International Applicants

International students have been an integral part of the university from its inception. Stanford is committed to enrolling a student body that includes students from around the world. The interactions among students with different backgrounds and experiences create a dynamic environment in which to learn and live.

Members of our admission staff specialize in evaluating educational systems from countries around the world and will consider your application within the context of the resources available to you. We recognize the educational procedures within your school and country as well as cultural and regional differences.

Submitting Your Application

The application process is the same for all applicants regardless of citizenship or country of residence. Review and follow our Freshman Application Instructions or our Transfer Application Instructions.

All applicants must submit either the Common Application or the Coalition Application online.

Financial Aid

Regardless of citizenship, applicants are reviewed in the context and country where they attend high school. In addition, Stanford is committed to meeting demonstrated financial need for all admitted students (regardless of citizenship) who have requested financial aid during the application process.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident or an undocumented student, your request for financial aid will be a factor in our admission evaluation. While financial aid resources are limited for international citizens, Stanford does offer admission to a number of these applicants each year. International citizens who indicate on their applications that they will not be applying for financial aid and subsequently are admitted are not eligible to apply for financial aid at any time during their four years at Stanford. However, if your citizenship status changes during the time you are enrolled as an undergraduate, and you become eligible for federal student aid, you may also be considered for need-based scholarship funds starting in the quarter during which your citizenship status changes.

Stanford is need-blind for all U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and undocumented students regardless of where they attend high school. This means a request for financial aid will not be a factor in our admission evaluation. Visit our financial aid website for more information and the required application forms.

Non-U.S. Educational Systems

Official documents that note your grades, marks, or any predictions are required and must be sent directly from your school as part of your application. There is no need to have your marks converted into an American GPA.

While there are no courses or minimum scores required to secure admission to Stanford, we recommend completing the necessary coursework to apply to a university program for a bachelor's degree in your home country. 

To learn more about our selection process and the recommended high school curriculum, please see our suggestions for Academic Preparation.

Non-English-Speaking Schools

Fluency in English is a prerequisite for undergraduate admission at Stanford. However, if you attend a school where the primary language of instruction is not English, you will not be at a disadvantage.

Official copies of your original transcripts and teacher evaluations are required. These must also be translated into English and copies of the translated documents provided with your application. Translations may not be completed by the applicant. However, we encourage applicants to utilize other resources available to them—such as English teachers or school administrators—to provide such translations.

Standardized Testing for International Students

The SAT or the ACT is required for all undergraduate applicants. If no sittings of these tests are offered in your country, you may request a testing waiver. The request must be submitted by a school official in writing by email (, mail or fax: (+1) (650) 723-6050. Include your full legal name, school name and date of birth at the top of the letter. No form is required. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

For 2018-2019, Stanford will review applications using either official or self-reported ACT or SAT scores for all applicants. Official score reports are not required unless the student is admitted and chooses to enroll. Please self-report your highest scores in the Testing section of either the Coalition Application or the Common Application. All official scores will be required if you are offered admission and choose to enroll. We do not accept alternate exam scores in lieu of either the ACT or the SAT.

If English is neither your native language nor the primary language of instruction at your current secondary school, we strongly recommend that you submit an English proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) as part of your application. While these exams are useful in helping us determine our applicants’ English proficiency, you may feel your fluency will be clear in other aspects of your application. We do not require that you take any standardized tests to demonstrate your English skills.

Refer to Testing for general guidelines.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission does not partner or work with paid agents or credentialing services. It is expected that all students complete their application materials without the use of such services.

Visa Application

Applicants who are international citizens will receive information detailing the student visa application process if offered admission to Stanford. To learn more about how Stanford supports its international and immigrant communities please visit the Stanford Immigration website .

Bechtel International Center

Stanford's international community adds vibrancy to our campus, and they find themselves at home in the dorms and classrooms. International students hail from around the world, speak a variety of languages and offer unique cultural perspectives. To see a sampling of some of the international student groups on campus and the many networks of support available to this community, please visit the Bechtel International Center website.

Updated on November 8, 2018 9:30 AM