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New Student Info 2018-19

Welcome to the Stanford Graduate Sustainable Design and Construction Program

The faculty and staff hope you will make every effort to obtain the most from your Stanford experience. This guide is intended to assist you in a rapid orientation and to make you aware of the facilities and services available to students. 

Orientation Meeting

The general department-wide CEE orientation meeting takes place on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 8-10 am in Huang Engineering Center, Room 300 (Mackenzie Room) with continental breakfast.  Immediately following the general meeting, SDC students will meet at 10 am-12 pm in Y2E2, Room 292 for the SDC program orientation where we will review the overall program philosophy, describe the academic requirements for graduation, and introduce you to critical procedures. This information will allow you to prepare for your first meeting with your faculty advisor.  Plan to also attend the General Safety Training on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 2:30-3:30 pm in Y2E2, Room 292.  For students not able to join the SDC orientation, the presentation can be viewed here.

Please review the graduate construction curriculum guide prior to the SDC orientation meeting.  At the meeting, faculty and returning students will explain the curriculum guide and answer your questions.  Following the orientation meeting, use the  MS-SDC Program Sheet for your track to compare your undergraduate program with the list of required undergraduate courses and prepare a proposed program of study for the entire academic year to discuss with your advisor at your first advising meeting. Classes will begin on Monday, September 24, 2018.

We strongly encourage you to carefully plan your proposed program of study covering all planned work at Stanford. Think earnestly about what you want to get out of your time at Stanford. Consider personal, professional and other goals. We also suggest that you take full advantage of advice from returning students because of their recent experience and excellent knowledge of how Stanford works. Best of luck for a productive, enjoyable experience at Stanford! Make your time as a member of the “Stanford Sustainable Design and Construction Crew” a rewarding experience.

Student Advising and Academic Requirements

This section of the guide, which we will briefly discuss at the first orientation meeting, gives you a summary of student advising, the academic requirements for graduation, class scheduling, gaining admission to other courses, and other academic requirements.

Student advising

Student advising is intended to assist students in gaining the maximum value from their stay at Stanford. The faculty considers it an important responsibility to assist each student in making the many decisions required in the graduate construction program and in selecting a career path. Faculty advising also involves maintaining academic standards for the program. Faculty advising includes the following major activities: (1) assisting in planning a program proposal for your degree, (2) approving that the program meets the academic requirements, and (3) offering general academic and career guidance.

Because you will meet with your faculty advisor soon after the orientation meeting, we have summarized the faculty advising steps below. In addition to the faculty, returning students in the program are an important resource for planning your academic program. They offer new students the chance to benefit from recent experiences of their peers with the courses in construction, other parts of civil engineering, and other engineering departments and schools in the university. Therefore, 2nd-year students will be available to answer questions on September 20, 2018 at 1-4 pm in Y2E2 278A or 278B.

Advising steps

  1. Prior to your first meeting with your academic advisor, select the track (SDC-X) that you intend to pursue and prepare your complete proposed program sheet of study for that track. This will serve as a first plan, so expect changes as you learn more about specific courses.
  2. The printed advisee lists are posted outside the Civil Engineering Department Office of Jill Filice in Y2E2, Third Floor, Room 316 Check the list to identify your advisor. The list will be posted on September 20, 2018.
  3. Use the schedule posted outside each faculty member's door to make an appointment with your advisor. Obtain his or her concurrence with the proposed program of study.
  4. Attend the classes and make sure they fit your needs and interests.
  5. Complete the study list for Fall Quarter to correspond with your approved program of study, review changes to your study list with your advisor, and enter the program in the AXESS system by the deadline shown on the Stanford Time Schedule. This is your registration for classes at Stanford.

MS Program Requirements for Graduation

Program sheets

Graduate Construction Curriculum program sheets list the courses and requirements for each track for the areas of focus of the graduate construction program: building, infrastructure, and urban systems development; structures; water infrasture; energy & atmosphere; construction; industry context; and skills.  To obtain a program sheet, click below the link  of the track you plan to pursue.

