Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

Becoming the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in 2023

Academic Resources

Graduate Resources

Graduate Student Handbook

The handbook acts as a supplement to the degree requirements outlined in the Stanford Bulletin.  This document outlines degree milestones, department procedures, and student responsibilities.

PhD Student Milestones

Annual Review

  • During Spring Quarter all graduate students complete an annual review that evaluates degree progress, successes and challenges faced during the year, and notes potential issues or areas of concern.  This review includes a conversation between the faculty advisor and student advisee.  The student should have no "I" grades in core courses, must maintain at least a 3.0 average GPA, and show evidence of productive research.
  • A complete Annual Review includes the following materials compiled into a single PDF sent to the Assistant Director of Student Services:

Qualifying Exam/Apply for Candidacy

  • The candidacy exam is an oral exam based on the candidate's written research proposal.  The exam is a test of the student's ability to recognize, evaluate, and plan a significant research project and his/her mastery of fields essential to the completion of research. The Examining Committee consists of four or five members, at least three from the Academic Council and at least two must be GS Academic Council members.  See the GS Graduate Student Handbook for additional information.
  • University policy requires passing to candidacy by the end of the sixth quarter.  Therefore, it is strongly advised that the exam be taken during the 5th quarter so that the student has time to retake the exam, if necessary.
  • GS Application for Candidacy
  • Request for Approval of Examining Committee

Reading Committee

TGR Status

  • TGR status allows students to register at a reduced tuition rate while working on a dissertation or thesis.  PhD students must have all degree requirements completed (except the dissertation), 135 units prior to the TGR start quarter, and an approved reading committee form on file with the Student Services Manager.  Students enroll in GS 802.
  • Request for TGR Status Instructions (eForm submitted in Axess)

Dissertation Defense

MS Student Milestones

MS Program Proposal

  • Submit a program proposal (approved by your advisor) to the Student Services Manager by the end of your first quarter.
  • MS Program Proposal form

Annual Review

  • During Spring Quarter all graduate students complete an annual review that evaluates degree progress, successes and challenges faced during the year, and notes potential issues or areas of concern.  This review includes a conversation between the faculty advisor and student advisee.  The student should have no "I" grades in core courses, must maintain at least a 3.0 average GPA, and show evidence of productive research.
  • A complete Annual Review includes the following materials compiled into a single PDF sent to the Assistant Director of Student Services:

Thesis Submission

Coterminal Degree Resources

Undergraduate Degree Resources

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