Frequently Asked Questions for MS Applicants

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


Program FAQ

  • When is the application deadline? December 7, 2023 11:59 PM PST is the application deadline for Autumn 2024-2025.
  • I will have just earned my bachelor’s degree before starting graduate study at Stanford. Should I apply to the MS or the PhD program? You should apply to the degree program that can fulfill your ultimate degree goal. For example, if obtaining a PhD is your ultimate goal, you should apply directly to the PhD program.
  • Is the MS program a prerequisite for applying to the PhD? No; the MS program leads to a terminal degree. Students who wish to enter the PhD program, including current MS students, must apply through the annual general admissions process.
  • May I apply for a start term other than autumn? No; applications are reviewed on an annual basis for autumn quarter start only.
  • What is the average course load for MS students? MS students typically enroll in 3 classes (8-10 units) per quarter, excluding summer.
  • How long does it take to complete the MS? Typical completion time for the MS program (45 units) is 1.5-2 years for full-time students.
  • How much are tuition and fees for the MS program? Is financial assistance available to MS students? Please see Financial Assistance for MS Students for the answers to your finance-related questions.
  • 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 GPA requirements for admission? Applicants do not need to meet any minimum grade point average (GPA) to secure admission, and we do not release information about the average GPAs of admitted students. As a guideline, successful applicants typically 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.
  • 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.
  • If I am admitted to a EE graduate program, can my admission be deferred? The Department greatly discourages deferral of matriculation dates.  Deferrals are granted only to PhD applicants, and only in exceptional circumstances such as for US military service or visa issues for students arriving from designated countries.  Admitted students wishing to defer admission must send a written request (along with documentation if possible) to Requests will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. MS and Coterm applicants cannot defer admission dates.

Return to Program Overview: