Admitting degree programs are responsible for graduate admissions decisions at Stanford University. This policy sets forth many of the general eligibility requirements for admission to graduate study, along with the elements of the application process from receipt of the application up to the point of activation of the admitted student.
Applicants from colleges and universities of recognized standing who hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, or are anticipating conferral of the degree prior to admission, are eligible to be considered for admission to matriculated graduate study at Stanford University. The number of applicants who can be admitted for work in a particular field of study at any time is limited by the facilities and programs of the school or department and by the number of matriculated students who continue their work in that field. Stanford University welcomes applicants who will add to the diversity (broadly defined) of its graduate student population (see GAP 2.5, Commitment to Graduate Student Diversity).
Applicants may only apply to one graduate program in an academic year, with the exception of those applying to the Biosciences Program where applicants may indicate up to three possible programs. This limit applies to those applying through the central graduate admissions process, i.e., it does not take into consideration whether applicants are also applying separately to the M.D. program, or to any program within the Medical, Law or Business Schools, whose applications are processed separately.
To be considered for matriculated graduate study at Stanford, an applicant must provide:
Stanford reserves the right to investigate the authenticity, accuracy, and authorship of materials submitted, information provided and assertions made in connection with the application, and to require from the applicant additional information and authorizations to allow additional information to be obtained.
Application materials, once submitted as part of the application, become the property of Stanford University. Copies are not provided to the applicant, nor forwarded to other institutions.
The Office of the Registrar is the functional owner of the administrative systems (PeopleSoft Student Administration and the electronic admission application, CollegeNET) that support this process. Working with Stanford’s information technology infrastructure, they will maintain these applications for use by the campus community.
Both the Office of the Registrar and the individual offices of graduate degree-granting programs are responsible for monitoring the data in the electronic application and in the PeopleSoft Student Administration data base (see Implementation Guidelines, section 2, below).
The admissions application process is described at the Graduate Admissions web site.
Applicants who are not able to apply electronically, may request a paper application from the Graduate Admissions Office within the Office of the Registrar. The cost for the paper application packet is $20.00 in addition to the regular application fee.
Upon receipt, applications are available to the admitting department. In addition, individual applicants are responsible for providing the necessary transcripts, test scores and recommendations for use by department or program admissions personnel and committees.
All decisions regarding admission and financial aid (other than loans) are made by the admitting department, subject to verification of university admission requirements such as completion of the bachelor’s degree, official test scores, visa certification funding, etc. by the Graduate Admissions Office.
The admitting department/program is responsible for communicating admissions decisions to applicants. In no event should an admitting department offer unconditional acceptance to an applicant until the Graduate Admissions Office has confirmed the verification of credentials, visa request (if applicable) and receipt of official test scores.
Applicants who are interested in combining a graduate degree with a professional degree (M.D., J.D., or M.B.A.) should contact those admissions offices directly to determine the appropriate application process. To enter a joint degree program, applicants must be admitted separately to both participating Stanford schools, departments or programs, as well as to the joint degree program (see GAP 4.9, Joint Degree Programs).
Stanford University will award joint degrees where the requirements of both programs have been met. In most cases, the applicant applies initially to only one program, applying to and adding the second program using the Graduate Authorization Petition after arrival at Stanford (see GAP 5.1, Changes and Additions of Degree Programs).
Stanford University will not normally waive the one-time graduate application fee. An exception is permitted for applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and who obtain a GRE Fee Reduction Certificate for the current academic year. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) offers a limited number of GRE Fee Reduction Certificates on a first-come, first-served, basis. Eligibility for the GRE Fee Reduction Certificate is established by the applicant’s financial aid office at his or her undergraduate institution. Information on the GRE Fee Reduction Program is available from the Educational Testing Services via their web site.
In order to request a Stanford graduate application fee waiver, the applicant must submit a copy of the approved and completed GRE Fee Reduction Certificate, along with a short cover letter that includes the applicant’s full name as it appears on the application, email, date of birth, application PIN number, and the program to which he or she is applying, to the Graduate Admissions Office, Stanford University. To be valid, the GRE Fee Reduction Certificate must be affixed with an official school stamp or seal and signed by the appropriate school official. Fee waiver requests should not be sent to the admitting department.
