Frequently Asked Questions for HCP Applicants

If you have questions about the application process, please consult the
Application FAQ


Program FAQ

What is the average course load for HCP students?
HCP students typically enroll in 1-2 classes (3-6 units) per quarter. Summer quarter enrollment is optional.

How long does it take for HCP students to complete the MS?
HCP students can complete the program (45 units) in 3-5 years.

Do HCP students receive the same MS degree as full-time students?
Yes; HCP students are granted the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities and receive the same degree as full-time students. There is no HCP designation on the diploma or transcript.

May I attend classes on campus, even if they are offered online?
Yes; HCP students may choose the course delivery option that works best for them.

When should I apply?
Applications are accepted for autumn, winter, spring, or summer start. See the HCP Admissions Overview page for the dates when the application will open and close for each quarter.

How much are tuition and fees for the MS program? Is financial assistance available to HCP students?
Tuition and fees are listed on the SCPD website under "Graduate Course Tuition - Master’s Degree Courses." Part-time students who are working full-time are not eligible to receive financial assistance from our department. We encourage you to check with your employer to see if you qualify for tuition reimbursement from your company.

How many Non-Degree Option (NDO) units may count toward the MS degree?
Up to 18 units of coursework taken through NDO may be applied toward the master's degree requirements at Stanford, if the student later applies and is admitted to the Honors Cooperative Program or full-time MS program.

Am I eligible to apply to the MS program if I have already earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at a different institution?
Yes; you are still eligible to apply to our MS program. However, in your application you should clearly articulate your reasons for pursuing another master's degree and how this connects to your future career goals.

What are the minimum GRE score and GPA requirements for admission?
Applicants do not need to meet any minimum grade point average (GPA) or GRE score to secure admission, and we do not release information about average GPAs or GRE scores of admitted students. As a guideline, successful applicants typically score in the 90th percentile or higher on the quantitative section of the GRE and earn undergraduate cumulative GPAs among the top of their class. However, please keep in mind that admission to our graduate programs depends on a combination of factors, and all areas of a student’s application are weighed when applications are reviewed.

Am I eligible to apply if my undergraduate major is not Electrical Engineering?
Yes; students who meet the minimum degree requirements with a strong technical background in engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics are welcome to apply. A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is not strictly required.

Are specific prerequisite courses required for admission?
No; we advise prospective applicants to review the EE Graduate Handbook and the Stanford Course Catalog to evaluate what prerequisites are needed for graduate-level courses in your area(s) of interest.

What is the minimum level of study required of international applicants from an academic institution outside of the U.S.?
Please refer to Stanford Graduate Admissions | International Applicants for eligibility guidelines related to study outside of the U.S.

Will you accept letters of recommendation from industry?
Yes; however, we recommend that you submit no more than one professional reference (academic references are strongly preferred). It is ultimately your decision as to which references will best support your application. Your application will still be reviewed regardless of where your letters of recommendation come from.

What is the process for transferring to the MS program from another institution?
All applicants to the MS program must follow the same application procedure as new applicants. No credits from another institution may be transferred to the MS degree at Stanford.

May I change my status from part-time to full-time study?
Requests to transfer from part-time to full-time are reviewed by the department on a case-by-case basis. Please note the following limitations:

  • Students must complete a minimum of two (2) quarters in the part-time program before transferring to full-time
  • Students can make a maximum of two (2) transfers during the program (e.g. transfer from part-time to full-time and back to part-time)
  • Students may not transfer to full-time status for the last quarter of their degree program

Please submit the Student Transfer Request Form to SCPD. They will route the form to the EE department for approval. You will receive a formal notice from the SCPD office when a decision has been made.


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