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Co-term Admissions


The Program in Modern Thought and Literature offers an interdisciplinary  coterminal M.A. program, admitting one or two currently enrolled undergraduate Stanford students.  For questions about the program, please email Amy Potemski at

The Program does not admit students to Stanford to earn a terminal M.A. degree.  However, students admitted to the doctoral program who have not previously earned a master’s degree may apply for the M.A. after two years of study.


Stanford students who are exceptionally well prepared in literature and at least one foreign language may petition, no earlier than the spring quarter of their junior year, and no later than the quarter before the one in which they expect to complete 180 units of work at Stanford, to be admitted into the Program in Modern Thought and Literature for the purpose of earning a coterminal M.A. degree. The Program assumes serious interest in one or more areas of modern thought: history, psychology, philosophy, arts, contemporary culture generally. Students entering the Program may come from any undergraduate discipline, but should have sufficient background in literature and/or cultural studies to be able to participate fully in graduate level courses.

Additional Information

Please carefully read over the information on the Registrar's co-term website  as well as the University eligibility requirements listed on the Coterm Application form.

Application Procedures

Applications are due on February 15 (or the first business day following, should the 15th fall on a weekend or a holiday).

Applications must include:

  1.  An unofficial transcript from Axess.
  2. An “Application for Admission to Coterminal Master’s Program;” please see the Registrar’s site or the Student Services Center for the most up-to-date form.  The application form includes a plan of study listing each course by name, units, and instructor, and quarter to be taken which will be taken in order to fulfill the requirements for the degree. (It is understood that the plan will be open to change).
  3. A statement of purpose giving the reasons the student wishes to pursue this program and its place in his/her future plans. This statement should specifically address the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed program, noting how the courses listed on the application provide an appropriate plan of study, resulting in a coherent academic program.
  4. A writing sample of critical or analytical prose, approximately 20 pages.
  5. Two letters of recommendation from members of the faculty who know the applicant well and who speak directly to the question of his/her ability to do graduate level work in the relevant departments.  An applicant to the MTL Coterm should have secured an adviser prior to submitting the application.  Normally, one of the letters of recommendation will be from the prospective adviser.

Applicants are not required to pay an application fee; however, if an applicant is admitted to the Coterm program and accepts, the Registrar does levy a fee for adding a new program.

Applicants for the Coterminal Master’s degree are advised to consult the Stanford Bulletin and must check with the Registrar’s Office regarding University requirements.

Click here to begin your application