Graduate Education Policies


Successful completion of graduate courses require that you successfully complete all course exams. To take an exam you must either designate an exam monitor, who will administer the exam at your location and submit your completed exams to SCPD, or in some cases, you may visit Stanford campus to take your final exam.

Note: During academic year 20-21, students will not have to designate an exam monitor. All exams will be administered remotely. For more information, see Stanford’s Teach Anywhere Site

Dropping a Course

To drop a course, you can either submit a request through your mystanfordconnection account, or email a drop request to by 5:00 p.m. Pacific on the financial drop deadline for the corresponding quarter (see our Academic Calendar for dates). Courses will be removed from the your transcript and a refund issued, minus the charge of $100 per dropped course and any assessed non-refundable fees.

Withdrawing From a Course

You may withdraw from a course until the academic calendar deadline by submitting an email request to If you withdraw from a course you will not receive a tuition refund and the course will be graded as a “W” on your Stanford transcript. You may not withdraw from a course in which you previously received an incomplete. Visit the Office of the Registrar for more info.

Incomplete Work

To request an Incomplete, you must contact your course teaching team in writing. The approval of incomplete requests are entirely at the discretion of the course teaching team and is solely based on the amount of work completed to date. If your request approved, you must notify SCPD. You will have one academic year within which to and resume the course by notifying SCPD and the teaching team. Visit the Office of the Registrar for more info.

Earning a Certificate

In order to earn a graduate certificate:

  • All of your courses must be taken for credit and a letter grade. GPA requirements, as decided by each individual department, must be met.   If you elect to take a course as “not for credit,” you will not receive a grade, the course will not be counted toward a graduate certificate nor be transferrable to a master’s degree.
  • All courses must be completed within three academic years of your start date.  You can enroll in a maximum of three courses per quarter.

Note: if you are a first-time computer science student,  you can enroll in only one course in your first quarter.  After that, you can enroll in as many as three courses.

Once you have successfully completed all certificate requirements and your certification is approved by the academic department, you will be mailed a certificate within three weeks.

How to request a Stanford transcript


  • 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