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STANFORD UNIVERSITY, STANFORD, CALIFORNIA - ADMISSION

Stanford, CaliforniaLOCATION
UniversitySCHOOL TYPE
Estd 1891Established Year
  16520Enrollment

Stanford University Admission 2020-2021: Requirement, Deadlines, Acceptance Rate & Visa Requirements

Sonal Vaid Sonal Vaid
Study Abroad Expert

Stanford University has ranked among the top five universities globally for years and consistently has had low acceptance rates. For the recent 2019 admissions, the acceptance rate was as low as 4.34%. This, in turn, indicates that Stanford University is very selective in offering admissions to students.

Stanford University Acceptance Trend

Stanford University courses begin either during Fall, Spring or Winter season. Yet a few courses have the option of offering admissions to students during the Summer Session.

  • Applications for both international and domestic students begin around September.
  • The admission decision is usually released within 6- 7 weeks, post-application submission.
  • Deadlines, application portal, application fees and academic requirements vary for each Graduate program.

Highlights

Application FeeUG: 90 USD
PG: 125– 275 USD
Average Acceptance Rate5%
Graduation Rate95%
Mode of PaymentVisa/MasterCard/Discover Credit Card
SAT Score (middle 50%)Math: 720– 800
EBRW: 700- 770
ACT Score (middle 50%)32 - 35
Academic CalendarSemester
Intake SeasonsFall/Spring/Winter
Interview RequiredMBA/MD/Transfer Students
Work ExperienceRecommended- LLM/ MBA aspirants
Admission Helpdesk(+1) 650-723-2091

Stanford University Admission Deadlines

The admission process at Stanford University begins either during the Fall, Spring or Winter season. The following table shows the deadlines for undergraduate students at Stanford. All freshmen applicants are required to submit their admission application by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time) on the specified deadline.

DetailsRestrictive Early ActionRegular Decision
Application with Arts Portfolio DeadlineOctober 15December 1
Standard Application DeadlineNovember 1January 2
Decision Released ByDecember 6April 1
Student Reply DateMay 1May 1

Graduate Application Deadlines vary with the program. Students must make sure to submit the applications on time. Early applications will ensure that the student is able to complete the admission process on time and will be able to apply for a visa to study in USA.

How to get admission in Stanford University?

Contrary to the acceptance rate the enrollment rate is quite high at Stanford. For 2019, the enrollment rate was over 82% with a total of 1,701 students enrolled.

Stanford University Enrollment Trend

There are a number of international students that apply for admissions at Stanford University. Currently, international students make 34% of the student population at the university. With a very low acceptance rate, Stanford University is very selective while accepting applicants. However, with timely applications and good academic standing students have a higher chance of admission.

The section below answers the question of ‘How to get admission in Stanford University?’.

Admission Requirements for International Students at Stanford University

Admission processes at universities in USA are to be completed before the admission deadline. Same is the case with Stanford University. Students must submit their online admission applications with all the required documents at least a year before the intended year of admission.

International students must submit the following documents along with their admission application:

  • Application and Application Fee: Completed online admission application form and payment of non-refundable application fee are required. It must be noted that no paper or offline applications will be accepted at Stanford.
  • Academic transcripts: Official copies of transcripts or e-transcripts must be submitted along with the online application. Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by their English translations.
  • Proof of standardized exams: These standardized exams to study in USA include two major sets:
    • English Proficiency Tests: Scorecards of the exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc. must be included in the application package.
    • Admission Tests: All applicants are required to provide proof of exams such as ACT or SAT for UG admissions and GRE or GMAT for graduate admissions.
  • Statement of Purpose: Concise & well written SOPs must be included with the graduate application. An SOP must include:
    • Reasons for applying for the proposed program
    • Preparation for the field of study
    • Research interests
    • Future career plans
    • Other background information that may aid in the evaluation of admission applications
  • Letter of Recommendation: Applicants must identify recommenders and email addresses. The recommenders must be notified about the application so that they can revert the university for the same. 2-3 LORs are required at Stanford.
  • Resume: Aspirants must make sure to mention any of their publications in the CV.
  • Supplemental Form: A few graduate master programs (mostly engineering) require students to submit the supplemental form that includes other details such as a list of publications websites, etc.
  • Interview: This is a requirement for only a few programs such as MBA. After the evaluation of the application, the admission committee might call for an interview.

