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Information for Current Undergraduate Students

Getting an advisor

Students who declare MSE as their major will be assigned a major advisor. Students may choose their own advisor if they have already built a relationship with an MSE faculty member. Alternatively, the Student Services Office can assign an advisor upon request.

To see a list of faculty and their research interests, please see our department's Faculty Directory.

Using and submitting program sheets

Every MSE major must submit a program sheet to graduate. Your program sheet is an essential document for planning and degree certification by the School of Engineering (SoE). It is in effect a student’s contract with the SoE, because completion of all courses listed on the sheet is a requirement for receiving the bachelor's degree with a major in the school. The first version of the program sheet is submitted when the student declares a major. Subsequent changes can be made by having the advisor’s initial on minor revisions, or by resubmitting an updated program sheet with new signature if there are extensive changes. The final version of your program sheet must be complete, accurate and signed by your advisor PRIOR to the quarter in which you plan to graduate.

Program sheets, sample four-year plans and requirements are all described in the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs. Hard copies of the handbook can be picked up from the Office of Student Affairs, located on the second floor of Terman Engineering. You can also download an online version of the handbook.

Using and submitting petitions

Students have the option to petition for deviations from curricular requirements. Petitions must be approved PRIOR to a student's last quarter.

Be sure to completely fill out the petition form AND your program sheet before handing them in. Advisor signatures are required on both forms before submitting the petitions.

Petitions to deviate from university requirements (GER requirements, foreign language requirements and the like) are handled through the Registrar's Office at 482 Galvez Mall.

Petitions to deviate from departmental depth requirements are handled by the MSE department via the Student Services Office.

Petitions to deviate from non-departmental school of enginnering requirements (math, science, technology in society, or fundamentals) are reviewed by the Student Affairs Office in 475 Huang Engineering Center, Suite 135.

When submitting a petition:

  • Be sure to include the reasoning behind your request and to obtain the signature of your major advisor.
  • Attach a completed program sheet and a current Stanford transcript (an AXESS copy is fine) to the petition request.
  • Return the completed package to the School of Engineering Office of Student Affairs or the Department Student Services Office as appropriate.

Completed packages contain:

  • Completed form with reasoning behind request and advisor signature.
  • Completed program sheet.
  • Unofficial Stanford transcript.

To download petition forms, please see the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs.


Students may apply to graduate for any quarter during the year: autumn, winter, spring or summer. Degree conferral dates can be found on the Academic Calendar, generally about a month after the last day of classes for that quarter.

Application process

To apply to graduate, you can indicate your intent to graduate directly via the Axess system. This will put your name on a list that is provided to the department by the Registrar's Office, called the "Recommending List." The department then looks at the program sheet and transcript and ensures that you have completed all of the departmental requirements to graduate. For undergraduate students, the file is then forwarded to the School of Engineering Student Affairs Office for review of general engineering and university requirements (e.g. math, science, TIS, fundamentals).

The student will be contacted via e-mail if there are any problems. When all problems have been resolved, you will be "cleared" to graduate.

To ensure a smooth progression, it is important to submit an updated program sheet with all required signatures at least one month before the end of the final quarter.

NOTE: Students with individual designed programs who consider MSE their home department must stay in touch with the Student Services Office proactively since they will not automatically show up as MSE students.


Generally there are two commencement ceremonies, both in June. The university holds a general ceremony for all graduating students and the department holds a Diploma Award Ceremony for MSE students.

Students are welcome to participate in the June commencement ceremony regardless of which quarter they actually graduate. Students just shy of completing graduation requirements are also allowed to "walk-through" by submitting a petition at least one month prior to the commencement ceremony. The MSE department requires PhD students to have passed the University Oral Examination in order to be eligible to "walk-through" the department Awards Ceremony.

Information on commencement is provided starting in spring quarter of each year, via e-mail and Web postings. Please check back frequently for updates and information.

Finding a Job

If you are interested in finding an internship or a job in MSE, please follow the link below to the Career Development Center.