Coterminal M.A. in Public Policy
The coterminal M.A. in public policy is a structured program designed to impart the basic analytical tools of public policy analysis, or to permit public policy majors to specialize in an applied field of policy analysis. Most students will complete their M.A. in a fifth year at Stanford; occasionally students may be able to complete their B.A. and coterminal M.A. in the fourth year.
Students seeking the coterminal M.A. in Public Policy follow one of two tracks through the program:
- Track A for students majoring in Public Policy consists of at least 45 units of course work as follows: 31 or more units in an area of concentration, 4 or 5 units of applied econometrics (PUBLPOL 105 or 303C), and participation in a 10-unit Practicum or a faculty-supervised internship. All 45 units must be taken in upper division (100-level) courses, and at least 25 of those units must be at the graduate level (200-level and above). Track A students must also complete ECON 52 and PUBLPOL 302B, which do not count toward the 45 units. Each Concentration consists of a set of required core courses and a variety of electives. Students must present a coherent written study plan to support concentration course choices, designed in consultation with a faculty adviser and approved by the program director.
- Track B, for students who have not majored in Public Policy, consists of at least 45 units of core subjects in the analysis of public policy. The following preparatory courses are required, but do not count toward the 45-units: MATH 51, POLISCI 2, ECON 1A, 1B, 50, 51, 102A and 102B. The following core courses are required and do count toward the required 45 units: PUBLPOL 201 (political science) or PUBLPOL 304A (collective action), PUBLPOL 301A (microeconomics), PUBLPOL 202 or MS&E 180 (organizations), PUBLPOL 307 (political philosophy), PUBLPOL 301B (cost-benefit analysis), PUBLPOL 105 (applied econometrics) or PUBPOL 303C (Bayesian econometrics), PUBLPOL 206 or 302B (economic analysis of law) and one of the following: PUBLPOL 305A (decisions) or PUBLPOL 305B (social psychology). At least 23 units of the Public Policy core must be taken at the graduate level (200-level and above).
Application and AdmissionThere are two application deadlines for the 2009-10 academic year: November 13, 2009 and February 19, 2010. Seniors wishing to apply to the coterminal program must apply by November 13, 2009.
To apply for admission to the Public Policy coterminal M.A. program, students should submit the following materials directly the Public Policy office:
- the coterminal application;
- 1-2 page statement of purpose;
- a preliminary program proposal;
- a current unofficial undergraduate transcript;
- two confidential letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty members familiar with the student's academic work.
All applicants must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) required preparatory course work (MATH 51, POLISCI 2, ECON 1A, 1B, 50, 51, 102A and 102B) prior to application.
University regulations govern both the coterminal M.A. degree application process and the requirements for the degree. Undergraduates with strong academic records may apply for admission upon completion of 120 units, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree. The University requires that units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements of more than one degree; that is, no units may be "double-counted." Also, no courses taken more than two quarters prior to admission to the coterminal master's program may be used to meet the 45-unit University minimum requirement for the master's degree.
To graduate with a coterminal M.A. in Public Policy, students must:
- Take all courses applied to the coterminal master's degree for a letter grade. No units are counted for courses in which a student earns a grade less than B-. (Courses offered only for C/NC or other non-letter grade system may be applied upon approval of a petition to the program director.)
- Achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better for all courses taken towards the M.A.
- Comply with all relevant University and program deadlines and policies.
AdvisingCoterminal M.A. students in Track B (for non-majors) should meet with their assigned faculty adviser upon acceptance to the program. Students in Track A (for majors) must meet with their proposed faculty adviser prior to application as well as upon acceptance. Advisers in Track A must confirm that the courses proposed for each applicant's course of study are likely to be taught during the applicable period, or that appropriate substitute courses are available. Public Policy student services will verify scheduling of courses.
Financial AidThe Public Policy Program does not provide financial assistance to coterminal M.A. students. For information on student loans and other sources of support, please consult the Stanford Financial Aid Office. Students who enter public service employment with local, state, or federal agencies, schools, or certain non-for-profit organizations may obtain forgiveness for educational loans, based on years of public service employment.