2011-12 Chapter Four

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[edit] 4. Policies and Procedures

[edit] Policy on Academic Performance

The Undergraduate Council of the School of Engineering has established the following standards of academic performance for all engineering majors.

[edit] Credit/No Credit Option

All courses taken in fulfillment of the requirements for an engineering major must be taken for a letter grade if the instructor offers that option.

[edit] Grade Point Average

Engineering majors must achieve a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.00 for all courses taken in fulfillment of the Engineering Fundamentals and Engineering Depth requirements. A student’s GPA is a weighted average of numerical grade points. The calculation is based on a 4-point system, with + and – modifiers counting as 1/3 of a grade point (e.g., a C+ is counted as 2.33). The grade for each course taken to satisfy the Engineering Fundamentals and Engineering Depth requirements is weighted by the unit value of the course and an average is then obtained. Thus, courses in which a grade higher than a C is earned offset courses in which less than a C is earned. Details of the University GPA calculation can be found at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/registrar/academic/grades.html#GPA'.' The GPA calculation does not include courses taken to satisfy the Math, Science, or Technology in Society requirements. 

[edit] Deviation Petitions and Substitutions

Students have the right to petition for deviations from curricular requirements. If the action requested involves a requirement imposed by the University itself, such as the General Education or Foreign Language Requirements, the petition process is handled through the Student Services Center, located in the 2nd floor of Tresidder Union or online at studentservicescenter.stanford.edu.

Departmental Depth: If the petition involves a Departmental Depth requirement, the major department handles the request. Each department has its own procedures, and the student is advised to consult with his or her student services staff within the major department for guidance (see the list of room numbers on the inside front cover of this Handbook), and then with the advisor. A deviation from an Engineering Depth requirement must be initialed and dated in ink by the advisor on the student’s final Program Sheet that is submitted before graduation.

Math, Science, Technology in Society, or Engineering Fundamentals: If the action requested involves one of the School of Engineering requirements, the student must submit a Program Deviation petition to the Office of Student Affairs in 135 Huang. The petition must be submitted on the School’s official petition form, a copy of which is in the “Forms” section of this Handbook, and which may also be downloaded from the UGHB website on the Petitions page<span class="HBweb-emailaddr" /> of this site. The petition must be signed by your departmental student services contact and advisor, and accompanied by an up-to-date copy of your Program Sheet, preferably the one on file with your department. Completed SoE petitions should be submitted to Darlene Lazar in the Office of Student Affairs, 135 Huang.

Submit petitions to transfer credit, to make course substitutions, or to alter graduation requirements as early as you know a petition will be necessary, preferably at least two quarters prior to your expected date of graduation, or two weeks prior to the add/drop deadline of your final quarter at latest. This will allow you time to make arrangements to take the original course or to petition for another course if your petition is denied.

[edit] Transfer Credit

Many students elect to take some of their coursework at another institution. In addition, each year a small number of engineering students enter Stanford after completing one or two years at another institution. In either case, these transfer credits are subject to the guidelines below.

Step One: Registrar’s Office

All units of transfer credit that are to be applied toward the University graduation requirement of 180 units must be approved by the Registrar’s Office. Students must petition the University for approval; go to http://www.stanford.edu/dept/registrar/students/academics/xfer_credit.htm for instructions. Transfer courses may satisfy general University requirements or School of Engineering requirements. Such credits require specific, case-by-case approval. Those credits that meet general University requirements will be so noted in a letter from the Registrar’s Office to the student when the units are transferred to Stanford. Only courses graded “C” or above are transferable. To receive credit for courses used for your engineering major, go to Step Two after completing Step One.

Step Two: Petition to SoE Dean’s Office (SoE Requirements) OR to Department (Depth)

Transfer credits that you want to use to meet engineering requirements must have School of Engineering approval prior to your final quarter. University approval is necessary, but not sufficient. You must petition to transfer credit(s) in the areas of:

  • Math, Science, Technology in Society and Engineering Fundamentals (SoE requirements)

These courses require approval by the SoE Dean’s Office. Submit your petition and accompanying documents (see list below) in 135 Huang.

  • Depth

Depth coursework requires approval by your major or departmental advisor. Departments have considerable latitude in deciding whether to approve transfer requests. Departments may require that certain courses be taken at Stanford and may establish limits on the total number of transfer courses. For example, transfer students in Computer Science and Computer Systems Engineering may apply only three courses of transfer credit toward their depth requirements.

Petition Forms and Documents: To have transfer credits evaluated for use in your major, take the following forms and documents to either the Dean’s office (SoE requirements) or the departmental advisor (depth courses):

  • A completed Petition of Transfer Credit form, found in the “Forms” section of this handbook or on the web at http://ughb.stanford.edu (this Web form may be downloaded and filled out electronically). Indicate on the form which Stanford course or courses are considered equivalent; if the equivalence is uncertain, a faculty member from the field in question should be consulted. Include all courses, grades, and units taken for your major.
  • Your current Program Sheet (the original on file with your major department, if you have already declared). The course you want to transfer should be listed on your Program Sheet by its equivalent Stanford course number, followed by its title, followed by the course number at the other school, followed by a check mark in the Transfer column.
  • A catalog description of the course from the other institution.
  • Unofficial copy of your SU transcript from Axess
  • Request that the Student Services Center forward a copy of your transcript from the other institution to either your department or to the SoE Dean’s office, depending on the course(s) being petitioned. The transcript must come to your department or the Dean’s office from the SU Registrar’s Office, not directly from the school where you took the course. This indicates to the SoE that the University has already accepted the credit, an essential first step in receiving credit for your major.

