Freshman Application Requirements


The optional interview is an opportunity for an applicant and a Stanford alumnus/a to have a meaningful conversation about Stanford. This two-way exchange allows you to learn more about Stanford, and the Admission Office to learn more about you.

Interview Areas

For the 2017–18 admission cycle, the optional interview program will operate in 53 locations in the United States and U.S. territories and 58 countries, as noted below.

United States and U.S. Territories:

  • Forty-nine full states (all but California) plus Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C.
  • Forty-five California counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. Additional California counties to be included for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 admission cycles.


  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Singapore
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United Republic of Tanzania

Interview Logistics

Interview Assignment

  • An applicant is matched to an interviewer based on the applicant's high school location (as indicated on the application) and the availability of interviewers in the area.
  • All applicants that attend high school in an interview area are eligible for an interview.
  • Applicants will be contacted by interviewers as our local volunteer resources allow, and applicants may not request an interview.
  • If an applicant's high school is not in an interview area and the applicant lives in an interview area, an interview will not be offered.
  • Applicants attending a high school that is not in an interview program area may not travel to another area in order to interview.
  • Interviews for Restrictive Early Action (REA) are conducted during the first few weeks of November. Interviews for Regular Decision (RD) are conducted between mid-January and mid-February.
  • If an interviewer is available, he or she will send the applicant an invitation to interview by email or occasionally will call with the invitation to schedule a time (using the email and phone number provided on your admission application).
  • An interviewer receives the name of an applicant, the applicant's high school name and the applicant contact information.  Interviewers do not have access to other application information such as test scores, grades or activity lists.
  • The interview program is regionally based. No interviews are offered on campus at Stanford.

Accepting/Declining an Interview

  • Due to limited interview periods, we encourage students to frequently check the email address provided on their application and promptly accept or decline the interview invitation.
  • If you would like to accept an interview but are unable to make the suggested times, please respond suggesting a time that would work for you.
  • We encourage applicants who wish to decline the interview to communicate this to the interviewer rather than to ignore the invitation.
  • Declining an interview will not negatively impact an application, and all applications are considered complete with or without an interview.
  • To maintain an interview program that is fair to all applicants, we ask that you do not network with those who may know your interviewer. If you know the interviewer or a member of your family does, we will try to reassign you to a different interview.

Interview Preparation

  • Since the interview is meant to be an informal conversation, no formal preparation is needed. There is no set list of questions that interviewers are required to ask, and each interview will be unique.
  • Prior to the interview, applicants may want to think about questions to ask the interviewer. Remember that one goal of the interview is to help you get to know Stanford better through someone who has attended.
  • Please dress comfortably for your interview. You are welcome to dress in typical high school attire for the interview.
  • Applicants should be prompt for interviews, so planning accordingly is important. If you think you will be late, please let your interviewer know as soon as possible. When scheduling the interview, you may want to ask for the best way to connect should there be any last minute complications. If an unforeseeable circumstance will make you late, please contact the interviewer.
  • Stanford strongly prefers that interviews be conducted in person. Under certain limited circumstances, you may be offered the opportunity to be interviewed via video chat (Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime, etc.). Video chat interviews may not be used for applicants who attend high school in non-interview areas.
  • The in-person interview will be conducted in a public space such as a coffee shop or library.
  • Applicants are encouraged to bring only themselves to the interview. Parents, siblings and friends should not be at the interview location whether in-person or on video chat. Parents who wish to meet the interviewer may do so initially and then are invited to leave.
  • Please do not bring resumes, transcripts, test scores or other supplementary materials to share with interviewers. The interviewers are not provided this information by Stanford, and we ask that you do not provide it.
  • Prepare to have an enjoyable experience talking about yourself and learning more about Stanford.

After the Interview

  • Interviewers are asked to submit their interview feedback immediately after the interview. The volunteer's reflections on the conversation may provide additional information for the Office of Undergraduate Admission's application review.
  • Once an interviewer submits their interview feedback, they are not able to respond to further information submitted by applicants.
  • Please email contact if you have interview-related questions.
  • If you have admission-related questions, please contact the Admission Office via email at or by phone at (650)723-2091.


Updated on August 3, 2017 5:25 PM