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Class planting orchards, credit: Jessica Gonzales Chu

Student FAQ

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This page answers common questions from students and postdocs. It will be updated when we have new information, and in response to your questions.

Undergraduate FAQS

I am a high school student interested in sustainability, how can I apply to the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability?

Prospective undergraduate students apply to the university, not the school or department. For more information about the undergraduate admissions process, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website. Undergraduate students are encouraged to explore courses and opportunities prior to declaring a major, so if you join the Stanford community we hope you will engage in the many offerings in the Doerr School of Sustainability.

If I am a current undergraduate major in a unit that is joining the school, will I be able to continue my current degree?

Yes, students within the units that are joining the new school will continue in their current degree programs. Undergraduate degree programs in Earth Systems, Energy Resources Engineering, Geological Sciences, and Geophysics, will move to the new school effective September 1, 2022. Students in those majors will continue working towards their degrees in the new school. Civil and Environmental Engineering will be a joint department with the new school and the School of Engineering. 

Our Academics page has more information about degree programs.   

If I am interested in topics included in the school, what major can I declare now?

Students interested in applying for sustainability-related degrees should look at the existing programs in the units coming together to form the new school. Undergraduate degree programs in Earth Systems, Energy Resources Engineering, Geological Sciences, and Geophysics, will move to the new school effective September 1, 2022. Civil and Environmental Engineering will be a joint department with the new school and the School of Engineering.    

If I declare a major in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) during the 2021-22 academic year, what happens next year? 

Students who declare a major in Stanford Earth this year will continue working towards that degree in the new school. Students who confer their degree after Summer 2022 will graduate with a degree from the new school. Existing undergraduate degree programs in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences will transfer to the new school effective September 1, 2022. 

When will undergraduates be able to declare majors within the school?

Existing degrees in Stanford Earth will transfer to the new school. Civil and Environmental Engineering will be a joint department with the new school and the School of Engineering. Undergraduates can declare majors in existing degree programs, or beginning fall 2022 in the new school. Additional majors will likely be established with options expanding over the following years. Students can declare those majors as they are established. 

Are there opportunities for undergrads to engage with faculty, research opportunities, and other experiences to learn more about sustainability-focused undergraduate programs?

Students are encouraged to take courses and participate in seminars and workshops, research programs, and other opportunities through the units coming together to form the new school. Some opportunities include introductory level courses, IntroSems, Sophomore College, Stanford@SEA, Wrigley Field Program in Hawaii, Stanford Earth Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SESUR), Summer Undergraduate Program on Energy Research (SUPER), Research Experiences Especially for Freshmen (REEF), TomKat Energy Impact Summer Fellowships, and the new Explore Energy Dorm (Fall 2022). 


Graduate Student FAQS

If I am a current graduate student in the units joining the school, will I be able to continue in my current degree program?

Yes, students within the units that are joining the new school will continue in their current degree programs. Graduate degree programs in Stanford Earth (Earth Systems, Earth System Science, E-IPER, Energy Resources Engineering, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, and Sustainability Science and Practice) will move to the new school effective September 1, 2022. Students in those graduate programs will continue working towards their degrees in the new school. Students who confer their degree after Summer 2022 will graduate from the new school. Civil and Environmental Engineering will be a joint department with the new school and the School of Engineering.  

Will requirements or funding change if my advisor and/or degree program join the new school? 

Students will continue working towards their current degree programs, will follow their current requirements, and will maintain their current funding commitments. 

What graduate degrees do you offer? 

Our Academics page has information about masters and PhD degree programs.   

If I applied to a graduate program in Stanford Earth and I am admitted for Autumn 2022, how does the new school impact my admissions offer? 

Students who are admitted and matriculate to an existing degree program in Stanford Earth will be part of the new school. The degree program you applied to will be moving to the new school September 1, 2022 (before Autumn Quarter begins). Any funding commitments made in your admissions letter will be maintained in the new school.

For any additional questions, please contact sustainability_students@stanford.edu.


Postdoc FAQ

How can I apply for a postdoc position in the Stanford Doer School of Sustainability?

Postdocs are appointed to work with a faculty sponsor who supports their training, so prospective postdocs are encouraged to contact faculty they are interested in working with to inquire about postdoc positions. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has some tips for finding and approaching potential faculty mentors.

Some open postdoc positions are posted through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website. Prospective postdocs may also apply for Stanford’s postdoc fellowship programs, which include the Stanford Science FellowshipsData Science Fellows, and the Stanford Earth Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Graduate students, especially those from backgrounds underrepresented in academia, are invited to apply for the Stanford Postdoctoral Recruitment Initiative in Sciences and Medicine (PRISM), which is a travel-based postdoc interview and networking opportunity.


Professional student FAQs

I’m a working professional, what professional certificate or executive education programs are available?

Our current professional certificate/executive education offerings are through the Change Leadership for Sustainability Program and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Does the Doerr School of Sustainability offer online courses or part-time degree programs?

Stanford Online offers a wide range of educational opportunities including professional certificates and online courses.  The Honors Cooperative Program (HCP) allows working professionals an opportunity to earn a Master’s degree on a part-time basis. The only HCP graduate program currently offered within the Doerr School of Sustainability is a part-time Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. While some of the courses for this degree can be completed online, most courses in the CEE department are offered only on campus. All other degrees offered through the Doerr School of Sustainability are full-time, in-person programs.