The results of your SoE petition will be emailed to you and the original petition documents mailed to your major department. The department will notify you of Depth petition results. Approval of transfer credits is indicated by the appropriate initials and date on your Program Sheet in the Transfer/AP Approval column.

While the Office of Student Affairs and the student’s Major Advisor evaluate transfer credit requests on a case-by-case basis, the following general guidelines apply:

  • Transfer courses should be substantially equivalent to those offered at Stanford.
  • The number of units transferred for a given course is usually equal to the number of units taken at the other institution, adjusted for different unit values at the two schools. For example, a 3-unit course at a semester-based school will usually transfer as 4.5 units in Stanford’s quarter system.

Transfer Students: All engineering transfer students should arrange to see the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in 135 Huangduring their first year at Stanford for an evaluation of transfer credits toward School of Engineering requirements.

[edit] Advanced Placement Credits

Advanced Placement (AP) credits apply toward both the university 180-unit requirement and the School of Engineering requirements in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science (see approval process below). AP credits in mathematics are applied only if the parallel Stanford courses are skipped. Thus, a student cannot receive 10 units of AP mathematics credit and then enroll in MATH 41; to apply these AP units at Stanford, the first mathematics course taken must be beyond the MATH 40 series, typically MATH 51 or CME 100. AP credits in Chemistry and Physics are accepted as satisfying the School of Engineering Science requirement, though some departments prefer that you retake certain courses at Stanford (e.g., Environmental Engineering majors are encouraged to take CHEM 31X and forfeit their AP Chemistry credit). Note that AP Physics C counts toward the Physics 40 series, whereas AP Physics B applies only to the non-calculus-based Physics 20 series. AP Biology credits are not accepted for students entering Stanford after 2003-04 and AP Statistics credits are not accepted for students entering after 2004-05. See the Stanford Bulletin for further details on AP policy. 

To receive approval for math and science AP credits, take your Program Sheet and a copy of your unofficial SU transcript to 135 Huang. Approval of Advanced Placement is indicated by the appropriate initials and date on the Program Sheet (bring in your current PS on file in your major department, not a copy) in the Transfer/AP Approval column. The initials “AP” should be entered in the title column, followed by the number of units in the Total Units column.

[edit] Graduation Procedures

Four separate approvals are needed to certify completion of all requirements for conferral of the bachelor’s degree:

Requirement Approver


Depth courses in your major program (listed on the second page of your Program Sheet)

Go to major department Student Services for review of your PS. Most require an advisor and departmental signature; inquire well before final quarter course sign-ups so corrections to your program can be made, if needed.*


Writing, Language, GERs (completion of University requirements)

Information available on Axess, or consult with your advisor or the Student Services Center


School of Engineering/department requirements (Math, Science, TIS, Fundamentals) to complete major program

Your department will forward your major file to the Dean’s office in 135 Huang for final approval of your Engineering program


Completion of University-required units and final approval for degree conferral

Stanford University Senate

*Student must initiate this review and signature process early in their senior year.

Students nearing the completion of their degree programs must do the following to assure that they graduate on time:

 1.       School of Engineering Program SheetAn up-to-date, completed, and recently signed program sheet form must be in your departmental academic file before the deadline to apply to graduate of your final quarter. Program sheets for each department are available from the Program Sheets page on this site. Students in most majors are required to obtain signatures from their advisor, student services contact, and in some cases, departmental chair, indicating that their major program is complete and approved. Review your final program sheet with your student services contact at least two quarters in advance of your final quarter in order to allow time to correct errors in your program and file any necessary petitions.

a)       Any transfer courses used for SoE requirements or deviations from the major plan must be clearly indicated on the program sheet, with the appropriate approvals by the advisor or Dean’s office in ink in the given spaces. (The transfer credit process is described in detail earlier in this section under the heading “Transfer Credit.”)

b)       Deviations from a previously approved program must be evaluated and re-approved by your department (your Student Services contact) AND by your advisor. Deviations in the Math, Science, Technology in Society, and Engineering Fundamental areas need to be petitioned for approval by the Dean’s Office in 135 Huang after first obtaining departmental approval. Petition forms are on the Petitions page<span class="0506bodyfontChar" />. Deviations in Engineering Depth need be approved only by the student’s department and advisor. Approval of a deviation is indicated by the appropriate signature/initials and date in ink on the final Program Sheet. In other words, if the student’s program has deviated in any way from what is on the signed Program Sheet, the change must be approved and the PS signed again prior to the student’s filing to graduate.

c)       The program sheet must list all courses taken for the major, including those in which the student is currently enrolled. The student should delete any courses not taken from the sample program given, and fill in grades and units for every course. Grades in courses taken the quarter of graduation will be added to the program sheet by the Dean’s office staff as they become available at the end of Finals Week.

d)       If you are a Co-term student, you must check your undergraduate transcript on Axess to ensure that any course needed for your BS degree appears there.

2.        At the appropriate time as listed in the University Calendar, an Intent to Graduate application should be filed through Axess.

3.        Status for completion of the University’s Writing, GER, and Foreign Language requirements should be verified through Axess. Completion of the Engineering Requirements will be verified by the SoE Dean’s office in 135 Huang.

Chapter Five 

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