For Advisors

From Undergraduate Engineering Handbook

Jump to: navigation, search


New for 2015-16

  • CS 181/181W Restrictions: The only offerings of CS 181 and 181W this year will be fall quarter; winter and spring quarter have been cancelled. In order to prevent the instructor and (limited number of) TAs from being overwhelmed, we're limiting enrollment to Seniors majoring in CS, Math/Comp Sci (MCS), STS, or Engineering Physics. Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, graduate students, or students majoring in anything other than the above four majors will not be admitted. A course note to this effect has been added to both CS 181 and 181W on Axess.
  • ENGR 31 Not Offered: ENGR 31 will not be offered this year. It is possible that a revamped version of the course will be ready by 2016-17 or the following year. In the meantime, CHEM 31X is recommended as the alternative; many students use AP credit or transfer credit as well.
  • GES Dept is now GS: Geological and Environmental Sciences (GES) courses 1A/B/C have a new course code, GS (Geological Sciences). Only GS 1A will be offered 2015-16, in spring quarter.
  • CS is joining with 10 Humanities major programs to create the CS+X majors. See the CS major program page for detail on the CS side of the program. Essentiall
  • Bioengineering Now a Departmental Major (BIOE-BS): BioE is now a departmental major rather than a School of Engineering subplan major. The degree granted beginning this AY is BIOE-BS, rather than ENGR-BS, BioE.
  • Encourage BOSP Participation: BOSP is trying to bring up the number of SoE students who go abroad. It is now possible for students spending a quarter abroad to take one advanced select ENGR course offered by SCPD. See more detail and a link to the BOSP site on the Overseas Programs page.
  • Encouraged Courses:

-- CME 100 Series: These courses are now accepted even by the MS&E program, which used to prefer the MATH 50 series. Note that both CME 100 is offered twice this year, A&S; CME 102 is offered every quarter, including summer.
-- CME 192 or MATH 51M for MATLAB: Both of these 1-unit courses teach MATLAB for students not taking CME 100. CME192 is a 4-week course offered every quarter; MATH 51M is taught fall quarter.

Not New but Still Useful

The first six chapters of the printed UGHB explain SoE policies and procedures of importance to the student; for example, a list of Frosh/Soph seminars (pg 6-7), the many overseas study opportunities (Chap 3), how to petition (pgs 43-46), SoE policy on use of AP credits (pg 46-47), a new discussion of the options available in math and science courses and sequences (starting on pg 36), and details on each SoE major (Chap 6).

An undergraduate may choose to follow the requirements in any Handbook published from his or her date of entry at Stanford; past editions and Excel forms of program sheets and 4-year plans can also be found on other pages of this site.

If you have any suggestions about the handbook, or about any way we can improve the quality of undergraduate advising, please get in touch with me.

Cordially, Tom Kenny
Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Chapter 11. Information for Advisors

Advising within the School of Engineering varies somewhat depending upon the category of student involved. Engineering advisors are typically assisting graduate students, undergraduates who have declared their major, and undeclared undergraduates who have indicated a preliminary academic interest in engineering. This Handbook deals only with undergraduates.

Advising of undergraduates can occur on many levels. Most of the questions that advisees will bring to you relate to specific requirements for an engineering degree at Stanford. This Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs is meant to serve both you and your advisees as the source of most of the answers to such questions. Further clarifications on curricula can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs in 135 Huang, 723-5984.

There is, of course, no manual to turn to for the most valuable information that you will be able to impart to your advisees, which is based on your knowledge, wisdom, and personal experiences. The individual counseling of your students on matters of personal concern to them is probably the most valuable function that you will perform.

At times, you may feel the need to refer the student to any of a variety of support services offered by the School and University, including: Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Engineering Diversity Programs (135 Huang), the Career Development Center (CDC), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Vaden Health Center, the Bechtel International Center, the University Ombudsperson, and the Dean of Students. Undergraduate Advising and Research also provides resources and general information at

Advisors are strongly encouraged to make themselves available on a regular basis to their advisees, but in particular it is essential that each advisor schedule a liberal number of office hours during registration periods. During these registration periods, students frequently need to be able to stop by to obtain necessary signatures and advice. Your indulgence in these sometimes-unscheduled visits is greatly appreciated by the students as they go about their rush of activities.

