EE Student Information

EE Department COVID-19 FAQs

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Electrical Engineering Student Services

Meo Kittiwanich, Director of Student and Academic Services -

LaToya Powell, Graduate Admissions Officer lapowell@stanford.eduMarisa Cheng, Course and Curriculum Coordination
 Rachel Pham, Degree Progress Officer 


How has this / will this affect the incoming cohort (e.g., virtual visit days), and what can current PhD students do to help?
Admitted students are encouraged to connect with students in the labs and their top research areas. Lab members are listed on faculty research websites.

Research sites are linked to the faculty name listed in their research area(s). EE Research at Stanford: Core Areas and Interdisciplinary research.


Is it OK to go back home to my non-US country during the quarantine period and work from there?
The university recommends that international travel be avoided if possible due to various research complexities, visas, etc., some restrictions could occur. Also, we do not know how the COVID-19 pandemic may change, thus it may be difficult to return to campus if you are abroad. If possible, try to stay in the area. If international travel is unavoidable, please visit the Bechel International Center for more guidance at

I'm an international MS student; the program requirement is to complete degree within 2 years. Can this be extended?
Possibly. Connect with Degree Progress Officer to explore options: Rachel Pham


The University announced the new policy decision on Satisfactory / No Credit (S/NC) for all Spring Quarter 19-20 courses. Will this still count toward my EE degree?
Yes. All allowable courses taken for Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) during Spring 19-20 will fulfill degree requirements. We all need to remain flexible, as directives may (will) change. If there's something you're not sure about in a previous quarter, please contact us and let us know.

The EE Department announced the new EE COVID-19 grading policy decision on Satisfactory / No Credit (S/NC) for all courses taken from Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21. Will this still count toward my EE degree?

Students will be able to take courses with Satisfactory/Credit (S/CR) grades to count toward the EE degree requirements for all degree programs including undergraduate and graduate programs with the exception of the EE-BS Honors Program, EE-BS Minor, EE-PhD Minor, and NDO program. This policy is valid for all six quarters from Spring Quarter 2019-2020 to Summer Quarter 2020-2021. For the EE-BS Honors Program, EE-BS Minor, EE-PhD Minor, and NDO program, students must take courses for a letter grade with the except of courses taken in Spring 19-20. Please see below for details:

   EE-BS students: Allowable courses taken for S/NC from Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21 will count toward the EE-BS requirements. This includes engineering fundamentals and elective units. If courses are taken from an approved disciplinary area list, no petitions are needed. If you are trying to count a course towards your degree that is not on an approved disciplinary list, you will need to submit a department deviation petition to count the course. The department deviation petition form can be found here:

   Students may waive up to three out of the 60 units of engineering topics. This exception is only applied to students who graduated in Spring 19-20 and in Summer 19-20. No petition needed. Students graduating in Autumn 20-21 and forward must complete all 60 units of engneering topics.

   EE-BS Honors Program students: Except for courses taken in Spring 19-20, all courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the EE BS Honors Program. There is no EE COVID-19 exception for the EE-BSH program for AY 20-21. Please refer the EE Undergraduate Honors Program requirements HERE.

   EE-BS Minor students: Except for courses taken in Spring 19-20, all courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the EE BS Minor. The requirements have not changed. More information on the EE BS Minor requirements can be found here:

   EE-MS students: Courses taken for S/NC from Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21 will count toward depth and breadth requirement as long as they are on the approved depth/breadth lists as listed in the EE Graduate Handbook: If you are trying to count a course that is not on the approved depth/breadth lists, you will need to submit an EE MS Deviation petition:

   Eligible technical courses taken in Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21 for S/NC will count toward the EE MS requirements.

   EE-PhD students: Courses taken for S/NC in Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21 will count toward the 21 units of letter-graded coursework required for the EE PhD as described in the EE Graduate Handbook:

   EE-PhD Minor students: Except for courses taken in Spring 19-20, all courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the EE-PhD Minor. More more information on the PhD Minor requirements can be found here:

   EE NDO students: Except for courses taken in Spring 19-20, all courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the NDO program. More information on the NDO program can be found here

Can we still schedule the PhD defense via Zoom?
The university extended the policy that oral defense exams may be conducted via Zoom through Autumn 20-21. Please send your oral exam form and defense abstract to Rachel Pham at Please view the Zoom oral exam guidelines at

Can I get an extension on completing the qualifying exams?
Students have the option to defer the candidacy process (e.g., qualifying exams) to Autumn Quarter 2020-21 without penalty. Contact Rachel Pham to request the extension.

Please see Zoom Qualifying Exam Guidelines for directions:

The Application for the Qualifying Examination form is on the PhD Qualifying Exam page.

What is the procedure for qualifying exams via Zoom?
The qualifying exams will be held via Zoom through Summer Quarter 20-21. Please see Zoom Qualifying Exam Guidelines for directions:

I'm currently a 2nd year EE PhD student. Instead of advancing to candidacy by the end of Spring 19-20, will there be an extension to advance to candidacy?
The Department of Electrical Engineering has decided to delay candidacy decisions through the end of Autumn Quarter 2020-21 by petition. Students must contact the Associate Chair of Graduate Education and cc the Degree Progress Officer.