Stanford University International Undergraduate Admission

Stanford undergraduate bachelor programs offer more than 65 major fields of study. Out of the total 6,994 UG students at Stanford University, 14% are international students from over 66 countries. Over 1,700 UG and 30 transfer students are admitted every year to the university.

How to Apply: International undergraduate applicants can apply online through two applications- Common Application OR Coalition Application.

Application Fee: Non-refundable application fee of 90 USD is to be paid online.

Academic Requirements for International Students: International undergraduate students must have completed senior secondary school with good academic standing. International students who excel in a curriculum with below-mentioned subjects in school are well suited for university academics:

  • English: four years, with emphasis on writing and literature.
  • Mathematics: four years, with emphasis on fundamental mathematical skills such as algebra, trigonometry, plane, solid and analytic geometry.
  • History/Social Studies: three or more years.
  • Science: three more years of laboratory science including biology, chemistry and physics.or
  • Foreign Language: three or more years of the same foreign language.

Applicants must also submit either an ACT or SAT score along with the application. These scores are valid for a period of 5 years. Although there is no minimum score requirement for admissions, the average scores of students for the class profile of 2023 at Stanford are:

  • With 78% students submitting SAT scores, the average scores are: 1440– 1560
  • With 61% students submitting ACT scores, the average scores are: 32– 35

Non-native English speakers are also required to submit proof of English proficiency through one of the standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or other equivalent exams. The minimum required scores accepted at the university are:

English TestMinimum Scores Required
TOEFL (IBT)100
TOEFL (PBT)570
IELTS 7.0
PTE 68

Supporting Documents:

  • Completed online admission application form
  • Academic transcripts from senior secondary school along with their English translations
  • Essays
  • 2 Letter of Recommendation (from a teacher)
  • School Report and Counselor Letter of Recommendation
  • ACT or SAT Scores
  • English proficiency scores

Note: Admission requirements for transfer students are the same as for UG admissions. Only the deadlines differ. The courses studied are first matched with that of the university and if found fit, the students can get a transfer to Stanford.

Stanford University International Graduate Admissions

At Stanford, there are 9,390 matriculated students of which 34% are international students enrolled in 90+ graduate fields. Each course has a different requirement and application process.

International students applying for admissions at Stanford University can only apply to one graduate program in an academic year. It is recommended that students make the right choice of program keeping in mind their interests and skills.

How to apply: There are different portals to apply for the desired course. The applications are filed through the respective school’s website.

When to apply: Deadlines for graduate programs at Stanford University vary. Students are admitted in Fall, Spring and Winter seasons.

Application Fee: 125 USD (for all master programs except MBA; MBA applicants are required to pay 275 USD as the application fee)

Academic Requirements for International Students: International students applying for admissions at Stanford University must make sure that they have completed a bachelor or master degree from a recognized university or college.

Apart from this, proof of standardized exams such as GRE, GMAT, or LSAT are also required. There is no minimum score requirement for graduate study at Stanford however students with high scores have much higher chances of admission. These standardized exams must be taken within 5 years of the application deadline.

Non-native English speakers are required to submit proof of English language proficiency through one of the standardized tests. It must be noted that Stanford only accepts TOEFL scores as proof of English proficiency. IELTS or other tests are not accepted at the university.*

The minimum TOEFL scores required for graduate admission:

Graduate ProgramMinimum Required scores
Humanities, Social Sciences, Education100 (iBT); 600 (PBT)
Engineering89 (iBT); 575 (PBT)

*It must be noted that graduate business programs do accept other English proficiency test scores such as IELTS or PTE in place of TOEFL.

Supporting Documents: While applying for a graduate program, applicants are required to submit the following documents as part of the application package:

  • Completed online admission application form
  • Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended along with their English translations
  • Scores of GRE or GMAT exams
  • English proficiency scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation
  • CV or Resume
  • Interview (might be required for a few programs)

International Degree Equivalents

Stanford University’s assessment of an international degree is based on the national educational system, type of institution attended, and the level of studies completed.

