Application and Essays
Stanford accepts the Common Application , which asks about:
- Family background
- School information
- Academic honors
- Extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, work experience, or military service
Our holistic review allows us to consider each applicant's unique circumstances and educational background. We recognize that many of our transfer applicants have followed non-traditional routes to higher education, and we welcome the diverse perspectives these students bring to campus. Additionally, we understand that family, personal or financial circumstances may prevent students from participating in traditional extracurricular activities. We hope you will use the application to explain your specific situation.
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 personal statement and the Stanford short essay questions are an opportunity to tell us about your reasons for transferring, your future goals, and your favorite activities and interests. These responses help us understand your experiences, ideas and insights.
Common Application Personal Statement
The personal statement request is located in the Stanford Questions section of the Transfer Common Application. The question reads: Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. (650-word maximum)
Stanford Short Essays
We ask applicants to write a short essay on each of the following three topics. For the second essay, transfer applicants must choose one of the two listed prompts. There is a 100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum for each essay.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stanford’s community is an essential part of the undergraduate experience. How do you define community and what contributions have you made to yours?
- Please describe what aspects of your life experiences, interests and character would help you make a distinctive contribution as an undergraduate to Stanford University.