Tips on Preparing to Graduate

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Prepare for a June 2012 Graduation

Are you an undergrad School of Engineering major planning to graduate in June 2012?
Below are essential items you MUST take care of by end of winter quarter to make certain you receive your degree in the spring. Look below for more detailed explanations on each requirement. If you have further questions after reading through all the details, (a) email Darlene at or talk to her in the new Huang Engineering Center, suite 135, (b) confer with your major department’s student services staff, and/or (c) check the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs on the Handbooks page.

Apply on Axess for degree conferral:

  • Winter conferral application deadline is Friday, March 2, 2012, 5PM
  • Spring conferral application deadline is Friday, April 13, 2012, 5PM

The content on this page will be emailed to all SoE declared majors in February. If you will graduate during a quarter other than spring 2012, adjust your timing of actions accordingly.

This handout contains directions on how to clear your engineering major. For general information on University requirements, go to the Student Services Center in 2nd floor Tresidder Union or to the Registrar website.

Actions in Brief

1. General Education Requirements – Check with Student Services Center or online.
2. AP Credit – Get your AP credits approved by the SoE Office of Student Affairs if you want to count them toward your major.
3. SoE Program Sheet – Your Program Sheet is your individual and official engineering major plan, listing all courses, units, and grades – a MUST HAVE FOR YOUR BS DEGREE!
4. Program Deviations – If you varied your program from any required courses or units in your official major plan, file the appropriate petition NOW.
5. Transfer Credits – Any courses taken outside of Stanford that you want to use for your ENGR major must be approved at both University AND School of Engineering (SoE) level by end of winter quarter.
6. ABET – ChemE, CE, EE, EnvE, and ME majors must have a minimum number of ABET units in engineering science, design, and experimentation within their Fundamental and Depth coursework.
7. Coterm Students – Assign your BS courses to the correct career or we can’t use them for your UG degree.
8. Multiple Majors-Minors in ENGR – Fill out form on Registrar site and bring to Darlene in 135 Huang for signature by end of Winter quarter

9. Walking Without Graduating is Possible!

Details on How to Take Action

1. General Education Requirements

Status of GERs and other University-level requirements may be checked on Axess. Direct your questions on degree progress to the Student Services Center, Suite 7 at Tresidder Union or check at the Registrar site on graduation.

2. AP Credit

To apply AP credits in Math, Physics, Chemistry, or Computer Science to your engineering major, you must come to 135 Huang to have your credits approved. Bring your unofficial Stanford transcript and your Program Sheet (the final version you plan to use for conferral).

3. SoE Program Sheet (PS)

The program sheet (PS) is the essential graduation application/planning tool for every School of Engineering major (find Excel and pdf templates on the Program Sheets page of this site for every year and major). It must be accurately and completely filled in (use ink or computer) with all major requirements, including grades, units, and transfer courses (of course, we will fill in spring quarter grades for you). If you don't have an up-to-date Program Sheet in your departmental file you need to complete one NOW. DON”T WAIT until spring quarter! This form is what the Dean’s Office and your department use to check that you have completed your major requirements. Make sure it accurately reflects course numbers/names as found on your transcript, is legible, and is in the correct 2-page format (as shown in the UGHB). You may use a program sheet template from any year you are enrolled at Stanford.

Step-by-Step Directions on How to Prepare a Program Sheet

 Go to the Program Sheets page on this site and locate the correct program sheet for your major.

 Save the PS file to your desktop, fill in all courses you will take for your major, adjust preset fields to show only the elective courses/units you will actually complete (deleting courses/units not being used), make sure the totals are correct, preview to make sure it will print in Portrait format on two pages (you may need to shrink the width of one of the fields to make sure content does not overflow the page and you may need to adjust rows so the second page starts at the top of the second sheet), and print. Also, see #6. ABET if that applies to you.

 Take your program sheet to your departmental Student Services administrator for evaluation and next steps. Policies vary by department on who must approve your major program, but most require an administrator’s and/or advisor’s review and signature. Your department will keep your PS on file for you to pick up when you want to file a petition or get your AP units signed off in 135 Huang.

 Prepare your PS for conferral: Review the Math/Science/TIS/Fundamentals with Darlene in 135 Huang (you can do this when you are having your AP approved), and your Depth with your department and advisor. Your major department may have special requirements to prepare your PS for conferral – check with them NOW.

 Did you deviate at all from your official major plan? If there is already a signed program sheet in your file but your program has since deviated in any way, you must have the change approved to graduate (see details below) and then amend or redo your PS and have it (re)signed. If you changed your elective ENGR courses but they are approved alternatives, there is no need for a petition but you should adjust your program sheet before the end of winter quarter.

 The School of Engineering approval field will be signed after final clearance from the University Senate has been granted (this happens post-graduation so don’t worry about this signature).

4. Program Deviations

Students have the option to petition for deviations from the usual major program requirements. This means filing a petition either with your department (for Depth courses) or the Dean’s office (for all other ENGR requirements) Petitions should be approved PRIOR to a student's last quarter. This gives you time to make adjustments in your schedule in case your petition is denied. Note: Having an advisor signature on your program sheet does not mean your changes are approved! See details below:

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

Petitions to deviate are reviewed by the Dean’s Office (OSA). Though a signature and comments from your department and advisor are required on these petitions, the change must also be approved by OSA before it is okay to use for your major. Bring your petition to Darlene in 135 Huang.
*ME Majors: If you want to deviate from the list of seven department-approved STS courses, you must have Professor Chris Edwards sign off on your selection before submitting your petition to OSA (you must also petition in 135 Huang – Prof. Edwards’ signature alone is not enough).
The Kyoto Overseas Program does not fulfill your TIS requirement if you are majoring in CE, EnvE, or ME (as of 07-08). Beginning with the 2011-12 program sheets, the Kyoto option will not be valid for any SoE major.

