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Individually Designed Master’s for Current Stanford Doctoral Students

The Individually Designed M.A. in Education is intended for doctoral students at Stanford who would like to earn a Master of Arts in Education while studying for their Ph.D. or M.D degree outside of the Graduate School of Education. The program is based on an individual program of study developed in consultation with the student’s GSE advisor and must be completed in 3 years.

Program Requirements

Students must complete at least 45 units at Stanford to receive the Individually Designed Master’s degree in Education. The following constraints are placed on those 45 units:

  • All courses must be at or above the 100 level – courses numbered below 100 do not count toward the MA degree.
  • At least 23 units must be at or above the 200 level (EDUC 180 and 190 count toward this requirement).
  • At least 27 units must be from courses offered by the Graduate School of Education (EDUC units).
  • At least 15 units must be taken for a letter grade (as opposed to Credit/No Credit).
  • A 3.0 GPA must be maintained for all courses applied to the master’s degree.
  • English for Foreign Students (EFSLANG 600 level) and Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (ATHLETIC) courses cannot be applied towards the master's degree.

Prospective students must submit the following for consideration into the program:

Coursework Planning

The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will appoint a program advisor for the student. The advisor will develop the final program proposal in consultation with the student and subject to the approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Students are expected, in their selection of GSE courses, to present a coherent, individualized program of study that pursues a specific topic (e.g., education reform).

Students also have the option to write a Master's thesis to further develop and apply their learning in a focused research study. This can be done by enrolling in a maximum of 15 independent study units, as part of their 45-unit requirement. Students will work under the supervision of their MA program advisor and an additional Stanford faculty member who can be outside the GSE. Students are encouraged to discuss this option in more detail with the Assistant Director of Degree Programs and their MA program advisor.

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