The table below shows the minimum level of study required by international applicants while applying for graduate study at Stanford:

CountryMinimum Level Required
Middle EastFour-year university degree
CanadaThree-year bachelor’s degree from Quebec, four-year bachelor’s degree from other provinces
IndiaThree-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master’s degree following the three-year bachelor’s degree
Pakistan, Bangladesh, NepalBachelor’s degree in engineering or medicine, master’s degree in all other fields
PhilippinesFour-year bachelor’s degree

Stanford University Subject-specific Admission Requirements

Below mentioned are some of the top Stanford University graduate master programs with their specific admission requirements:

Admission RequirementsMBAMS Mechanical EngineeringMA International PolicyMS Computer Science
Application Fee (in USD)275125125125
Statement of Purpose (SOP)RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
Letters of Recommendation (LOR)TwoThreeThreeThree
ResumeRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
GRE/ GMATRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
English ProficiencyTOEFL (iBT)- 100; IELTS- 7.0 TOEFL (iBT)- 89TOEFL (iBT)- 100TOEFL (iBT)- 89
Additional Requirements Two essay questions (One optional short answer question)Supplemental FormWriting Sample; Prerequisite coursework*Supplemental Form

*Prerequisites for MA International Policy: The MIP program at Stanford University requires university-level introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics as a prerequisite. These courses can be taken either as part of the UG education, at another accredited educational institution, or through an approved online course. In addition, it is strongly recommended that applicants must complete an introductory course in statistics and calculus that may be helpful in preparation for the Research Methods course.

Although there is no need to complete these courses at the time of application, they must be completed prior to the start of classes in late September.

Stanford MBA Class of 2021

Even though the university does not have any minimum GPA or test scores requirements and does not require any work experience, Stanford MBA applicants have high academic excellence. Therefore it is recommended that the applicants must score well and apply as early as possible to the university.

Mentioned below are the details of the MBA class of 2021 at Stanford University. International students applying for admission can get an idea of the scores, etc. that most of the MBA applicants have.

  • Total Applicants: 7,342
  • Enrolled Applicants: 417
  • International students: 43%
  • Work Experience Range: 0-14 years
  • Average Work Experience: 4-6 years
  • Average GPA: 3.7
  • Test Scores:
    • Average GMAT Scores: 734
    • Average GRE (Verbal): 165
    • Average GRE (Quantitative): 165
    • TOEFL (iBT): 114

It is therefore clear that even though a Stanford MBA accepts applications from college seniors, recent college graduates and even those with all levels of work experience, professional experience can be a plus point in your admission application. There are no minimum GPA requirements as well however, a good GPA score is always helpful and so on.

Student Visa to USA

International students at Stanford University are required to obtain and maintain an appropriate visa status for their stay in USA. They are required to apply for a student visa to USA. International students can apply for-

  • The F-1 Student Visa for new applicants obtained with an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility issued by Stanford.
  • The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa for transfer or exchange students obtained with a DS-2019, issued by Stanford or a sponsoring U.S. agency.

To receive the certificates of eligibility (I-20/DS-2019), international students must:

  • Fill the required I-20 or DS-2019 form
  • Accept Stanford’s offer of admission
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources to support at least one academic year at the university
  • Provide a copy of passport

Upon receiving all these documents, the university sends the I-20 or DS forms to the students so that they can apply for a student visa to USA. Documents required to apply for a student visa to USA are:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)
  • Payment of visa application and SEVIS fee
  • Approved and signed original I-20 form
  • Copy of Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of finances to cover at least a year stay in the USA

Applicants would be required to appear for a visa interview with the embassy in their respective home country. Upon successful completion of the visa process, a stamp is issued on the passport that acts as a visa to the USA.

FAQs

Ques. Which testing is required for admissions at Stanford University?

Ans. International students are required to provide scores of SAT or ACT for undergraduate admissions while GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc. are required for graduate admissions at Stanford University. 

Ques. Do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)? 

Ans. Non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English language proficiency TOEFL scores. It must be noted that although UG students can also provide scores of IELTS as proof of English proficiency, Stanford University does not accept IELTS for graduate admissions.

Ques. Are international students eligible for financial aid at Stanford University?

Ans. Yes. There are various scholarships offered by the university, external foundations, etc. that are available for international students. 

Ques. How do I enter my GPA in my admission application form?

Ans. If the school has not provided the scores in GPA, students are required to mention 0.00 in the application. Admission committee at the university will calculate the scores from the transcripts. 

Ques. Can the admission application to Stanford University made offline?

Ans. No. Stanford University only accepts online admission applications from students.  

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