The profession of electrical engineering demands a strong foundation in physical science and mathematics, a broad knowledge of engineering techniques, and an understanding of the relation between technology and society. Curricula at Stanford are planned to offer the breadth of education and depth of training necessary for leadership in the profession. To engage in this profession with competence, four years of undergraduate study and at least one year of postgraduate study are recommended. For those who plan to work in highly technical development or fundamental research, additional graduate study is desirable.
Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. degree is designed to prepare students for careers in research and teaching at the university level. The Ph.D. degree is offered exclusively as a full-time program, consisting of 135 units. The candidacy for the Ph.D. program is 5 years. Exceptions may be granted for candidacy extensions up to one year.
Students in the Ph.D. program must complete the following in order to meet the requirements of the program: (1) a qualifying examination given by the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering; (2) an approved program of study in Electrical Engineering and allied subjects; (3) an approved topic of research and a written dissertation, based on research, which must be a significant contribution to knowledge; (4) and an oral examination that is a defense of dissertation research and is taken near the completion of the doctoral program.
Master's of Science
The Master's degree program provides advanced preparation for professional practice or for teaching at the junior college level. The Master's degree is offered as a full-time and part-time program, and consists of 45 units. The average length of time it takes students to complete the full-time program is 1.5 to 3 years. Students in the full-time program must complete the degree within 3 years. The average length of time it takes students to complete the part-time program is 3 to 5 years. Students in the part-time program must complete the degree within 5 years. It may also serve as the first step in graduate work leading to the degree of Engineer or Ph.D. The department does not prescribe specific courses to be taken but it does provide guidelines for acceptable programs. Each student, with the help of a faculty advisor, prepares an individual program of study and submits it to the Graduate Degree Progress Committee for approval. There is no thesis requirement for the Master's of Science degree. The Master's degree is offered as a full-time and a part-time program.
Degree of Engineer
The Engineer's degree differs from the Ph.D. in that it prepares students for professional engineering work rather than theoretical research. The Engineer's degree is offeras as a full-time and part-time program, and consists of 90 units. The average length of time it takes students to complete the full-time program is 1.5 to 3 years. Students in the full-time and part-time program must complete the degree within 5 years. Work toward the degree of Engineer normally includes the same requirements as the Master's degree in Electrical Engineering with an additional year allowing time for either a broader or a more concentrated program. The equivalent of approximately one-quarter is devoted to independent study and thesis work with faculty guidance. The thesis is often in the form of a professional report on the solution of a design problem. The Engineers's degree is offered as a full-time and a part-time program.
Students can choose to study within the following areas of specialization:
Integrated Electronic Systems Technology
MEMS, Sensors, Actuators
Information Theory and Coding
Control & Optimization