Stanford University
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Geophysics

Understanding Earth. Benefitting Society.

Milestones and Resources

Milestones

MS Student Milestones

MS Proposal

  • Description: Submit a program proposal for approval by a faculty adviser in the first quarter of enrollment.
  • Deadline: By the end of the first quarter of enrollment.
  • Form: MS Proposal form

MS Orals

  • Description: Each candidate must present and defend the results of his or her research at a public oral presentation attended by at least two faculty members. Student must notify TWIG and post announcements.
  • Deadline: Must be completed before MS degree is awarded.
  • Form: MS Oral Presentation

MS Annual Review

  • Description:  For 1st year MS students. Discuss degree progress and future plans with committee. Review to be attended by at least 2 faculty members.
  • Deadline: To be completed by end of Autumn quarter – 2nd year.
  • Forms: MS Annual Review and MS Degree Requirements

PhD Student Milestones

Pre Candidacy PhD Annual Review

  • Description:  For 2nd year PhD students. Discuss degree progress and future plans with committee. Four committee members are recommended, minimum of 3 required. At least 2 members should be Geophysics faculty.
  • Deadline:  Must be completed by end of Autumn quarter – 2nd year.
  • FormsPre Candidacy PhD Annual Review  and PhD Requirements

PhD Department Qualifying Examination

  • Description: Presentation of the proposed research, including both primary and secondary projects by the student. Committee must comprise at least 3 members, with a majority comprising of Geophysics faculty.
  • Deadline: University deadline mandates advancement to candidacy by the end of the second year. Departmental policy strongly encourages completion of the qualifying exam by the end of the Spring quarter for students entering in the Fall quarter. Student has to petition for an exception to this policy before their 6th quarter begins.
  • Form

Apply for PhD Candidacy

  • Description: Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, following successful completion of qualifying procedures.
  • Deadline: End of 2nd year, preferably 6th quarter.
  • FormApplication for PhD Candidacy

Post Candidacy PhD Annual Review

  • Description: Discuss degree progress and future plans with committee. Four committee members are recommended, minimum of 3 required. At least 2 members should be Geophysics faculty.
  • Deadline: To be completed no later than Spring quarter of each year. The student’s PhD defense serves as the final year review.
  • FormPost Candidacy PhD Annual Review and PhD Degree Requirement Form

2nd Project

  • Description: Second scientific proposal or paper with a professor in another area (more detailed requirements can be found on the Program Requirements page).
  • Deadline: Students are expected to complete this requirement by the end of their 3rd year.
  • Form:  Second Project Form

Reading Committee

  • Description: Dissertation is read and approved by the 3 members of the student’s committee. Reading Committee signatures on the Certification of Thesis Draft form signify that the student is ready to defend.
  • Deadline: Must be completed before approval of TGR status or before scheduling defense. Department strongly recommends that students form their committee during the 3rd year.  
  •  Forms (Required)Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Form  and Certification of Thesis Draft

TGR Status

  • Description: After 135 units and all degree requirements have been met (two TAships and second project), students can apply for TGR status (reduced tuition rate). Student enrolls in Geophys 802 (PhD) or Geophys 801 (MS) and solely works on dissertation, however students can still enroll in 3 units of electives with TGR tuition.
  • Deadline: Prior to the first day of classes
  •  Forms (Required)Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Form and TGR Form

Thesis Defense

  • Description: Student defends dissertation before committee, includes an open session. Student is required to have 4 members plus a chair from another department and must turn in signed Certification of Thesis Draft 2 weeks before the defense.
  • Deadline: When thesis is completed. Typically during the 5th year.
  • FormUniversity Oral Examination Form, to be completed by the student before the day of the defense. Student is to completely fill out form and indicate each member of their committee. Student is to also obtain appropriate signature from the Department Chair prior to the defense date. On the day of the defense, the student is to hand the completed Oral Exam form to the defense chair before the exam commences.

Dissertation and Thesis Submission

Please visit the University Registrar page for submission deadlines and preparation for electronic and paper submission:  https://registrar.stanford.edu/students/dissertation-and-thesis-submission

Resources

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