To advise pre-major students, Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) assigns each new freshman and transfer student a Pre-Major Advisor and an Academic Director. Pre-Major Advisors are Stanford faculty and staff who volunteer to advise up to six incoming freshmen from the time they arrive at Stanford until the time they declare their major (typically during the

sophomore year). UAR asks only that Pre-Major Advisors do what they already do best as scholars, teachers, and/or higher education administrators: inspire students to embrace the next four years of their life with the full depth of their curiosity. Although Pre-Major Advisors are encouraged to engage a student across his or her full range of interests, they are not required to know the specifics of majors that lie well outside of their own expertise. In such instances, Pre-Major Advisors may either consult with the student’s Academic Director or refer the student directly to the Academic Director.

The Academic Director serves as UAR’s representative in every residence that houses undergraduate students. To accomplish such far-reaching support, nearly all Academic Directors serve multiple residences, with an office located in a residence that is geographically proximate to the residences they serve. Each Academic Director can advise on Stanford’s undergraduate curriculum, research and public service opportunities, academic rules and regulations, and other campus resources. Academic Directors are available five days per week to discuss logistics, course selection, majors, units, overseas studies, transfer credit, and academic standing with undergraduate students.

UAR also has Academic Advisors for Student-Athletes who work specifically with student athletes, particularly regarding the strict NCAA compliance guidelines to which all student athletes must adhere. UAR Advisors in Sweet Hall provide general advising for all class years and special advising for pre-professional planning such as the health professions (e.g., medicine) and law.

Major Advising in Engineering: For advisees who declare your department as their major, one of your principal administrative responsibilities is the approval of their Program Sheet. This document is usually submitted twice, once when they declare and again during their senior year as they prepare to graduate. You must certify that their course work meets the degree requirements established by your own department and by the School of Engineering. As mentioned in this Handbook, deviations within the category of Engineering Depth must be approved by a student's advisor – including approval of courses transferred from another institution. Your approval of such variances is indicated by initialing and dating the entry on the Program Sheet.

Checklist for Advising Undergraduate Engineering Students

• Review Program Sheet (PS), ensuring it includes required courses and units as stated in UGHB PS samples (given in Chapter 5, Program Descriptions and Requirements for Engineering Majors; a student may use a Program Sheet from any year they are enrolled at Stanford)
• Inform student of how and when to use the Petition process (to deviate from Depth or SoE requirements; to transfer course credit for units taken outside of Stanford – see UGHB, Chapter 4 for details)
• Advise student that they must come back for a final review of their PS and to obtain an advisor (and in some cases departmental) signature two quarters before they expect to graduate.

Review Program Sheet, looking for the following:

• Check that all required Depth courses have been taken OR will be taken Senior year OR the student has deviation/transfer petitions approved by the advisor/department in their file
• Check that minimum unit totals required by the department, as stated on their chosen Program Sheet, have been met for Math, Science, TIS, WIM, Fundamentals, and Depth.
• If you have a Math/Sci/Fund/TIS class that you require for your major, please check progress toward completion since students rarely come into OSA to check their progress unless specifically petitioning to transfer credit or deviate. Example: An ME student should be told s/he has not fulfilled their TIS requirement for ME unless the STS or other course they have chosen is one approved specifically for ME majors (see Chapter 3, Fig. 3-3). This select list is specific to the ME major and should be drawn to the attention of the student by the department.
• Check that an approved Writing in the Major (WIM) course has been/will be completed (see Program Sheet footnotes for appropriate course[s])
• ABET-accredited majors: Make sure that the advisee will meet the required 68 units of Engineering depth, not including writing or professional courses (see 2011-12 program sheet footnotes for details)
• Please DO NOT sign a Program Sheet without ensuring that all Depth and ABET requirements have or will be met by the student’s final quarter.

Personal tools