterminal Master's program provides an exceptional opportunity for students to pursue a graduate research experience and earn an MS degree concurrently with or subsequent to their BS studies. The Master's degree is viewed as an entrance professional degree in numerous subdisciplines within the earth sciences. Alternatively, graduate course work and the Master's research experience can provide an intermediate step prior to pursuit of the PhD. Regardless of their professional goals, coterminal BS/MS students are treated as members of the Geophysics graduate community and are expected to meet all of the standards set for regular MS students.

Who is eligible?

Students may apply to the co-term program after earning at least 120 units toward graduation, including allowable Advanced Placement (AP) and transfer credit, as shown on their undergraduate unofficial transcript. The coterm program is only open to current Stanford students. Please review the Geophysics Bulletin for more information about the coterminal program.


The following deadlines are for the 2023-2024 Academic year:

  • To apply for Winter 2024: Deadline to submit an application is October 27, 2023
  • To apply for Spring 2024: Deadline to submit an application is February 2, 2024
  • To apply for Summer 2024: Deadline to submit an application is February 2, 2024
  • To apply for Autumn 2024: Deadline to submit an application is June 28, 2024

How to apply

Students who wish to apply to the coterm program must submit an online application
The application includes:

  • A completed online application
  • A statement of purpose
  • A copy of a current Stanford transcript
  • Letters of recommendation from two Stanford faculty
  • CV (optional) & Experience
  • Supplemental Questions
  • The Preliminary Program Proposal (found in the co-term application)

Statement of Purpose

Explain the nature of your interest in the department and reasons for wanting to study in the Geophysics department. You are encouraged to discuss your interest in working with one or more specific faculty members. Include details about your preparation for this field of study, your future career plans and goals, and any other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. It is also helpful to discuss life experiences such as challenges that you have met or that lead you to commit to advanced study in geophysics. The admission committee evaluates all applicants for evidence that they will be successful in coursework, have the potential to perform independent research, and show commitment to success. Your statement should be no longer than two pages.

CV & Experience

Applicants may upload an optional one-to-two-page curriculum vitae describing their academic, extracurricular, and professional activities. The application also features sections for applicants to optionally upload their research experience, list of publications/presentations/papers, awards and honors, and relevant work experience.

Supplemental Questions

The application includes a series supplemental questions. The questions are intended for the applicant to share more information about themselves that may not be captured in other areas of the application.

  • Briefly comment on your motivation for seeking an advanced degree in Geophysics. [300 characters maximum]
  • Briefly describe an activity (academic or not) that you initiated involving independent inquiry, or an extracurricular activity that you planned and executed. What did you learn? [300 characters maximum]
  • Briefly describe a situation in which you experienced a challenge, obstacle or adversity (academic or personal). How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn? [300 characters maximum]

More questions?

If you have questions, please contact Lakshmi Mani,