Our research-intensive program cultivates the next generation of leaders in industry and academia. You will discover, explore, and innovate alongside faculty, fellow students, and researchers who are leaders in their disciplines.
As a PhD student, you are expected to participate as a full-time student. Once admitted to candidacy you have five years to complete the degree (some exceptions may be granted). You may elect to complete an MS degree as a milestone towards PhD completion, but it is not required.
Earning your doctoral degree requires profound dedication. Stanford's program aims to develop and prepare you for a lifetime of innovative discovery and dissemination, with the goal of improving society and positively impacting the world. There are many resources to assist you during your time at Stanford.
You were initially assigned a faculty program advisor, based on the interests you indicated in your application to the PhD program. By the end of your second year, you need to find a faculty dissertation advisor to supervise your research and provide funding (unless you receive an outside fellowship) until you graduate.
See the EE Graduate Handbook for complete rules on who may serve as a dissertation advisor (and who is not allowed to do so).
Staying on Track: Meeting Degree Milestones
As you begin your doctoral work, it is imperative that you keep yourself informed of timelines and degree requirements. For each doctoral program at Stanford, there is an approved course of study that meets both University and department requirements.
Year 1, EE PhD Milestone
• Take Quals
Year 2, EE PhD Milestone
• Retake quals if necessary
• Advance to candidacy
• Courses as noted above
Year 3, EE PhD Milestone
• Find third reader; finalize reading committee.
Year 4, EE PhD Milestone
• Oral exam (defend dissertation)
Year 5, EE PhD Milestone
• Complete dissertation writing; submit dissertation to registrar
Beyond Year 5