Honors Cooperative Program Handbook

This handbook is intended to support you as an entering and continuing SCPD student. It is a reference guide to requirements, programs, policies, and procedures of SCPD. It does not constitute a complete or definitive statement of the policies of Stanford University. 

We hope you find this to be a useful resource as you progress through your education. 

We wish you much success!

The Honors Cooperative Program (HCP) allows employed students to study part-time for master’s degrees in engineering and related disciplines. Prospective students are required to be employed in order to pursue the part-time master’s degree program.


Part-time master’s students are admitted on the same standards as full-time Stanford students and have full student privileges, rights and responsibilities.

You can learn more about specific graduate degree programs and application procedures by visiting the Stanford Online Master's Degrees Admission and Tuition page. 

Employment Status

As a part-time master’s student, you are required to demonstrate full-time employment for as long as you are enrolled in a program.*  You may leave your employment and continue in the program for up to two (2) consecutive quarters (excluding summer quarter). If you are not employed by the end of the two-quarter grace period, you will be asked to either withdraw from the program or transfer to full-time status. Please update your employer and employment status in your mystanfordconnection account at the beginning of each academic year.  

*Employment requirements apply to all HCP programs except the MS in Chemical Engineering.

International Student Visa Status

If you are not a US citizen you must have a current US legal status document with an expiration date that covers the duration of enrollment to participate in the Honors Cooperative Program (HCP). Required documentation includes: Permanent Resident Card, Notice of Action, US visa stamp or an official US document specifying your status. 

As a part-time master’s student, you are required to submit a copy of your updated US legal residency documentation to the Graduate Admissions Office.


As a part-time master’s student, you are required to:

  • Enroll in a minimum of 3 units in each academic quarter (not including summer quarter)

    • If you choose to enroll in courses during summer quarter, you may take less than 3 units, but you will be charged for 3 units per university policy. 

    • You are encouraged to maintain an average course load of 3 to 6 units per quarter to make steady progress toward your degrees. 

  • Earn 45 units of credits within 5 years (for most disciplines) to earn a degree

  • Review your specific department’s degree requirements, which can be found on exploredegrees.stanford.edu

Note that units earned as part of a matriculated program cannot be transferred or counted toward a non-matriculated program, such as a graduate certificate from SCPD. These units can be counted only toward a degree.

Remote Degree Progress

While the majority of most degrees can be completed online, certain programs may require some on-campus attendance. This depends heavily on your program plan, area of focus, and the course offerings for any given academic quarter. In the event courses are not available online, part-time master’s students may attend courses on Stanford’s campus.    

Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) and Graduation Quarter Status

Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) allows you to register at a reduced tuition rate while you work on a dissertation, thesis, or department project. If you are registered in TGR status, you must enroll each quarter in a TGR course, either 801 or 802. If you are not registered for courses during the last quarter before you graduate, you will need to apply for Final Registration (last option on the University’s TGR form). Please note that a TGR tuition rate applies to each course that you take within the academic year.

Graduation Quarter (GQ) status allows you to be assessed a special tuition rate for the quarter in which you are receiving a degree, assuming you meet a certain set of conditions. This includes having completed all course work, degree requirements, and residency requirements for all graduate degree programs, including joint degree programs, prior to the start of the requested Graduation Quarter.

When you transfer your status to TGR or GQ, or enroll in an 801 or 802 course, your HCP status will be removed, as only one can apply to your student record. 

As a result of the removal of your HCP status, health insurance through Vaden will no longer be waived. Please review the TGR and GQ rules, options, and fees via the Registrar's website and submit any questions to scpd-gradstudents@stanford.edu.

Student Program Transfers

If you are a part-time master’s students and wish to transfer to the full-time on-campus program or a full-time student seeking to transfer to the part-time Honors Cooperative Program, you must submit a student transfer request at least 3 weeks before the beginning of the quarter. SCPD will notify you once a decision has been made by the academic department.

You are allowed a maximum of two transfers per degree program. Full-time students seeking to transfer to the part-time Honors Cooperative Program (HCP) must be employed to qualify. Please notify SCPD of any status change by forwarding your approval to scpd-gradstudents@stanford.edu

If you are a MS in Electrical Engineering student, please review additional transfer request policies on the Electrical Engineering website.

If you are a Biomedical Informatics MS student, please review additional transfer request policies at their checklist for HCP MS students.


Personal Profile information and Study Lists

As a part-time master’s student, you are responsible for entering and maintaining your personal profile and your study list in AXESS by the Preliminary Study List Deadline (see academic calendar). If you miss this deadline, your program participation will be discontinued and you will need to submit a petition to the university registrar’s office for reinstatement. You will also be charged a late study list fee of $200 which will appear on your statement in AXESS.

You are also responsible for entering and maintaining your personal profile in mystanfordconnection, the SCPD registration system.  The email that you enter here will be used for individual course communications as well as communications from the university.

SCPD will transfer your enrollment information from AXESS to your mystanfordconnection account, where your course(s) and tuition and fees will be displayed.

Adding and Dropping Courses or Units

You may add or drop courses via Axess before the final study list deadline. Dropped courses will not remain on your transcript.

