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This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy in Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences

University requirements for the Ph.D. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. The Interdepartmental Program in Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences has the following requirements:

  1. Ph.D. students must complete EARTHSCI 300, Earth Sciences Seminar, during their first quarter of enrollment.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of 13 courses, including the three core courses and five courses from each of the two areas of specialization. At least half of the ten non-core classes must be at a 200 level or higher, and all must be taken for a letter grade. Students obtaining their M.S. from within the program can apply all master's units toward Ph.D. requirements. Students with an M.S. degree or other specialized training from outside EEES may be able to waive some of the non-core course requirements, depending on the nature of the prior courses or training. The number and distribution of courses to be taken by these students is determined with input from the research advisers and academic oversight committee.
  3. Prior to the formation of a thesis committee, the student works with research advisers and the academic oversight committee to design a course of study with depth in at least two areas of specialization and preparation in analytical methods and skills. Students can select other courses from departments of the School of Earth Sciences and other University departments as appropriate. All courses must be approved by the student's thesis committee or by the academic oversight committee.The research advisers and academic oversight committee have primary responsibility for the adequacy of the course of study.
  4. During Spring Quarter of each year, students must undergo an annual review by their thesis committee to allow the committee to monitor the progress of the student and make recommendations, where necessary.
  5. Prior to taking the oral qualifying examination at or before the end of the sixth academic quarter, the student must have completed 24 units of letter-graded course work, developed a written crossdisciplinary dissertation proposal suitable for submission to a funding organization, and selected a thesis committee.
  6. To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, the student must pass an oral qualifying examination. At least two of the minimum four-member examining committee must be faculty within the School of Earth Sciences. During the exam, students present and defend their proposed thesis research work; the exam generally takes the form of a 20-30 minute presentation by the student, followed by 1-2 hours of questioning.
  7. The research advisers and two other faculty members comprise the dissertation reading committee. Upon completion of the thesis, the student must pass a University Oral Examination in defense of the dissertation.

Additional information may be found in the Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures handbook at

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