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Are there any anticipated impacts on PhD student funding, and, if so, how do we plan to deal with them?
We don't know whether there will be impacts in the long term. For now, we expect support to continue as is; no student funding changes are expected.

Many summer internships have been cancelled. Can the department guarantee summer quarter funding for all PhD students during these difficult times?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee support over the summer. Please talk to your advisor about possible summer funding.

Does EE department plan to reimburse cost of noise cancelling headphones for PhD students?
No, the department does not plan to cover the cost of headphones. Your lab research group may pay for them and they will be property of Stanford. The allowable amount is $180. If the headphone you want to purchase is more than $180, then you pay the full amount. There's no partial ownership--if lab pays, lab owns it. If you pay, you own it.

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Undergraduate students earning a Bachelor's Degree / EE BS: 
Turn in your program sheet. Program sheets are linked in the UGHB; Include any deviations; if you are taking course as S/NC, then no petition is needed, please list the S/NC course(s) on your program sheet. Email signed program sheet to Rachel Pham

EE-BS Action Items to Graduate:

  1. Get your AP Credit Approved:
  2. Submit any SoE or department deviation petitions (if necessary). This is only needed if you are trying to count a course that is not on the approved disciplinary lists. The petition form is at
  3. You do not need petition(s) to count S/NC grades taken from Spring 19-20 to Summer 20-21.
  4. Email your final program sheet with the advisor signature to Rachel Pham Program sheets are linked in the UGHB.
  5. Apply to graduate in Axess.

Graduate students earning a Master's Degree / EE MS:

EE-MS Action Items to Graduate:

  1. Submit your final EE MS proposal and list S/NC where applicable: Follow up with your advisor to review/approve the form.
  2. Apply to graduate in Axess.

Will EE celebrate commencement?
We will hold an in-person ceremony for the 2020 graduates when it is safe to do so. More information will be announced when details are finalized.


How will research transition online?
This depends on the group, but even for hardware oriented groups there are often simulation or analysis projects that can be done remotely
All remote systems are online. Contact for assistance.

If labs stay closed for summer, is it possible to borrow equipment to take home?
Yes, however, it really depends on what equipment you want to borrow. Talk to Kenny Green. Email him at

Should I plan to defend without my final datasets? What about datasets for conferences?
Connect and coordinate with your advisor. 

What is the department's current prediction for when students will be allowed back in the research labs?
No predictions to get back into the physical labs. We do understand and acknowledge some students are just a few experiments away from finishing their research; please connect with us to figure out next steps.

How will labs and, more specifically, lab64 work during spring quarter?
Steve Clark is planning on remote activities such as the PCB design workshop. Lab64 itself will be closed to physical access.

We are offering a couple workshops. Activities around the lab (virtually). Regarding access to the 3d printer and laser cutter: equipment will have NO ACCESS, until we can reopen our labs.

TFship / CAship (Teaching Fellowship / Course Assistantship):

Can I hold a Course Assistantship if I am outside of the U.S. for Autumn 20-21?

If the EE department has offered you a CAship or TFship and you are an EE graduate student that will be outside of the U.S. for autumn quarter, please contact Meo Kittiwanich,

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Can the department publish a list of which courses will still be offered this spring in the online format and include whether any major changes have had to be made to course content because of the switch to online?
Yes, it is COVID-19-EE-Course-Updates. Most courses will still be offered. Lab courses like 101B and 109 will use simulations instead of hardware labs

What classes were moved from Spring to Autumn?
EE17N, EE21N, EE64SI, EE76, EE292N, EE373A, EE392B.

Updated EE course list, COVID-19: List of cancelled / changed classes:

A few Spring Quarter courses have been cancelled; some changed to accommodate virtual learning. It is important to understand changes will not affect students in a bad way.

Will classes that are normally offered only in the Spring be offered in the Autumn as well, so that students who choose to take a leave of absence do not fall behind with classes offered in sequence?
Please contact us if you need this, so we can work out an alternative. There are several options depending on your interests, and how many students are involved.


Can we enter Packard?
If you must enter Packard or Allen, email Mary K. and Kenny Green to coordinate. It is likely that the buildings will be locked soon, without keycard access.

How do I get my FedEx, UPS, Amazon, or other package? Are packages being held at shipment facility?
Use your tracking number to contact the carrier and have package re-routed to your home. You must arrange delivery with the carrier. NO hazardous materials should be ordered and/or shipped to a residence.

Are you going to keep power to Allen and Packard Buildings?
Yes, power will remain on to all buildings. Heating and cooling may be minimized during this time; Building power will remain on. 


How is the department supporting community while many are working remotely? (virtual events, get togethers, etc. -- organize a few if there's interest)
Most would happen through your research groups. As a department we are still exploring ideas and we are also welcome to them. As far as support, our department staff and student services staff are available to meet via zoom.

Your event can also be shared on EE's calendar-- send it to:

We encourage you to check in with your lab group, friends, family, and neighbors.

How does the department plan to communicate with students?
We know inboxes can get overwhelming. EE shares news, events, and academic updates on our website. We also communicate with you via student email lists. Please make time in your day to check these updates.  

Please reach out to student services, your advisor, the department if there's something we can help with. We will do absolutely whatever we can to help. Stay connected with your lab mates and course mates. 

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