You may add or drop courses or units after the final study list deadline by submitting a petition.

You may not drop courses after the final study list deadline,  but you may withdraw from a course until the withdrawal deadline. In this case, your transcript will show a “W” (Withdraw). The university, not SCPD, will charge a per diem rate for course withdrawals after the Financial Add/Drop Deadline.

To drop all courses for a quarter, you must request a Leave of Absence (see below).

Leave of Absence

As a part-time degree student, you are required to enroll for at least 3 units for each of autumn, winter, and spring quarters unless you have been approved for a leave of absence. 

To obtain a leave of absence during a quarter, complete the Leave of Absence form, then submit it to your academic department for approval.  Once approval is received, send the signed copy to both the registrar's office and SCPD.

See SCPD's refund policy under "Taking a Voluntary  Leave of Absence" on the Policies page.

The university allows a maximum of 2 years (8 quarters) in total for a leave of absence, but a maximum of one year’s leave can be submitted at any one time.

If you need to extend your leave beyond the approved period, you must submit a new request form to gain approval.

Please notify the Stanford Center for Professional Development when you return from a leave of absence.

Annulment of Summer Registration

An Annulment of Summer Registration is required if you withdraw from all summer courses in which you enrolled. Email the Annulment of Summer Registration form to SCPD. Please be aware that the university will charge students a per diem tuition amount for classes attended.


Health Care and Immunization Records

Part-time students will be excluded from the university’s requirements for health insurance, immunization records, and TB test results.

If you have questions or wish to enroll in the health insurance program through the university, contact the Vaden Health Center at (650) 498-2336.


Part-time student records are reviewed by departments on a regular basis. You will be notified by your graduate department or course advisors if you do not meet the grade point average standards.

Grades are posted in AXESS by the instructors at the end of each quarter.

You may request a change from a letter grade to the Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit option for those courses allowing this option through AXESS by the Grading Basis Deadline.

Consult with your academic department for approval before changing to the Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit option,  as you may need a letter grade if the course is to be applied to your degree program.


You are responsible for meeting all appropriate deadlines. Deadlines are strictly enforced, and you should identify the important deadlines for each quarter in which you are enrolled, such as:

  • Preliminary Study List Deadline
  • Add/Drop Deadline (also Final Study List Deadline or Financial Drop Deadline)
  • Grading Basis Deadline
  • Withdrawal Deadline

You can view the university academic calendar here.

For distance students in particular, meeting a deadline may include having demonstrable proof that a message or material was sent and received successfully with a standardized date and time stamp, whether by email, fax, mail, or phone. All deadlines are applied in the standard Pacific Time Zone (PST or PDT). Missing a deadline may impact the following:

  • Access to the instructor’s website and course material
  • Eligibility for financial refund
  • Grades on individual assignments or on an entire course, which may be reflected on permanent Stanford transcripts
  • Eligibility for adding, dropping, or changing classes


Payment Policy

Both the university and SCPD tuition and fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted. All changes will take effect at the start of autumn quarter and are applicable for the duration of the academic year.

The Stanford Center for Professional Development does not mail out or provide students with 1098-T forms as these are only provided to matriculated students by Stanford University. The professional education and graduate certificate courses are classified as non-matriculated and do not meet the qualification of the university to provide these forms to participants in the program. For any additional information regarding this, please consult your tax professional.


Once your enrollment is processed by SCPD, you will receive notification to log into your mystanfordconnection account to arrange payment. Payment for quarterly tuition and fees are due 30 days after the start of instruction each quarter. Tuition and fees must be paid in full; installment payments are not allowed. Payment may be made by credit card, wire transfer, direct invoice to a company, purchase order, company voucher, letter of credit, company check, or Yellow Ribbon tuition benefits (for veterans). 

If you pay using a credit card, a receipt will automatically be sent to you by email. The receipt will be sent to the preferred email address listed in your mystanfordconnection account. If you need a receipt at a later date, please contact the Stanford Center for Professional Development Student Services team at (650) 204-3984 or via email at scpd-gradstudents@stanford.edu.

If your company has agreed to pay for your tuition, the SCPD finance department will send an invoice to your company approximately 30 days after the start of instruction. Late payment fees will be charged to the student’s account, unless noted otherwise.

Tuition and fees payable to the Stanford Center for Professional Development include:

  • Tuition per credit unit (3 unit minimum)
  • One-time document fee (only charged for the first quarter registered at Stanford)
  • ASSU (Associated Students of Stanford University) fee for local HCP students
  • Fees for late payment of tuition
  • Fees for  submission of study list after the preliminary study list deadline($200)

All other fees, such as housing, health insurance, and petition fees to change course enrollment after the deadline must be paid directly to the university through Student Financial Services.

Tuition Refund Policy

Before the Financial Add/Drop Deadline, all tuition paid to the Stanford Center for Professional Development for courses dropped will be refunded in full, less any late fees that are assessed. 

