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Coterminal Masters Program

Coterminal Master of Arts in Art History

Stanford undergraduates, regardless of undergraduate major, who wish to pursue an MA in Art History may apply for the coterminal master’s program. 


University requirements for the coterminal MA are described in the "Coterminal Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" section of the Bulletin. Additional information can be found in the “Applying to Coterm" section of the University Registrar’s page. For an overview of coterminal program admissions and matriculation rules, please see the Stanford Undergrad Coterm Guide.

Admission to the Coterminal Master's Degree Program

Undergraduates must be admitted to the program and enrolled as a graduate student for at least one quarter prior to their BA conferral.  A cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in previous undergraduate work is required for admission; GRE test scores are not required.  The department accepts applications once a year; the application deadline is January 16, 2018 for admission in the Spring quarter immediately following. There are no exceptions to this deadline. The department does not fund coterminal MA students. The online coterm application will open in mid-September for those applying for admission for Spring 2017-18.

To apply for admission to the Art History coterminal MA program, students must submit the coterminal online application and the following:

  • Coterminal Online Application for Admission to Coterminal Master’s Program
  • Coterm Program Approval form
  • Statement of Purpose (up to 1000 words, double-spaced)
  • Current unofficial Stanford transcript
  • Preliminary Master’s Program Proposal; specify at least 45 units of course work relevant to the degree program with at least 40 units in Art History (including Film and Media Studies)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Stanford faculty familiar with the student’s academic work, one of which must be from an Art History faculty member
  • Coterminal Course Approval Form (this form is required only if transferring courses from undergraduate to the graduate program at the time of application; students will be allowed to transfer courses between their undergraduate and graduate careers for a limited time. Please also list them in your online application). To be eligible for transfer, courses must have been taken in the three quarters preceding admission to the MA program (please note that no courses taken earlier than Autumn quarter of sophomore year may count toward the MA)

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the coterminal master’s degree program include the following:

  • Coterminal MA students are required to take a minimum of 45 units of course work during their graduate career, of which at least 40 of these units must be in Art History courses (Note: One of these courses must be the art history methods graduate seminar; six of these courses may be Art History or Film Studies courses and must be at the 300-400 level)
  • All units for the coterminal MA must be taken at or above the 100 level; advanced-level course work is encouraged and a minimum of 23 of the required 45 units must be taken at or above the 200 level
  • M.A. Qualifying paper (this paper can be developed from a seminar paper; it should be 20-25 pages in length inclusive of notes); the paper will be due in the last quarter of the coterm program
  • All courses taken for the Coterminal MA must be taken for a letter grade; achievement of an overall grade point average of 3.5 is required for the degree to be conferred
  • A faculty advisor appointed in the Department of Art & Art History in the first quarter of the Master’s degree program
  • Students may transfer up to 10 units from their undergraduate career to count toward the MA; to be eligible for transfer, courses must have been taken in the three quarters prior to matriculation in the first graduate quarter of the MA program (please note that no courses taken earlier than Autumn quarter of sophomore year may count toward the MA)
  • Undergraduate courses cannot be transferred for graduate credit after a student’s BA is conferred
  • Submission of an approved Master's degree program proposal form by the last day of the first quarter of the Master's degree program
  • Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to University and Departmental policies, standards, and requirements for coterminal students