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Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council

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The School of Engineering Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council (DGSAC) is a crucial part of Stanford Engineering’s efforts to increase transparency and communication between our graduate students and Stanford Engineering leadership.

The Dean’s Graduate Advisory Council is a year-long commitment for 15-20 graduate students across the School of Engineering. We seek students who have displayed leadership, engaged in active listening, and work diligently to be a voice for other students and create positive change in Stanford Engineering culture and student experience. 

The goal of the Council is to open up the lines of communication between graduate students and Stanford Engineering leadership. This Council supports graduate student leaders eager to effect change and create an environment that helps students thrive.

Meet the 2023-24 DGSAC Members

Students studying with laptops and books

Program Details 

Council members meet once per quarter to discuss current challenges, implement and test new ideas, and address student concerns. The Council is composed of graduate students, key School of Engineering Office of Student Affairs staff, Senior Associate Dean Tom Kenny, and Dean Jennifer Widom.

The Council will run from academic quarters Fall through Spring, with a new council being selected in the Summer for the upcoming academic year. 

Selection Process

Current School of Engineering graduate students will self-nominate to represent their home department on the Council. Depending on the size of the respective department, 1-3 student representatives will be selected per department. The selection committee reviews applicants based on their current involvement, improvement suggestions, and the unique perspective that they would add to the Council. Upon approval of the nomination, invitations will be extended to candidates in late September/early October. Pre-doctoral graduate students in all School of Engineering departments and programs will be considered and are encouraged to apply. (e.g., Coterms, Masters, Doctoral).

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will the Council meet throughout the year?
There will be two meetings every quarter in Autumn, Winter, and Spring.

What type of commitment are students required to make? 
Students are expected to come to as many in-person meetings as their schedule will allow. The Council can determine if they wish to take on projects.

What kind of work is expected and/or on what type of schedule?
Realistically, there will be a few hours outside of Council meetings per quarter whereby members may wish to survey students, convene small conversations/focus groups, and collaborate to determine priorities and recommendations. The goal of the Council is to open up the lines of communication between graduate students and the Stanford Engineering leadership. The Council will be able to dictate how much or how little they would like to do/cover once their first meeting is convened.


For any questions related to the Stanford Engineering Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council, please email