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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.

Graduate Programs in Energy Resources Engineering

The Energy Resources Engineering department offers two distinct degree programs at both the M.S and Ph.D. levels. One program leads to the degrees of M.S. or Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering, and the other leads to the degrees of M.S. or Ph.D. in Energy Resources Engineering. The Engineer degree, which is offered in either Petroleum Engineering or Energy Resources Engineering, is an extended form of the M.S. degree with additional course work and research.

The University's basic requirements for M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees are discussed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

The following are minimum requirements for a student in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering to remain in good academic standing regarding course work:

  1. no more than one incomplete grade at any time
  2. a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  3. a grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 each quarter
  4. a minimum of 15 units completed within each two quarter period (excluding Summer Quarter).

Unless otherwise stated by the instructor, incomplete grades in courses within the department are changed to 'NP' (not passed) at the end of the quarter after the one in which the course was given. This one quarter limit is a different constraint from the maximum one-year limit allowed by the University.

Academic performance is reviewed each quarter by a faculty committee. At the beginning of the next quarter, any student not in good academic standing receives a letter from the committee or department chair stating criteria that must be met for the student to return to good academic standing. If the situation is not corrected by the end of the quarter, possible consequences include termination of financial support, termination of departmental privileges, and termination from the University.

Students funded by research grants or fellowships from the department are expected to spend at least half of their time (a minimum of 20 hours per week) on research. Continued funding is contingent upon satisfactory research effort and progress as determined by the student's adviser. After Autumn Quarter of the first year, students receive a letter from the department chair concerning their research performance. If problems are identified and they persist through the second quarter, a warning letter is sent. Problems persisting into a third quarter may lead to loss of departmental support including tuition and stipend. Similar procedures are applied in subsequent years.

A balanced master's degree program including engineering course work and research requires a minimum of one maximum-tuition academic year beyond the baccalaureate to meet the University residence requirements. Most full-time students spend at least one additional summer to complete the research requirement. An alternative master's degree program based only on course work is available, also requiring at least one full tuition academic year to meet University residence requirements.

M.S. students who anticipate continuing in the Ph.D. program should follow the research option. M.S. students receiving financial aid normally require two academic years to complete the degree. Such students must take the research option.

The degree of Engineer requires a comprehensive maximum-tuition, two-year program of graduate study. This degree permits more extensive course work than the master's degree, with an emphasis on professional practice. All Engineer degree students receiving financial aid are limited to a 10-unit course load per quarter and need at least ten quarters of work to complete the degree.

The Ph.D. degree is awarded primarily on the basis of completion of significant, original research. Extensive course work and a minimum of 90 units of graduate work beyond the master's degree are required. Doctoral candidates planning theoretical work are encouraged to gain experimental research experience in the M.S. program. Ph.D. students receiving financial assistance are limited to 10 units per quarter and often require more than three years to complete the Ph.D. beyond the M.S. degree.

In special cases, the M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees may be awarded with field designations for students who follow programs of study in the particular fields of (1) geostatistics, (2) geothermal, or (3) environment. For example, students may be awarded the degree Master of Science in Energy Resources Engineering (Geothermal).

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