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Master of Science in Environmental Earth System Science

The purpose of the master's program is to continue a student's training in one of the earth science disciplines and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies.

The University's requirements for M.S. degrees are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Additional departmental requirements include the following:

  1. Completion of core course work:
    • EESS 211. Fundamentals of Modeling
    • EESS 212. Measurements in Earth Systems
    • EESS 215. Earth System Dynamics
    • EARTHSCI 300. Earth Sciences Seminar.
  2. Enrollment in EESS 301, Topics in Environmental Earth System Science, each quarter during the academic year.
  3. A minimum of 45 units of course work at the 100 level or above.
  4. Half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be intended primarily for graduate students, usually at the 200 level or above.
  5. No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement.
  6. Some students may be required to make up background deficiencies in addition to these basic requirements.
  7. By the end of Winter Quarter of the first year in residence, a student must complete at least three courses taught by a minimum of two different department faculty members.
  8. Serve as a teaching assistant in at least two quarters during their graduate career.

The department's graduate coordinator, in coordination with the departmental faculty, appoints an academic adviser prior to registration with appropriate consideration of the student's background, interests, and professional goals. In consultation with the adviser, the student plans a program of course work for the first year. The faculty adviser is charged with designing the curriculum in consultation with the student specific to the research topic. Each student must complete a thesis describing his or her research. Thesis research should begin during the first year of study at Stanford and should be completed before the end of the second year of residence. Early during the thesis research period, and after consultation with the student, the thesis adviser appoints a second reader for the thesis who must be approved by the graduate coordinator; the thesis adviser is the first reader. The two readers jointly determine whether the thesis is acceptable for the M.S. degree in the department.

Master of Science, Course Work Only Option

The course-work-only M.S. for EESS Ph.D. students requires 45 unduplicated units of which all 45 must be course work (non-research, non-independent study, non-thesis units). All required units must be in courses at the 100-level or above, 50 percent of those units must be in graduate-level courses (generally, at the 200-level or above). No units are awarded for course work completed elsewhere (i.e., not eligible to transfer-in units). All 45 units can be applied to the 135 unit requirement for the Ph.D. The remaining 90 units can consist of all research units.

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