Skip to content Skip to navigation


Axess - Student Portal

Axess is the Stanford University administrative system wherein most student business is conducted. Students may use Axess in order to:

  • Add/Drop/Update/Confirm course enrollment
  • Evaluate classes
  • Review grades and request official transcripts
  • Check registration status and any holds on account
  • Apply for on-campus housing
  • Verify subplan and view official advisor
  • Update contact information
  • View/Pay University bill with Stanford ePay
  • Review and accept financial aid offers (such as loans)
  • Apply to graduate

Enrolling in Classes

Students at Stanford use Axess to add/drop/update course enrollment (also known as filing or adjusting a study list). Registration deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar and on Axess.

The first day of the quarter is the preliminary study list deadline. The Office of the Registrar requires students to be “at-status” at this time. This means graduate students should be enrolled in at least 8 units by the deadline in order to avoid the late study list fee of $200. Students anticipating a stipend or financial aid refund on the first day of the term should be at-status by the preliminary study list deadline posted in the Academic Calendar. Students have until the final study list deadline of each quarter to add/drop courses and adjust units on variable unit classes.

To Register for an Independent Study Course

To enroll in Directed Reading (EDUC 180) or Directed Research (EDUC 190), students should approach the faculty member they want to work with and propose a list of readings and/or papers they would like to study that quarter. If the faculty member agrees to supervise the independent study, the student and faculty member will work to determine the appropriate number of units and grading basis. Once all of this information is finalized, the student can enroll accordingly in Axess.

Course Assignments and Schedules

After officially enrolling in courses via Axess, students should check Canvas to see if the courses have websites with advanced course information. Professors may post assignments, announcements, and reading materials on this website.

For a list of Stanford course offerings and course scheduling information, visit Explore Courses at Tommy Liu maintains an electronic Visual Time Schedule available for students interested in viewing all GSE courses by day/time, which is updated regularly and can be found here. In addition, many Stanford course syllabi are available to students on

Full-Time Study

Master’s students are required by the University and the Graduate School of Education to register for and attend classes full-time during the academic year (Autumn – Spring). All students must register in at least 8 units each quarter (except Summer) unless noted otherwise.

The only exceptions to the above full-time policy are for the Honors Cooperative Program in LDT and accommodations approved by the Office of Accessible Education.

International students with F1 or J1 visas are required to maintain full-time student status (contact Bechtel International Center for assistance). Full-time student status is also required for the receipt or deferment of many student loans. This includes registering in at least 6 units in the summer quarter.


Students who identify and wish to accept research or teaching assistantships (that are greater than 25% time; i.e., 10 hours/week) must obtain prior approval from their Program Director. 

Leave of Absence

Students considering taking a leave of absence for one or more quarters should first discuss the matter with the Master's Programs Officer and their advisor and/or Program Director. If a valid reason exists and the Program Director and advisor support the decision, the student must file a Leave of Absence Form (which can be found in the Student eForms section of Axess under the Student tab) and apply within the University’s established deadlines. International students must also obtain approval from Bechtel International Center, and must maintain appropriate visa status at all times.

The maximum length of any leave is one year. In rare cases, a leave may be extended beyond one year. The total number of leave quarters may not exceed six. A leave of absence does not extend the three-year candidacy period. For students who are requesting a medical leave, the policies may differ slightly. Contact the Office of Accessible Education for further information.

Graduation Quarter

Registration is required for the term in which a student defends and/or submits a dissertation or has a degree conferred. Students who meet the following conditions are eligible to be assessed a special reduced tuition rate for the quarter in which they are receiving a degree:

  • All course work, degree requirements, and residency requirements have been completed prior to the start of the requested Graduation Quarter.
  • The student has formally applied to graduate.
  • The student has only to submit the dissertation, project, or master's thesis by the deadline for submission in the term designated as the graduation quarter.
  • The student has filed all necessary forms regarding graduation quarter before the first day of the term chosen as graduation quarter.

Students on graduation quarter are registered at Stanford and, therefore, have the rights and privileges of registered students. Only one graduation quarter may be requested for each degree program. There is a registration fee of $150 for the graduation quarter.

