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Overview of the Graduate School of Education Master's Programs

Programs Offered

Students in the Stanford Graduate School of Education pursue Master's degrees in the programs listed below. These programs are commonly referred to with the abbreviations noted in parentheses.

  • Education Data Science (EDS)
  • Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE)
  • International Comparative Education (ICE)
  • International Education Policy Analysis (IEPA)
  • Joint Degree with the Stanford Law School (MA/JD)
  • Joint Degree with the Graduate School of Business (MA/MBA)
  • Joint Degree with the Public Policy Program (MA/MPP)
  • Learning Design and Technology (LDT)
  • Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies (POLS)
  • Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP)
  • Individually Designed MA (for current Stanford doctoral students)

Credentials Offered

The Graduate School of Education is authorized to recommend candidates who complete STEP for the California Preliminary Single Subject and Preliminary Multiple Subjects Teaching Credentials. For more information about STEP, please see

Coterminal Degree

All master's programs (except the Joint Degree with the Graduate School of Business and the Joint Degree with the Stanford Law School) accept coterminal students. Coterminal master's students fulfill the same Graduate School of Education program requirements as other master's students, but there are additional University unit and residency requirements for the coterminal degree. Coterminal students should refer to the Stanford Bulletin for complete policy information governing their degree status and requirements.

Coterminal students who have completed graduate course work at Stanford in previous quarters and received approval to count those units toward the Master's degree in Education may be approved to take a reduced course load but may not drop below 8 units during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters. While undergraduates are allowed to enroll in up to 20 units and coterminal students are allowed to enroll in up to 24 units by University standards, Master's programs in the Graduate School of Education limit the number of units in which a student may enroll to no more than 18. Coterminal students who wish to enroll in less units than required by their programs or more than 18 units during a given quarter should submit a petition to the Associate Director of Degree Programs by the preliminary study list deadline. Students in the coterminal graduate student group will be charged additional tuition for each unit above 18 units, if approved.

Changing Programs

Students are admitted to a specific program, but occasionally students may wish to change their program. Transfer into a new program is subject to the approval of the new program. Fulfillment of the new program's requirements may result in delay of degree completion beyond the typical three or four quarters.

Students who wish to change their program must submit a Program Transfer Application, available here or from the Associate Director of Degree Programs. Requests to transfer to a new Master's program must be approved by the student's faculty advisor, both the current and new programs' Program Directors, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. 


Master's students will work with their Program Director throughout the year in addition to a faculty advisor who is assigned to each student before the program begins. The Program Director and advisor assist the student in planning a program of study. Students are encouraged to have at least 2 advising appointments during the course of their program and many students meet with their advisors once every quarter. Students are encouraged to look to any member of the Graduate School of Education faculty for additional advising or mentorship, regardless of the official advisor assigned. Either the student or the faculty may request a change in assignment for any reason. To change advisors, students submit the Change of Advisor Form available here or from the Associate Director of Degree Programs. The Program Director and the new advisor must both sign off on this form. Students typically select and initiate contact with a new advisor but in cases where this is not possible, the Program Director will assign a new advisor. The Associate Director of Degree Programs is available for questions regarding University academic policy and progress toward the degree.

Timetable For The Master's Degree

The Master's degree requires at least three quarters of full-time study. Students working toward advanced degrees at Stanford University must enroll for the three main quarters of each academic year (Autumn, Winter and Spring) from the time of matriculation until receipt of the degree. The ICE/IEAPA and LDT programs require an additional quarter of summer enrollment. EDS is a two-year program. Study at Stanford is on a full-time basis. The only exception to this requirement is for formally approved leaves of absence and for students admitted through the LDT Honors Co-op Program.

Autumn Quarter

  • Meet with advisor and program director
  • Plan initial program of study
  • Submit preliminary Program Proposal
  • ICE & IEPA Select topic for MA Paper

Winter Quarter

  • Advisor meeting recommended - discuss progress and coursework selection
  • Mid-year degree progress review
  • CTE Select topic for MA Paper
  • EDS Complete Capstone Project and all coursework (Year 2)
  • EDS Apply to Graduate on Axess/Degree Conferral (Year 2)
  • LDT Internship
  • LDT Select topic for Master's project

Spring Quarter

  • Meet with advisor and program director to finalize program of study
  • Submit revised program proposal
  • Meet with Director of Career Services to discuss job search
  • Participate in annual commencement ceremony
  • CTE Complete Master's Project and all coursework
  • CTE Apply to Graduate on Axess/ Degree Conferral
  • EDS Select topic for Capstone Project (Year 1)
  • LDT Internship
  • POLS Complete all coursework
  • POLS Apply to Graduate on Axess/ Degree Conferral

Summer Quarter

  • EDS Internship (Year 1)
  • EDS Complete Capstone Project Proposal (Year 1)
  • ICE & IEPA Complete MA Paper and all coursework
  • ICE & IEPA Internship (optional)
  • ICE & IEPA Apply to Graduate on Axess/Degree Conferral
  • LDT Internship
  • LDT Complete project, portfolio and coursework
  • LDT Apply to Graduate on Axess/Degree Conferral

See Program-Specific Requirements for quarterly unit requirements.

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