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Masters Degree Program

The purpose of the master's program is to continue a
student's training in one of the earth science disciplines and to
prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies.

The department's graduate coordinator, in coordination with the departmental faculty, appoints an academic adviser during registration with appropriate consideration of the student's background, interests, and professional goals. In consultation with the adviser, the student plans a program of course work for the first year.
The student should select a thesis adviser within the first year of residence and submit to the thesis adviser a proposal for thesis research as soon as possible. The academic adviser supervises completion of the department requirements for the M.S. program as outlined below
until the research proposal has been accepted; responsibility then passes to the thesis adviser. The student may change either thesis or academic advisers by mutual agreement and after approval of the graduate coordinator.

The University's requirements for M.S. degrees are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees" section of the Stanford Bulletin. Additional departmental requirements include the following:

  1. Completion of coren course work: EESS 211. Fundamentals of Modeling; EESS 213. Spatial Statistics and Analysis for Environmental Data; EESS 215. Earth System Dynamics; EARTHSCI 300. Earth Sciences Seminar.
  2. Enrollment in EESS 301. Topics in Environmental Earth System Science, each quarter during the academic year.
  3. A minimum of 45 units of course work at the 100 level or above.
  4. Half of the courses used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement must be intended primarily for graduate students, usually at the 200 level or above.
  5. No more than 15 units of thesis research may be used to satisfy the 45-unit requirement.
  6. Some students may be required to make up background deficiencies in addition to these basic requirements.
  7. By the end of Winter Quarter of the first year in residence, a student
    must complete at least three courses taught by a minimum of two
    different department faculty members.
  8. Serve as a teaching assistant in at least two quarters during their graduate career.

Each student must have a research adviser who is a faculty member in the department and is within the student's thesis topic area or specialized area of study. The faculty adviser is charged with designing the curriculum in consultation with the student specific to the research topic. Each student must complete a thesis describing his or her research. Thesis research should begin during the first year of study at Stanford and should be completed before the end of the second year of residence. Early during the thesis research period, and after consultation with the student, the thesis adviser appoints a second reader for the thesis who must be approved by the graduate coordinator; the thesis adviser is the first reader. The two readers jointly determine whether the thesis is acceptable for the M.S. degree in the department.