He published the classic book "Electromagnetic Theory" as part of the McGraw-Hill series in Pure and Applied Physics in 1941. It has been re-issued by the IEEE.
He served as the president of MIT between 1959 and 1966, after serving the university in several lesser posts, notably appointments to provost in 1949, vice president in 1951, and chancellor in 1956. He also served as the chairman of the Ford Foundation between 1964 and 1971. During that period, Stratton was seconded to chair a Congressionally established "Commission on Marine Sciences, Engineering and Resources" whose work culminated in a report, "Our Nation and the Sea" that had a major influence on ocean sciences and management in the United States and abroad. The commission itself became commonly referred to as the Stratton Commission.
Stratton collected his speeches in a 1966 book titled Science and the Educated Man: Selected Speeches of Julius A. Stratton (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1966), with a foreword by the historian of technology Elting E. Morison who had been on the faculty of MIT as a professor of humanities in the Sloan School of Industrial Management from 1946 to 1966.