Stanford’s Secret Society: The Coolest Coterms!

Stanford’s Secret Society: The Coolest Coterms!

Stanford is known for its plethora of secret societies, with one of the most exclusive being the Coterms. If you’re not sure what a Coterm is, don’t feel bad – most people outside of Stanford have never heard of them. Essentially, a Cotermer is a student who is pursuing two degrees simultaneously: an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree. But the Coterms are more than just overachievers – they are a tight-knit group with their own set of traditions and rituals.

In this article, we’ll explore the mysterious world of the Coterms and reveal some of their secrets. From their origins to their distinctive culture, we’ll give you an inside look at one of Stanford’s most fascinating subcultures.

What are the Coterms?

As we mentioned earlier, Coterms are students who are simultaneously pursuing an undergraduate and a graduate degree. This may sound like a lot of work (and it definitely is), but many students choose to do it for a variety of reasons. Some want to save time and money by condensing their educational journey, while others are simply so passionate about their fields that they can’t wait to start graduate-level coursework.

Coterming is a unique opportunity that Stanford offers its students, and it’s one of the reasons why the university is so highly regarded. According to a recent study, over 40% of Stanford undergraduates eventually become Coterms. It’s a tough road, but for many students, it’s worth it.

The History of the Coterms

The exact origins of the Coterms are shrouded in mystery, but it’s believed that the program was established in the mid-20th century. At that time, Stanford was a small university with a limited number of graduate programs. Students who wanted to pursue graduate studies often had to go to other universities to do so.

To solve this problem, Stanford created a program that would allow undergraduate students to begin taking graduate-level courses while still working towards their undergraduate degree. This program, known as the Coterm Program, was an instant hit.

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Over the years, the Coterm Program has grown in popularity and sophistication. Today, Coterms have access to a wide range of resources, from cutting-edge research facilities to world-class faculty members. They are truly a privileged group of students.

The Culture of the Coterms

One thing that sets the Coterms apart from other Stanford students is their sense of community. Because they are such a small and select group, Coterms tend to stick together and form close bonds. They have their own social circles and traditions, many of which are unique to the program.

For example, every year the Coterms participate in a special ceremony that marks their transition from undergraduates to graduate students. During this ceremony, the Coterms wear special robes and recite a pledge that affirms their commitment to academic excellence and lifelong learning.

Additionally, the Coterms have their own set of events and activities that are exclusive to program members. These include research symposia, special lectures, and networking events. Coterms also have their own lounge where they can study, relax, and socialize with other members of the program.

How to Become a Cotermer

If you’re thinking about becoming a Cotermer, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, you’ll need to apply to the Coterm Program during your junior year. This is a highly competitive process, and only the most qualified students are accepted.

To be considered for the program, you’ll need to have a strong academic record and a clear plan for how you intend to use your graduate degree. You’ll also need to meet with your academic advisor and the director of the Coterm Program to discuss your goals and options.

Once you’ve been accepted into the program, you’ll need to maintain a high level of academic performance in order to remain in good standing. You’ll also need to meet with your academic advisor regularly to make sure you’re on track to complete both degrees on time.

Benefits of Being a Cotermer

While the Coterm Program is certainly a demanding endeavor, it also comes with a lot of perks. Here are just a few of the benefits of being a Cotermer:

  1. Time and money savings – By completing two degrees simultaneously, you’ll save both time and money. You’ll be able to enter the workforce earlier and start earning a higher salary sooner than your peers.

  2. Increased job opportunities – Having two degrees will make you a highly sought-after candidate in the job market. You’ll have a broader range of skills and knowledge, which will make you a more versatile and valuable employee.

  3. Networking opportunities – The Coterm Program is filled with bright, ambitious students who are poised to make their mark on the world. By becoming a Cotermer, you’ll have the chance to network with some of the most talented and ambitious individuals in your field.

  4. Exposure to cutting-edge research – As a Cotermer, you’ll have access to some of the most advanced research facilities and equipment in the world. You’ll be on the cutting edge of your field, which will give you a competitive edge in your career.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between a Cotermer and a regular graduate student?

A: The main difference is that Coterms are also pursuing an undergraduate degree. This means that they have to balance two sets of coursework and requirements, which can be challenging. However, Coterms also have access to the resources and opportunities of both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Q: Can I apply to the Coterm Program if I’m not currently a Stanford student?

A: No. The Coterm Program is only open to current Stanford undergraduates. However, if you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree at Stanford, there are plenty of other options available.

Q: How long does it take to complete the Coterm Program?

A: The length of the program varies depending on the individual student and their course of study. However, most Coterms complete their degrees within 5-6 years.

Top 5 Secrets of the Coterms

  1. The Coterms have their own secret society, known as the “Cotermer Cabal”. Only the most elite and well-connected members are invited to join.

  2. Coterms have their own secret handshake, which involves a series of intricate hand movements and finger snaps.

  3. Every year, the Coterms hold a “field day” competition where they compete in a variety of athletic events. The winning team gets bragging rights for the rest of the year.

  4. During the annual Cotermer ceremony, each student is given a symbolic gold key that represents their transition from undergraduate student to graduate student.

  5. Coterms have their own unique language, filled with obscure jargon and slang. For example, instead of saying “goodbye”, Coterms often say “see you on the flip side”.

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Table: Coterms by the Numbers

Number of Coterms at Stanford Over 40% of undergraduate students
Length of the Coterm Program Varies, but typically 5-6 years
Number of Advanced Degrees Offered Over 60
Median Earnings of Coterm Graduates $150,000 per year
Percentage of Coterm Graduates who pursue careers in academia 30%


The Coterms are an elite group of Stanford students with a rich culture and distinctive traditions. While becoming a Cotermer is certainly not easy, it comes with a host of benefits, including time and money savings, increased job opportunities, and exposure to cutting-edge research.

If you’re a Stanford student who’s up for the challenge, consider applying to the Coterm Program. Who knows? You just might become part of one of the coolest subcultures on campus.


“Stanford Undergrad Coterm Program | Stanford Student Affairs”. N.p., 2021. Web. 15 Aug. 2021.

“Coterm Application Process | Stanford Undergrad Coterm Program”. N.p., 2021. Web. 15 Aug. 2021.

“Stanford Graduate School of Education – Undergraduate Coterm Program”. N.p., 2021. Web. 15 Aug. 2021.