After the Financial Add/Drop Deadline, tuition and fees paid to the Stanford Center for Professional Development will not be subject to refund except under the following circumstances:

  1. Medical emergency (hospitalization or major medical condition of the student). Official written and signed documentation from a physician will be required (which notes date originally seen, diagnosis and prognosis).
  2. Death of “close family” member. “Close family” is limited to the student’s spouse, domestic partner, children, parents and parents-in-law, parent surrogate, brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren. Written documentation will be required (Death Certificate).
  3. A call to active military duty (in the event of a national emergency such as in a time of war). Written documentation will be required.
  4. Withdrawal - he University, not the Stanford Center for Professional Development, will charge a per diem rate for course withdrawals (for full policy see the Adding and Dropping Courses & Units section).

Tuition will not be refunded after the Financial Drop Deadline for other reasons, such as business travel, family emergency travel (other than #2 above), minor illness, injury, or workload increase.

If you are approved for a Leave of Absence after the beginning of the quarter, SCPD will follow its tuition refund policy, as explained above. The University will charge per diem tuition from the first day of class until the last day of class attended. Per diem tuition must be paid directly to the University through Student Financial Services, not through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. For Leaves of Absence approved after the term withdrawal deadline, the full amount of tuition is due to the university.


If you are due a refund and your original payment was made by credit card, that same credit card account will be credited within 5 business days. If you made payment via wire transfer, a check will be issued as a refund within 10 business days of the wire transfer clearing. If the payment was made by company check, the company will be granted a refund by check.


Courses are offered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development through an online classroom format:

  • Delivered via streaming video, courses are posted to your mystanfordconnection account within two hours of the completion of the live class at Stanford University.
  • Online courses are available only until the end of the quarter’s exam period.
  • If you are taking courses remotely, you are required to adhere to on-campus deadlines for homework and exams. Establishment and enforcement of course deadlines are at the sole discretion of the instructor. Schedules will reflect the university calendar for final exams.

Viewing Courses Online

You can view demos and course previews without a login. However, full access to all graduate courses requires enrollment via AXESS.

After you have enrolled, you can view your courses online by logging into mystanfordconnection on the SCPD home page and clicking ‘Online Videos’.

For system requirements, software downloads, technical support, or answers to frequently asked questions, please email scpdsupport@stanford.edu or call (650) 741.1542.


Course Readers and Textbooks

You may purchase course readers and textbooks directly from the Stanford Bookstore or call (650) 329-1217, extension 8356. Course readers and textbooks are not available through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. The bookstore will not accept vouchers from your company

Stanford University Identification (ID) Card

ID cards are available to matriculated students through the Stanford Card Office. If you are not in the local area and do not plan to come on campus, an ID card is not required.

Stanford University Network (SUNet) Computer Accounts

Your SUNet ID will provide access to Stanford computer resources and an email account. Instructions are provided in your graduate admission package from the university.

For questions regarding the activation or use of a new or existing computer account, please contact a Stanford IT Help consultant at (650) 725-4357 (5-HELP) or submit a help ticket online.

SUNet ID Password Reset Feature

The SUNetID password reset feature can be found here. If you have forgotten your password you may reset it at any time without calling the HelpDesk. You may change your SUNetID password at any time through StanfordYou.

Library Access

As a part-time masters’ student, you will have the same privileges and access to all university libraries as a full-time graduate student

Course Materials Available Online

Your mystanfordconnection account links to the course lecture videos; additional course materials may be distributed by the course teaching team through a variety of online platforms (Piazza, Canvas, etc.). It is your  responsibility check for provided course materials. 

For questions regarding homework or handouts, contact the SCPD Distribution Department by email, call at (650) 497-5411, or fax forms to (650) 736-1266 or (650) 725-4138.


If the instructor has established a website in the University’s Canvas system, login here. You will need your SUNet ID. 


Submitting Homework

If you are enrolled in graduate courses for credit, you are expected to complete all assignments on time according to the course syllabus. You will submit assignments through an online method or directly to the course teaching team. Please review your course’s syllabus or contact your course teaching team within the first week to ensure you understand the submission requirements.

Exam Process

SCPD manages exam logistics in conjunction with the course teaching teams. If you plan to take exams remotely you will need to submit an exam monitor nomination within one week of the start of class via your mystanfordconnection account. Local students may choose to come to campus and take exams during the regular scheduled exam time set by the course teaching teams.

Possible exam monitors include:

  • A Manager or Supervisor
  • An HR representative at the student’s place of employment
  • An education coordinator at the student’s place of employment
  • A local college or school representative
  • A local library official
  • A member of staff from a recognized private proctoring service
  • Please note that Exam monitors are not considered if they are peers, direct reports, family members or friends.

Once an exam monitor has been nominated, SCPD will verify their credentials and approve them on your mystanfordconnection account. The approved exam monitor will be able handle all the logistics of receipt, administration, and return of the exams for the course.    

Late Submissions

Each class will have its own policy regarding late submission of assignments. The policy for each class is under the discretion of the instructor who holds final authority for all grading decisions. Late assignments may be assigned a grade reduced in proportion to the tardiness of the submission. Some instructors may have a strict policy of not accepting late assignments at all. If you experience any trouble submitting required coursework, you should notify your course instructor and the teaching assistant.