Depth (departmental) requirements:

Petitions to deviate from depth courses are handled departmentally. Procedures may vary; students are advised to check with their departmental Student Services Office for guidance.

Directions to petition for a SoE-requirement deviation
1- Go to the Petitions page on this site.
2- Open the form using Adobe Acrobat; click Highlight Fields button on right
3- Complete the form. Be sure to include the reasoning behind your request. Print.
4- Obtain approval signatures from your department student services contact and your faculty advisor (advisor should include reasoning behind his/her decision to approve)
5- Attach a completed Program Sheet (preferably, the one that will be your final version) and a current, unofficial Stanford Transcript (from Axess)
6- Submit your petition documents to Darlene Lazar in 135 Huang.

5. Transfer Credits

To transfer credit for courses taken at another institution to meet Engineering requirements, you must petition first the University and then the SoE, PRIOR to your final quarter. This ensures that if there are any problems with your transfer, there is still time to figure out an alternative. (BTW, if you plan to take a Foothill College course during your final quarter, you will not graduate that quarter – the Foothill schedule is two weeks behind Stanford’s and grades will not arrive in time.)

University-level Petitions are handled through the Student Services Center, Suite 7, Tresidder Union. Go to the Stanford Registrar website for online forms.

Math, Science, Fundamentals, and TIS (SoE requirements):

These courses must be petitioned for approval by the SoE/OSA. Submit your petition to Darlene Lazar in the Dean’ Office, 135 Huang.

Depth (departmental requirements):

These courses must be approved by your advisor. Students are advised to check first with their major department’s Student Services office for guidance.

Instructions to petition for SoE transfer credit
1- Go to the Petitions page on this site and open the Petition to Transfer Credit form.
2- Open the form using Adobe Acrobat
3- Complete the form. Be sure to include course numbers and the reasoning behind your decision to take required course work elsewhere. Use only the space provided on form – no extra pages, please. Print.
4- Attach a completed Program Sheet (preferably the one that will be your final version) with transferred course numbers and titles included, a copy of the course description (taken from the other institution's course catalog), and your current, unofficial Stanford transcript (from Axess).
5- Turn in petition documents to Darlene Lazar in 135 Huang.
6- Request that the Student Services Center forward a copy of your transcript from the other institution to Darlene Lazar, 135 Huang, MC: 4027


ABET is the acronym the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, an external entity that determines accreditation standards for undergraduate programs at many universities. If you are in an ABET-accredited major (CE, ChemE, EE, EnvE, ME), add the ABET units from the Engr Sci and Engr Des columns from the Fundamentals and Depth portion of your program sheet to total your ABET units. Science and Design must equal a minimum of 68 units – this number will differ from your total Fund/Depth unit count since not all courses have Sci/Des units attached to them. You must also take a minimum of 8 units of Experimentation (from Depth courses and a few Fundamental courses and science labs that also have a unit or two of Experimentation attached to them). You may obtain the correct distribution of ABET units for each course from your program sheet, by consulting charts in Chapter 5 of the UGHB, or by checking the online Science/Design Unit Allocation List under Approved Courses at <>. Note that the 2011-12 program sheets for the ABET majors arrange the depth field such that the adding of separate columns as described above is no longer necessary. Previous versions of program sheets still must be totaled as described.

7. Coterms: Put BS & MS coursework into the correct career

Since we are unable to see any course that is not in your undergraduate career when we are attempting to clear your BS degree, you must ensure that courses being used for your BS degree appear on your UG transcript and those being used for your MS degree appear on your graduate transcript – check to make sure! It is common to place a course into the incorrect career, and the Registrar staff is too busy during the last few weeks of spring quarter to guarantee corrections can be petitioned, approved, and moved in a timely manner.

8. Multiple Majors-Minors in Engineering: Form and Signatures Needed

Complete Multiple Major-Minor form available on Registrar website <> and obtain approval signatures from both Darlene (Dean’s Office, 135 Huang) and the department(s) of your other degree(s) IF additional degrees are outside of the School of Engineering. This form must be completed, signed and turned in to the Student Services Center in Tresidder Union not later than the first day of the graduation quarter. Minors in ENGR, see your SoE departmental student services contact for an additional departmental minor form.

9. Walking Without Graduating is Possible!

If you have 165 units or more and have applied to graduate, you may talk to your department about walking in the spring commencement ceremony even though you can't finish all your requirements by the deadline of June 14. Here is what you need to do:

  • Submit a WIthdrawal of pplication to Graduate form
  • Check with your major department to find out if they require a walk-through petition or other process
  • Consult with the OSA and/or your department and/or the Student Services Center to figure out what you need to do to finish requirements
  • The SSC will require one or more forms, depending on what you are doing: a Graduation Quarter form (fee of $100), a Last Units Out of Residence form, or other.
  • Coterms must decide when to confer their Bachelor's degree and when to walk -- you can only walk once.

The bottom line is that you should make contact with your department and the Dean’s Office far enough in advance that we can resolve any problems... we want to help you graduate!

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