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Stanford University

How this student rated the school
Research QualityA- Research AvailabilityC-
Research FundingD Graduate PoliticsA-
Errand RunnersA- Degree CompletionB
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]C- Sufficient PayC
CompetitivenessA- Education QualityB+
Faculty AccessibilityC+ Useful ResearchB+
ExtracurricularsA- Success-UnderstandingA-
Surrounding CityA Social Life/EnvironmentB+
"Individual" treatmentB- FriendlinessB+
SafetyA- Campus BeautyA-
Campus MaintenanceA University Resource/spendingA-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:

Lowest Rating
Research Funding
Highest Rating
Surrounding City
He cares more about Research Funding than the average student.
Date: Dec 31 1969
Major: Aerospace Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
The Stanford Aero/Astro department has a fantastic reputation both in industry and in academia. I do have the feeling, however, that it is "coasting" rather than actively seeking to improve itself. While we have a large number of faculty, many are now emeritus and relatively few maintain large, active research groups. I'm fortunate to be part of one of the best research groups in our department.

It is very difficult to offer general feedback about the PhD experience since it is closely tied to a successful relationship with one's research advisor. To be honest, I struggled for a year or two, but I've recently really enjoyed my experience here. In retrospect, I took things too seriously at the beginning. Stanford is best enjoyed with a relaxed attitude. (Of course, you'll still have to work hard. However, our department has a great reputation for its collegiality. And, most students have time for "a life" after they've passed the PhD qualifying exams.)

One comment that you'll hear from nearly all of the grad students in the Stanford Aero/Astro department is that it is very tough to obtain funding within the department. How do students survive? 80%-90% of my colleagues have obtained "outside" fellowships from NSF, NDSEG, etc. In fact, I would never have come to Stanford without an NSF fellowship. In contrast, it is much easier to find funding at any of the other top aero/astro departments. This is due in-part to our lack of an undergraduate program and, as a result, very few teaching assistantships available for graduate students.

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