Help – Census Enrollment – Headcount

Understanding the different headcounts – see also the Headcount Info tab in the Census Autumn Enrollment dashboard, and/or the Data Governance Center, for more detailed information.

These ways of counting students represent traditional ways of counting that have been used for several years.  If there are variations or adjustments to these counts that would be of interest to you, let us know.  We already know that better ways of counting coterms would be of interest.


UNIVERSITY Student Headcount 

An unduplicated count of all individuals, with trumping logic to determine which affiliation is represented.

Trumping logic is used to determine which affiliation is used to represent a student when more than one affiliation exists; for instance, someone pursuing a JD and MD is counted by the MD only. Someone who is pursuing an undergraduate double major is counted by the first one in order alphabetically, by legacy major code. Coterm students are counted once, as either graduate or undergraduate students, depending on their coterm group status. For more information, including the trumping rules, see the Data Governance Center entry: University Student Headcount

This count is especially useful for broad, university-wide statistics, such as how many graduate students are at Stanford?


SCHOOL Student Headcount

Each undergraduate student is counted in all their degree plans (study field + degree), same as MAJOR count.

Each graduate student is counted in their highest degree plan(s) per school; plans in different schools are all counted.

Coterms also count only once, as under the University count.

Students who pursue “equal” degrees (e.g. two MA’s, two MS’s, two Ph.D.’s) within the same school, will be counted twice within the school because both are the “highest” degree for that student. The School headcount is the one that was used in previous census “Directory reports”. For more information, see the Data Governance Center entry: School Student Headcount

This count can be used to get a more accurate, close-to-unduplicated count of grad students within a school, except that some coterm students will count only as an undergrad. A very few grad students may be counted twice (pursuing two equal degrees within the same school), mostly in H&S or Engineering. Note that the School count undercounts the number of grad students pursuing master’s degrees, as master’s/Ph.D. students are counted under the Ph.D. only, and it also undercounts how many School of Medicine students are pursuing PhDs for those doing both Ph.D./MD.


MAJOR Student Headcount

All students are counted in all of their degree plans (study field + degree), except coterms count only once, as above. 

The Major headcount is the same as the School headcount, for undergraduates. For graduate students, the Major headcount will increase the count somewhat, as all degree plans will be counted, not just the highest degree plan per school. For more information, see the Data Governance Center entry: Major Student Headcount

This count is helpful for getting the fullest picture of all student academic pursuits; e.g. all students pursuing Linguistics at any level.  A notable exception, however, is that only one side of a coterm is represented.


For questions about any other terms used in this dashboard, look them up in the Data Governance Center.


Examples of the different headcounts:  

Numbers in red are the counts of those students which are sequentially excluded from one column to the next.