SDC-Water Treatment
SDC-Water Resources

Class scheduling

Many factors force changes in class scheduling. SDC classes do not generally conflict with each other, but there may be conflicts with courses in other programs or departments. The following sources of information are useful in scheduling classes:

Gaining admission to other courses

With approval of your advisor, construction students may take courses in other engineering departments or schools of the university as electives in the graduate construction program. In the past, construction students have taken courses in the Department of Management Science and Industrial Engineering (MS&E), Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, in the Stanford Graduate School of Business and at the University of California-Berkeley. Enrollment in some of these courses may present special challenges, such as limited enrollment or prioritized enrollment for the students in the respective programs.  Typically, these requirements are listed on AXESS.  Returning students who have recent experience in taking such courses are often excellent guides for the steps necessary to enroll in such course.

For non-GSB enrollment to Stanford's Graduate School of Business, go to:

The Department of Civil Engineering at UC-Berkeley offers courses in specialized areas (e.g., Marine Construction, Construction Marketing, Timber Structures) that may be of interest to construction students. The courses are generally available to Stanford students, but Berkeley operates on a semester basis, which, with the over one-hour commute, makes scheduling challenging, although feasible, especially for the Berkeley Spring Semester.

Comments on the Stanford University Honor Code

The Fundamental Standard and Stanford University Honor Code specify requirements for student conduct, which may differ from your prior academic experience. They are contained in the Stanford Bulletin. The Honor Code is an essential part of the Stanford culture of learning and professionalism.

Read the Honor Code very carefully and ask questions if you do not fully understand it.

We caution you that the Honor Code requirements are fully enforced. The code also defines faculty expectations and requirements regarding implementation. Again, please ask your faculty advisor if you have any questions regarding the honor code.

Additional Orientation Information

Donald R. Watson Seminar in Construction Engineering and Mgt. (CEE258)

The graduate construction program includes a two-quarter series of weekly seminars with construction industry personnel, owners and others working in areas related to the courses and offering a unique perspective on the multi-faceted construction industry. This required course sequence is offered on a pass/no credit basis and meets from 4:30 - 5:20 pm each Wednesday during autumn quarter in Y2E2 111. See the class handout and bulletin board outside Sustainable Design and Construction Program Administrative Office in Y2E2, Room 242, for the list of speakers.

The Stanford Construction Institute

The Stanford Construction Institute is a group of construction industry firms and individuals who annually contribute funds and advice to help support our educational program and to provide financial aid to construction engineering and management students. These organizations also assist in research activities, provide guest speakers and often employ our students. Without their support our educational program would be greatly restricted. Membership in the Institute is open to all who wish to support construction education at Stanford.

Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE)

The Center for Integrated Facility Engineering conducts inter-departmental research on the use of advanced computer techniques for improved integration of the facility development process. This research is leading to the development of new methodologies and prototype tools to provide integration throughout the life-cycle of the facility — from preliminary design to operation. Several of the construction faculty and research assistants are involved in research projects of the center.

Global Projects Center (GPC)

The Global Projects Center conducts inter-departmental and inter-school research on the unique challenges of integrating multi-national and multi-sectoral (i.e., drawn from government, including military, private firms and NGOs) organizations into global project teams to develop buildings and infrastructure around the world. Faculty and research assistants from CEE, Sociology, Law, Economics and Business are involved in research projects of GPC.

Student-initiated activities

One of the major assets of the SDC Program is the opportunity to interact with colleagues from a variety of places and with different kinds of experience. In addition to learning the advanced knowledge in the classes, many graduates have establishe long-lasting friendships. In part this interaction has been facilitated by student activities such as informal and intramural sports teams, ski trips and golf tournaments, international potluck dinners, graduation parties, AGC/ASCE/DBIA/CMAA /NECA student chapters, etc. The faculty encourages and supports such activities.

