First-Year Applicants

Application and Essays

You apply to Stanford by submitting the Common Application . When you apply to Stanford, you apply to the university as a whole, not to a particular major, department or school. We encourage you to indicate prospective majors and career interests in the application, but please know you are not bound by these selections in any way.

The Common Application includes essay prompts for your personal essay. In addition to the personal essay, we also require the Stanford Questions, which you can access and submit through the Common Application once you add Stanford University to your list of colleges.

The essays are your chance to tell us about yourself in your own words; there are no right or wrong answers and you should allow your genuine voice to come through. These questions help us get to know you as a friend, future roommate and classmate.

Stanford Questions

We ask applicants to answer several short questions (limit 50 words each) and to write a short essay on each of the three topics below.

Short Essay Questions

There is a 100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum for each essay.

  1. The Stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. Reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning.
  2. Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better.
  3. Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.
Updated on August 4, 2022 9:07 AM