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Joint Degree with the Graduate School of Business (MA/MBA)

Program Requirements

Joint MA/MBA students spend most of their first year fulfilling the requirements of the MBA curriculum. Students may take Graduate School of Education (GSE) courses once they begin enrolling in electives, typically Spring quarter of their first year. During their second year, students have the opportunity to take a variety of courses at the GSB and the GSE.

The following section pertains to the Graduate School of Education (GSE) requirements for the MA portion of the Joint MA/MBA degree. In addition to the following guidelines, students should consult the academic requirements specified by the Graduate School of Business (GSB) for the MBA portion of the Joint MA/MBA and the Stanford Bulletin.

The Program Director for the MA/MBA Program is Senior Associate Dean Geoffrey Cox ( All inquiries about the program from prospective and active students may be directed to him.

Students must complete at least 35 units of instruction for the MA portion of their MA/MBA joint degree. The following constraints are placed on those 35 units:

  • All courses must be at or above the 100 level – courses numbered below 100 do not count toward the MA degree.
  • At least 18 units must be at or above the 200 level (EDUC 180 and 190 can count toward this requirement).
  • At least 27 of the 35 units must be from courses offered by the Graduate School of Education (EDUC units). If a student wishes to earn the remaining 8 units outside of the Graduate School of Education (non EDUC units), the student is expected to submit a petition by the end of week one of the quarter during which the student enrolls in the course, explaining how these units relate to and support the student's educational goals.
  • A maximum of 10 cross-listed units may count toward both degrees.
  • A maximum of 4 independent study units (e.g., internship, directed reading, directed research) from the Graduate School of Education may be applied toward the MA degree.
  • A 3.0 GPA must be maintained for all letter-graded courses applied to the MA degree.*
    * For AY 2020-21 only, MA/MBA students are permitted to take all MA courses for Credit/No Credit. In this case, the minimum GPA does not apply.
  • Students may not enroll in Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) courses.
  • Any other course policies set forth in the MBA Student Handbook apply.

Cross-listed Courses

The two schools will offer a menu of cross-listed courses particularly suited to the program, and students can earn up to 10 of their 27 Education units from cross-listed courses. These 10 cross-listed units will count towards both degrees as long as the student enrolls in the GSB listing and in their GSB career in Axess. Students who enroll in cross-listed courses which add up to more than 10 units should indicate their plan to count up to 10 units of their cross-listed courses on their Master’s Program Proposal form.

It is imperative that students pay close attention and register for courses under the correct career:

  • Students should register for courses counting toward the MA under the Grad career and courses counting toward the MBA under the GSB career. 
  • Students wishing to count up to 10 cross-listed units toward the MA and MBA degrees must register for them under the GSB course number in the GSB career.

2020-21 Cross-Listed Courses




Advising and Plan of Study

Beginning in their first year, students are expected to discuss a coherent program of study with Academic Advisor Geoff Cox ( and must complete their Preliminary Program Proposal during the Autumn quarter of their second year of study. The Preliminary Program Proposal is due no later than the end of the second week of Autumn Quarter of the second year at 5pm. Students may deviate from their Preliminary Program Proposal during the academic year, but must be careful to fulfill all requirements. The Final Program Proposal, indicating courses actually taken, is due no later than the end of the second week of Spring Quarter of the second year at 5pm. 

Internships and Directed Reading (4 unit maximum)

Students may take up to 4 units of independent study (including EDUC 380 "Internship;" EDUC 180 "Directed Reading;" and EDUC 190 "Directed Research) from the Graduate School of Education which may be applied towards the 35 units needed for the MA in Education. Students interested in an internship during the academic year should consult the EdCareers database for opportunities and meet with Academic Advisor Geoff Cox to discuss the process for earning internship units. Students who wish to pursue internships in education over the summer can apply for funding to the Stanford Management Internship Fund at the GSB. Internships may be paid, unpaid, or be funded by a stipend. Students may not receive funding and academic credit for the exact same work. For more information about internship guidelines, please see:

2020-21 MA/MBA Course Requirements

Students are required to enroll in EDUC 393: Proseminar: Education, Business, Politics in the Winter Quarter of their first year.

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