EE Student Information

Welcome Doctoral (PhD) Students

Welcome Doctoral (PhD) Students

Our research-intensive program cultivates the next generation of leaders in industry and academia. You will discover, explore, and innovate alongside faculty, fellow students, and researchers who are leaders in their disciplines.

As a PhD student, you are expected to participate as a full-time student. Once admitted to candidacy you have five years to complete the degree (some exceptions may be granted). You may elect to complete an MS degree as a milestone towards PhD completion, but it is not required.

Earning your doctoral degree requires profound dedication. Stanford's program aims to develop and prepare you for a lifetime of innovative discovery and dissemination, with the goal of improving society and positively impacting the world. There are many resources to assist you during your time at Stanford.


You were initially assigned a faculty program advisor, based on the interests you indicated in your application to the PhD program. By the end of your second year, you need to find a faculty dissertation advisor to supervise your research and provide funding (unless you receive an outside fellowship) until you graduate.

See the EE Graduate Handbook for complete rules on who may serve as a dissertation advisor (and who is not allowed to do so).

Staying on Track: Meeting Degree Milestones

As you begin your doctoral work, it is imperative that you keep yourself informed of timelines and degree requirements. For each doctoral program at Stanford, there is an approved course of study that meets both University and department requirements.

The Department of Electrical Engineering doctoral degree requirements can be found in the EE Graduate Handbook [PDF]. EE's Degree Progress Officer can assist you with any questions.


The Graduate Degree Progress page provides more degree milestone information. You may also find the following additional resources on academic policies helpful.

The Stanford Bulletin is Stanford University's official catalog of courses, degrees, policies, and University and degree requirements. Read the EE chapter.

The GAP Handbook is a compilation of university policies and other information related to the academic progress of Stanford graduate students.

Policies & Planning information is found on Stanford's Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) Office.

Being Social and Balancing Your Studies

As an EE student, you benefit from being part of an active—yet still close knit—student body. Our EE students have frequent social gatherings and club activities. For EE-specific student groups, visit our Student Organizations page.

For other information about graduate life on campus, visit the Stanford Graduate Life Office site.

Gateway for New Graduate Students is a Stanford resource with plenty of information on topics from health to housing.

Planning for Your Career

Once you're ready to transition from graduate studies to the next phase of your career – as an entrepreneur or engineer, in academia or industry – Stanford can help.

For a list of EE-specific career resources visit EE's Career Resources page. Additional Stanford career resources can be found on the BEAM: Bridging Education, Ambition & Meaningful Work pages.


COVID-19 has changed many things. Stanford University has created a website to help new, returning, and professional degree graduate students with health alerts and other information: Grad