skip to content

Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering

The M.S. degree programs require a minimum of 45 units beyond the equivalent of a B.S. degree at Stanford. All programs represent substantial progress in the major field beyond the bachelor's degree.

University requirements for the master's degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

The M.S. program in Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) prepares individuals for a lifelong career addressing critical technical and managerial needs in private and public decision making. Department requirements for the M.S. degree provide breadth across some of the areas of the department, and flexibility for meeting individual objectives of depth in a particular area of concentration. The master's degree may be a terminal degree program with a professional focus, or a preparation for a more advanced graduate program. The M.S. degree can normally be earned in one academic year (three academic quarters) of full-time work, although students may choose to continue their education by taking additional MS&E courses beyond that year. Background requirements, taken in addition to degree requirements, must be met by students who have had insufficient course work in mathematical sciences, computer science, engineering and/or natural sciences.

Students must take a minimum of 45 course units as follows:

  1. At least five core courses
  2. At least three other courses in an area of concentration of their choice
  3. A course in probability, unless a college-level course in probability has already been passed
  4. A project course requirement
  5. The remaining units in elective courses.

Background Requirements—Students must have had or must take the following (or equivalent) courses before the M.S. degree is conferred: MATH 41, 42, 51, Calculus, 15 units; CS 106A, Programming Methodology, 5 units, and an additional 15 units of engineering, mathematical sciences, or natural sciences. These courses do not count toward the 45 units of the M.S. degree. Courses taken to meet MS&E background requirements may be at either the undergraduate or graduate level, and may be taken as credit/no credit. These additional background requirements would typically be met by students who have a bachelor's degree in engineering, or mathematical or natural sciences.

Core (Depth) Courses—M.S. students must take at least five courses out of the following eleven options:

Students may not waive core courses. They may, however, petition to substitute an approved, more advanced MS&E course in the same area. Courses used to satisfy the core requirement must be taken for a letter grade, must be taken for a minimum of three units each, and may not also be used to satisfy the concentration requirement.

Courses in an Area of Concentration (Breadth)—Students must complete a departmentally approved set of three or more letter-graded courses taken for a minimum of three units each, in an area of concentration of one of the following types:

  1. An area of concentration in the MS&E department
  2. An area of concentration in one of the seven other departments of the School of Engineering
  3. In exceptional cases, a coherent area of concentration designed by the student. Petitions for student-designed concentrations must list the three proposed courses (taken for three units or more and at the 200-level or above) and include a brief justification. The petition must be submitted to student services no later than the fifth week of the quarter prior to graduation.

Project Course Requirement—Students must take either a designated project course or two designated integrated project courses. The project course(s) must be taken for a letter grade, must be taken for a minimum of three units, and may also be used to satisfy the core or concentration requirement.

Additional requirements are:

  1. At least 45 units must be in courses numbered 100 and above.
  2. At least 27 units must be in courses numbered 200 and above in MS&E, taken for a letter grade and a minimum of two units each, and at least 36 letter-graded units must be in MS&E or closely related fields. Closely related fields include any department in the School of Engineering, mathematics, statistics, economics, sociology, psychology, or business.
  3. The degree program must be completed with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  4. A maximum of three units of language courses (numbered 100 and above).
  5. A maximum of three units of 1-unit courses such as seminars, colloquia, workshops, in any department, and a maximum of one unit of MS&E 208A, B, or C, Curricular Practical Training.
  6. A maximum of 18 non-degree option (NDO) units through the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD).
  7. Courses in athletics may not be applied toward the degree.

See the student services office or department web site for complete listing of project, integrated project, and approved concentrations.


The Energy and Environment M.S. track is designed for students interested in energy and environmental issues from the perspectives of public policy, nongovernmental organizations, or corporations. This track includes: core courses that provide the conceptual background in economics, decisions, strategy, investment, and organizational behavior; courses in energy resources, natural resource economics, and energy/environmental policy analysis; and an individually designed concentration emphasizing policy, strategy, and/or technology. Seminars provide insights into current corporate strategy, public policy, and research community developments. Energy/environmental project courses give practice in applying methodologies and concepts. Students can complete the program in one year or may extend the program up to two years, taking additional courses for greater depth and breadth. For additional information, see


The dual degree program enables a small group of graduate students to obtain two master's degrees simultaneously. Students complete the course requirements for each department. A total of 90 units is required to complete the dual master's degree.

Admission—For the dual degree, admission to two departments is required, but is coordinated by designated members of both admissions committees who make recommendations to the committees of their respective departments. Students may apply to only one department initially. After the first quarter at Stanford, students may apply to be admitted to the second department.

Advising—Every student in the dual degree program has one adviser in each department.

© Stanford University - Office of the Registrar. Archive of the Stanford Bulletin 2011-12. Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints