For Advisors

From Undergraduate Engineering Handbook

Revision as of 11:07, 3 November 2010 by Dlazar (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Note: The School of Engineering Advisee Meal Program has been discontinued due to budget cuts.


Letter to SoE Advisors -- September 2010

2010-11 Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs (

Printed Handbooks*: In addition to supplying hardcopies of the UGHB to advisors and SoE student services staff, we are printing enough handbooks this year so that declaring students in the School of Engineering will be able to receive a copy, if they like. Other prospective and current SoE students can continue to find all versions of the Handbook online in pdf format, along with 4-year plans and Excel and pdf versions of the program sheets for all majors. (The more interactive Mediawiki form that we hoped would go live last year is still in the works. Now LIVE!)

New for 2010-2011

Honors Programs in School of Engineering Majors
Last spring, the UG Council and SU Senate approved an honors degree option for School of Engineering majors (ENGR-BSH). Some of the SoE engineering subplan majors (Architectural Design, Biomechanical Engineering, Biomedical Computation, Computer Systems Engineering, and Engineering Physics) have developed honors program criteria; see Chapter 6 (page 319 of 2010-11 version) for details on all offered honors programs.

Engineering Center has moved: Terman is coming down (winter 2011) and Student Affairs has moved to the Huang Engineering Center, suite 135.

Energy Fundamentals in CHEME and MATSCI
Two new courses focusing on energy have been added to the list of ENGR Fundamentals:
ENGR 25E (same as CHEMENG 25E): Energy: Chemical Transformations for Production, Storage, and Use (W), 3 units, Bent, S., Robertson, C.
ENGR 50E: Introduction to Materials Science, Energy Emphasis (W), 4 units, Melosh, N.

Other Highlights

Advising for Prospective and Current UG Engineers: The Handbook is a comprehensive and useful reference tool for advising interested undergraduates about the academic programs within the School of Engineering. Chapter 11 (p. 373 or see below) contains guidelines on advising students.

The first five chapters explain SoE policies and procedures of importance to the student; for example, the purpose of the Program Sheet (pgs 31-32), how to petition (pgs 25-28), SoE policy on use of AP credits (pg 28), and approved courses in math and science (pgs 18-19).

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 online.

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

  • Corrections to printed version of UGHB 2010-11; please note in your copy:
    1. Add elective course to Environmental Engineering section, pg 249, under Exploring…Major, #2:
    CEE 190. Creating a Green Student Workforce for Sustainability (A)
    2. STS 112, Ten Things: An Archeology of Design, a Technology in Society approved course appearing in Figure 3-3, pg 20, will now be offered Autumn quarter, rather than in Winter.

UGHB 2010-11 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 a Pre-Major Advisor and an Academic Director. Pre-Major Advisors are Stanford faculty and administrators who volunteer to mentor 1-8 undergraduates from the time they arrive to Stanford as freshmen until the time they declare their major (typically during the sophomore year). In a departure from previous years, in 2009 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. Pre-Major Advisors are not expected to advise in the specifics of majors that lie well outside of their own expertise, but are instead encouraged to refer students to their Academic Director when such situations arise.

The Academic Director serves as UAR’s representative in each residence that houses freshmen and sophomores. 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 serve 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 advisors 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)
• ABET-accredited majors: Make sure that the advisee is aware of having to meet the required 68 units of Engineering Science and Engineering Design by the end of their undergraduate career (UGHB, Chapter 3). In some cases, additional courses beyond the required courses may be needed to meet the minimum requirement.
• 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 Science and Engineering Design units by the end of their undergraduate career (this total is different than the course unit (Depth) total; see UGHB, Chapter 3 or footnotes on the Program Sheets)
• 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