Master's Degree Policies

Honor Code

As an enrolled student in a Stanford University course, you are required to adhere to the following Stanford guidelines:

You must also carefully review the Academic Calendar for important dates.

Earning a Degree

In order to earn a  Master’s degree in science you must:

  • Gain admission as a degree candidate to the academic department through the standard graduate admissions process and according to the Honors Cooperative Program (HCP) application deadlines
  • Complete 45 quarter units of master's degree study within five years of your start date

Dropping a Course

You can drop graduate course(s) until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the quarter’s drop deadline in order to receive full reimbursement to your original method of payment. Drop the course(s) from within Axess. The course will be removed from your Stanford transcript.

Requesting an Incomplete Course Status

Work with the course teaching team to request an “Incomplete.” This will pause your course work. You will have one year to resume and complete the course for credit. If your request is granted, please forward the written approval to When you are ready to resume, inform the course teaching team and the Student Services team. You will not need to pay tuition or additional fees again.

Taking a Voluntary Leave of Absence

Master’s degree candidates may petition their department for a voluntary leave of absence if they will not be able to maintain the required 3 units of enrollment per quarter (excluding summer). If you take a leave on or before the first day of classes, you will receive a full tuition refund and will not be included in University records as registered for the term. If you are an active student in good standing who voluntarily takes a leave after the first day of instruction, but before the term withdrawal deadline, you will receive a pro rata refund. There is no refund after the Term Withdrawal deadline. Courses in which you were enrolled after the Final Study List deadline appear on your record and show the grade of ‘W’ (withdrew). 

Repeating a Course

You may re-enroll in any completed course once for a new grade and the same number of units. The first grade will be replaced with “RP” (repeated) on your transcript and the units you earned will be erased. Only the second grade will contribute to your cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) and units earned. If you receive an “NC” (no credit) or “NP” (not passed) for the repeated course, you may enroll for a third time for a new grade. Under any other circumstances, the grades and units for the second and third completed courses will both count toward your GPA and will appear on your transcript.

Course Access and Technical Requirements

With an active SUNet ID, you will be able to access the video content for your course(s) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the end of the quarter in which you are enrolled.

Visit our technical requirements page for more information.


  • Student Handbook—find more detailed information about our policies
  • Academic Calendar—see deadlines and key dates for the Stanford Center for Professional Development graduate courses