Applicants who have been accepted for admission, and who wish to delay the start of their academic program for up to one year, may do so at the sole discretion of the admitting department. Applicants should communicate with the admitting department, and, if deferral is agreed upon, the admitting department will enter the deferred status into the PeopleSoft Student Administration data base. This must be done before the first day of the original admission starting term.
Admitting programs may not approve deferral of admission for more than one year. If an applicant wishes to delay the start of the academic program for more than one year, the request, endorsed by the admitting program, should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. Approvals of such requests are rare.
If an admitted student contacts the admitting department to reverse an earlier acceptance, i.e., to turn down an offer of admission after it had been accepted, the admitting department should contact the Graduate Admissions Office who will process the cancellation of the student’s admission at Stanford.
If an admitted student does not arrive on campus and submit a timely study list for the first quarter of the academic program, the Enrollment Services Office will discontinue the student’s program plan in PeopleSoft Student Administration. Graduate Admissions will return the student file to the appropriate department.
The process of admitting graduate students to matriculated study at Stanford University makes use of an electronic application (CollegeNET) and the PeopleSoft Student Administration data base. In addition, students who are offered admission will use Stanford’s student web portal, Axess, to enter admissions offer acceptance and take other steps to advance their admission to Stanford. The following table displays the steps in the process, indicating the responsible individual or organization. In many cases, these actions are governed by deadlines that may be set annually by Stanford or by the degree program.
|1.||Notifies Graduate Admissions Office of program admission requirements and deadlines.||Department|
|2.||Maintains official descriptions of university processes and requirements for admission, including applicable deadlines.||Graduate Admissions|
|3.||Reads and follows the advice and directions on the Graduate Admissions web site and the relevant admissions sections of department and program web sites.||Applicant|
|4.||Completes the online or paper application by the deadline indicated on the Graduate Admissions web site.||Applicant|
|5.||Arranges to have official transcripts from each postsecondary school attended and letters of recommendation sent directly to the department/program to which he or she is applying (letters may either by paper or submitted within the electronic application system, CollegeNET).||Applicant|
|6.||Via a system load process, receives application records and converts the data contained in those records into the University’s PeopleSoft Student Administration data base (SA), creating a PeopleSoft application record and an Empl ID number for the applicant. By means of this step, verifies that the applicant has not applied to more than one program in an academic year.||Graduate Admissions|
|7.||Regularly monitors the I-Class Web Center to identify new applications. Prints application, recommendations, and other materials as needed.||Department|
|8.||Reviews the PeopleSoft SA database for test scores, rankings, and other relevant data.||Department|
|9.||Receives transcripts, incorporates into applicant packages, and forwards to the appropriate selection committee by that program’s internal deadlines.||Department|
|10.||Reconciles list of applicants with information in PeopleSoft, and notifies Graduate Admissions of any discrepancies.||Department|
|11.||Prepares and mails acceptance letters to admitted applicants. Acceptance letters should include:
If admission includes financial support:
|12.||Prepares and mails turn-down and wait-list letters to the applicable students. Wait-list letters, if applicable, should include the date by which the applicant should be notified of final decision.||Department|
|13.||Enters decisions regarding acceptance, denial, and wait-listing into the PeopleSoft SA data base.||Department|
|14.||Monitors the PeopleSoft SA data base. Sends an email message to all admitted students reminding them of the Student ID number and where to find instructions for creating the SUNet ID to record the acceptance of the offer.||Graduate Admissions|
|15.||Once the admission is received, acts on that decision by either:
|16.||Monitors PeopleSoft SA database for acceptances, and upon notification of acceptance, sends all transcripts and the first page of the student’s application to the Graduate Admission Office for verification of fulfillment of admission requirements (e.g., credential verification, visa certification, ETS reported scores, evidence of adequate English). See GAP 2.2, Requirements for New International Students, for additional processes related to international students.||Department|
|17.||After the student has accepted the offer of admission, verifies all credentials and receipt of ETS GRE general (and TOEFL if applicable) scores, including international degrees, visa certification, evidence of English proficiency, for admitted students who have accepted their admission. Verifies credentials on a “first-come, first-served” basis.||Graduate Admissions|
|18.||Notifies the degree-granting program/department of concerns about student credentials, if any.||Graduate Admissions|
|19.||Notifies the applicant of concerns regarding any condition of admission.||Graduate Admissions|
|20.||Approves enrollment and matriculates the accepted student to their degree program.||Graduate Admissions|