Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

The study of our planet and its neighbors, from their deep interiors to the surface, and through their multi-billion year history.

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 the Spring Quarter, the department reviews all graduate students to assess progress to degree, identify areas of strength, provide helpful resources, and note potential issues or areas of concern.  This review includes a conversation between the faculty advisor and 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.
  • GS Annual Review Form
  • GS Annual Review Form (Word doc)

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 form

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 the Spring Quarter, the department reviews all graduate students to assess progress to degree, identify areas of strength, provide helpful resources, and note potential issues or areas of concern.  This review includes a conversation between the faculty advisor and 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.
  • GS Annual Review Form
  • GS Annual Review Form (Word doc)

Thesis Submission

Coterminal Degree Resources

Undergraduate Degree Resources

2019 Webby Award Nominee

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