Students who do not complete all degree requirements by the end of the graduation quarter must re-register or apply for a leave of absence, provided their candidacy has not expired. Students must submit the Application for Extension of Candidacy or Master’s Program before their program expires in order to avoid having to apply for reinstatement. The form is available here.

Extended Study

Master’s students are required to complete their degree within the timeframe stipulated by their program. Students who need more time must submit an Extension of Study Application for Master’s Students with the Graduate School of Education. Extensions may be granted in extreme and unique circumstances and for a maximum of one year. Extensions will only be granted in cases of academic need. Students with an approved Extension of Study must maintain valid student status by registering according to University policy. 

Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR)

Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) is a special registration status for graduate students finishing a thesis, project, or dissertation. To be eligible for TGR status, students must have completed the minimum residency unit requirement for their program and be enrolled in the appropriate TGR course by the deadline. Requests for TGR status may be made for upcoming or future, but not prior, quarters. Students with TGR status must register for the TGR Project, EDUC 801 course under their director's name as the instructor (this course requires no additional work). Students with TGR status may enroll in up to 3 units of course work at the special tuition rate. With certain restrictions, students may enroll in additional courses at the applicable unit rate, but they cannot be applied toward degree requirements (all degree requirements must be complete in order to earn TGR status). 

TGR registration status requests are reviewed and either granted or rejected by the Master's Programs Officer. TGR Forms must be submitted no later than the first day of the quarter in which TGR status is requested.

Registration Holds

Offices throughout the University can place holds on a student’s record for various reasons, such as unpaid bills and overdue library fees; these holds prevent a student from registering. The Graduate School of Education may place academic holds for reasons including: (1) the student completes less than six units in a quarter (considered minimal progress), (2) the student does not register in the required number of units, (3) the student does not submit the Master’s Program Proposal or other required forms by the stated deadlines, or (4) the student’s master’s program three-year time limit has expired and the student has not had an extension approved.


Discontinued students wishing to reinstate should first consult with the Master's Programs Officer. If the student decides to petition, they must submit an Application for Reinstatement, available online here. The Associate Dean of Educational Affairs, in consultation with the Program Director and the Area Chair, makes the decision to approve or deny reinstatement. The School is not obligated to grant reinstatement.

Termination of Student Status

Each student is admitted to the master’s program in the Graduate School of Education with the expectation that he or she will receive the degree. However, the faculty has the right and obligation to terminate the student status of anyone whose academic performance or progress is deemed unsatisfactory. Before considering dismissal, the faculty will meet with the student to discuss his or her situation and how to correct deficiencies.

A faculty decision to terminate student status may be made as a result of inadequate academic progress or unethical professional conduct. The advisor, the Program Director, and other faculty will meet with the student before considering termination. A written summary of these discussions shall be sent to the student and the advisor and added to the student’s academic file. The summary will specify the deficiencies, the steps necessary to correct them, and the period of time that is allowed for their correction (warning period), which is normally a minimum of one academic quarter. At the end of the warning period, the student’s progress will be reviewed and the student will be notified of the proposed action. A final decision is made and the student will be notified in writing of his or her final status with the program by the Associate Dean of Educational Affairs.

Disputes or Grievances

In the case of disputes or grievances about any aspect of these guidelines or the programs in general, the case is to be brought to the attention of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and will be first investigated by her confidentially. If any party deems it necessary, the issue may be brought to the Associate Dean of Educational Affairs for consideration. A student may appeal directly to the Dean if a satisfactory resolution is not accomplished at the Assistant or Associate Dean’s level. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean of Educational Affairs are available resources to students regarding grievances and disputes. Outside of the school, the University Ombuds person is available at (650) 497-1542 or Further grievance and dispute policy and procedures are described in the Stanford Bulletin.

Contact us

PhD students, please contact

Photo of Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Associate Director of Degree Programs

MA POLS and MA/PP students, please contact

Wesley Horng
Wesley Horng
Associate Director of Admissions & Academic Affairs

EDS, ICE/IEPA, Individually Designed, LDT, MA/JD, MA/MBA students, please contact

Photo of Caroline Stasulat
Caroline Stasulat
Associate Director of Degree Programs
Back to the Top