These activities offer many leadership opportunities that will help you grow personally and that will make the time at Stanford more valuable for the entire class. AGC/DBIA/CMAA officers, social chairperson, intramural sports coordinator, service project coordinator, resume book coordinator, activity and meeting room coordinator, class photographer, class newsletter reporter, special seminar organizer, web page coordinator, peer advising coordinator, master schedule keeper, industry mentor coordinator, prospective student (2018-2019) visit coordinator, additional Teaching Assistants, GSB and MS&E course coordinator, other seminar coordinator, campus activity coordinator, and many others based on student interest and initiative.

Student reception

All students, faculty, staff, and spouses or special friends will be invited to a student reception early in the autumn quarter. An evite to this event will be sent to all by the SDC administrative office.

Student address list

Because many of our courses involve group activities, an address list is important for all students. Please make sure that you enter your local address, phone and email address into the AXESS system. We can create a contact list for everyone in the SDC Program.

Class photograph

Every fall we put together a class photo. Individual student photos will be taken on Friday, September 28, 2018 from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM in Y2E2 270. Please be sure to sign-up and dress appropriately in business casual attire. Each student will receive a digital copy of the class photograph.

Company interviews

Each year company members of the Construction Institute and other firms come to the SDC Program to interview students for internship and permanent positions. The interviews are normally held during winter and spring quarters. You will need to have an updated resume if you plan to participate in these interviews. Typically, you'll need to submit your resume at least one week prior to an interview to be considered for an interview slot. Look for details and sign-up sheets near Room 242 in Y2E2.

Career planning and placement services

The Stanford Career Development Center offers several services that may be of interest to construction students. These include reference files, the engineering resume book and mock interviews. Because of the long lead times, examine these materials early in the quarter if you intend to use the center. Many of our Construction Institute supporters will be participating in the career fairs and hold special interview dates for you at the CDC. Watch for email notifications for these special events.

Building facilities

The small glass-walled meeting rooms in Y2E2 may be used by students for group meetings when not reserved for classes, interviews or other purposes. Please use the sign-up sheet posted outside each room. Food and beverages are permitted, but the room must be left clean after use. You will obtain information concerning the CEE Department and CIFE computer clusters in Y2E2 early in the academic year.

These clusters are an extremely valuable resource. Please observe the rules for their use and maintenance.  Do not prop the doors open and make sure that the doors are closed and locked if you are the last to leave. Be security conscious. Computer theft is a major concern on campus. 

Bikes on campus

Bike security is a problem on campus. Make sure you have a strong lock and use the bike racks.

Student hard hats and work boots or shoes for field trips

Hard-hat: You may use your own hard hat or buy one from a local store. Be sure it is an OSHA-certified hard hat. You must bring your own hard hat on field trips. We also have hard hats you may borrow when you need one for field trips. Visit the SDC Program administrator in Room 242.

Boots: You should have a good pair of hard-soled leather work shoes or boots. A sturdy pair of leather hiking boots will also do for most projects. You should obtain these items during your first week on campus since some pertinent activities may start as early as the second week.

After-hour access to Y2E2

Students must provide their Stanford ID number and proof of completion of EHS 4200-General Safety to the Construction Administrative Office, Room 242, to get after-hour access to the Y2E2 building using the Stanford ID cards. 


Students should use home addresses or a box at the Stanford Post Office for incoming mail. Student mail addressed to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering may be delayed and is not reliable. Outgoing campus and stamped U.S. mail may be placed in the designated boxes around campus. 


The Engineering library and other campus libraries have photocopy machines available for student use. The FedEx Kinko’s Copy Center at Tresidder offers lower rates for bulk copying. The CEE Department machine is available only for work associated with sponsored research projects. The copier in Room 252 is for faculty and staff use only. Research and teaching assistants may use the copy machine in Room 252 for class assignment copies. The Program administrator is not available to do your copy work.

Bulletin boards

Please check the bulletin board outside Sustainable Design and Construction Program Administrative Office for notices. The board will include schedules for the CEE258 lectures and special seminars. In addition, you will see interesting information regarding academic programs, conferences and other campus activities.

Staff Office

The Administrator's office is located in Y2E2, second floor, Room 242. The telephone is (650) 723-4447. If you have any questions, please stop in. We will be happy to assist you.