For Advisors

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New for 2014-15

  • New Major: Environmental Systems Engineering, offered by the CEE department with tracks in Coastal, Freshwater, or Urban Environments. see the Major Program page for a link to requirements and detail.
  • New Pre- and Corequsites for PHYSICS 40 Series: The Physics dept hopes to make the students taking these courses more successful than in the past. See the UGHB page 7 for a summary of changes.
  • New ENGR Fundamental ENGR 40M, Making Stuff: What is EE, will be offred both Aut and Spr quarters with no enrolllment cap. E40 and E40A are offered only Winter quarter this year.
  • The Management Science & Engineering department has made major changes to their program this year, changing the required math courses, reducing the number of Science units needed, and consolidating Depth Concentration options. Details may be found on the MS&E Major Program page; the new program sheet and 4-year plans are also available on this website.
  • 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. Essentially, students must complete the entire CS track requirements minus two electives, plus all requirements for the Humanities major they choose from the 10 options, also minus a couple of electives. There is a senior capstone project that will synthesize elements of both programs.
  • 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 new 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.
-- ENGR 31 is a great alternative to CHEM 31X: Preference is to frosh and sophs, providing chemistry preparation that is equivalent in rigor and scope to CHEM 31X, but emphasizing applications of chemistry in nanotechnology that will interest prospective engineers (will not satisfy pre-med requirements).

Not New but Still Useful

The Handbook is a comprehensive and useful reference tool for advising interested undergraduates about the academic programs within the School of Engineering. Chapter 11 (or see below) contains guidelines on advising students.

The first five chapters explain SoE policies and procedures of importance to the student; for example, a list of Frosh/Soph seminars (pg 4), the purpose of the Program Sheet (pgs 27-28), graduation requirements (pg 25), how to petition (pgs 21-24), SoE policy on use of AP credits (pg 24), approved courses in math and science (pgs 16-20), and details on each SoE major (Chap 5)

An undergraduate may choose to follow the requirements in any Handbook published from his or her date of entry at Stanford, so it's a good idea to keep back issues of the Handbook. The Office of Student Affairs (135 Huang) keeps a complete set; past editions can be found on the Handbooks page of this site.

The SoE Advisee Meal Program is no longer being funded.

If you have any suggestions about the handbook, or about possible improvements in the quality of undergraduate advising, please get in touch with me.

Brad Osgood
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.

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