Find answers to questions about testing, fee waivers, adding an update to your application, and more.
Before contacting us, please check the list below. We've put together the most frequently asked questions so you can find what you're looking for quickly.
Not at all. Contacting the Admission Office is neither a requirement nor an advantage in our admission process. We offer campus tours and information sessions to provide you with the information you need to make an informed college choice, not to evaluate you. Please do not feel compelled to contact us to demonstrate your interest in Stanford; we know by the very fact of your applying that you are seriously interested in Stanford. We do not keep records of prospective student contacts with our office.
We do not have a preference for students who attend Stanford specific summer programs, but overall, engaging in enrichment opportunities and advanced courses may demonstrate your enthusiasm for learning and discovery. The fact that you are taking summer or enrichment programs is not in and of itself the value-add to your application; it is what you take from that experience, how you share that experience with us through your essays and how that experience has enhanced your intellectual life that is of importance.
We do not have a required curriculum or set of courses for applicants, although we do make general recommendations to all applicants. It will be to your advantage if your home curriculum meets or exceeds these recommendations.
Read more in the Home-Schooled Applicant Guidelines section.
More information can be found on the Office of Accessible Education's website for prospective students with physical, psychological and learning disabilities. This website has information pertaining to the application process, visiting campus, admission policies and more.
You are considered a freshman applicant if any of the following apply:
- You are still in high school/home school and have not yet received your high school diploma or the equivalent.
- You have received a high school diploma or the equivalent but have not enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution nor entered a college or university as a degree-seeking student.
- You have not yet received your high school diploma or the equivalent and are enrolled in an early college program or dual enrollment program.
Incoming freshmen are allowed to transfer a maximum of 45 quarter units (roughly one year of full-time college or university study) to Stanford. All credit evaluations for enrolling students are completed by the Office of the University Registrar on receipt of official college transcripts or score reports.
Transfer ApplicantYou are considered a transfer applicant if any of the following apply:
- You have enrolled as a degree-seeking student at a college or university at any point after you received your high school diploma or the equivalent.
- You graduated from high school or received a high school diploma equivalent and subsequently enrolled in a college or university for more than half time.
If either of these conditions applies to you, you may not disregard your college record and apply as a freshman. You must apply as a transfer.
Incoming transfer students are allowed to transfer a maximum of 90 quarter units (roughly two years of full-time college or university study) to Stanford regardless of the number of units earned at previous institutions. All undergraduate students are required to study at Stanford for two full academic years in order to receive a bachelor's degree from Stanford. All credit evaluations for enrolling students are completed by the Office of the University Registrar on receipt of official college transcripts or score reports.
Stanford University requires ALL students to have a high school diploma or the equivalent before entering.
You may submit one additional recommendation from someone who knows you well, other than a teacher or counselor, and can provide information about you not available elsewhere. Please remember that a letter from a famous person or Stanford alumnus will not help us reach a decision if that person is unable to add new insights to your application. Ask your recommender to note your full legal name, school name and date of birth at the top of the letter. Your recommender may upload the letter to your application or send by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), mail or fax: (650) 723-6050. No form is required.
During the academic year, the Visitor Center can provide a list of classes open to prospective students who wish to observe. Prospective students can drop by the Visitor Center to obtain this information.
If visiting a class is a high priority for you, be advised that those courses which allow prospective students to sit in generally have a lecture-based format, are offered on the hour during weekday mornings and last for approximately one hour. To ensure that you will be able to sit in on a course in an academic area of your interest while visiting Stanford, be sure to coordinate your intentions and itinerary when making reservations for other tours or programs. Also, ensure that you are visiting while classes are in session and not during finals or academic breaks. Stanford University operates on the quarter system, and our class calendar can differ significantly from those of other institutions.
Be advised that sitting in on a class during Summer Quarter is not possible, as course options are limited and often cater specifically to summer camp or conference audiences.
Current students are on staff at the Visitor Center and welcome your questions. In addition, Stanford students typically enjoy talking about their experiences, and you are welcome to ask questions of any student that you see walking around campus.
Stanford's Summer Session offers programs for both high school and college students.
Stanford has a strong commitment to admitting and enrolling a student body that is both highly qualified and diverse. We review all applications with a sensitive awareness to the applicant's personal experiences, family background and potential to add to the rich and dynamic texture of our campus. We recognize special circumstances and pay close attention to the unique educational contexts and life experiences of students from low-income families and nontraditional backgrounds. At Stanford, students benefit from unparalleled diversity of thought, experiences, cultures, and ways of viewing the world. We believe that the best education can develop only in a vibrant, diverse community that actively affirms both the differences among its members and the numerous points of connection. At a place like Stanford, where students learn so much from one another, a dynamic range of perspectives and experiences influences learning both in and out of the classroom. We are committed to making Stanford as strong a university as possible, and this entails enrolling the most promising students from all backgrounds.
Please visit this resource to read about Stanford University's Nondiscrimination Policy.
Please log in regularly to your Application Status Page to check the status of required application materials. Instructions for logging in to your status page are included in the email from Stanford that confirmed receipt of your application.
Materials submitted by others, including school officials and testing agencies, may take several weeks to process. As a result, your checklist may not be complete by the deadline. This is completely fine. Simply continue to check your Application Status Page regularly until we have received all items.
As a standard practice, we offer a grace period after the application deadline during which teachers and counselors may submit application materials. Please remind your teacher or counselor to submit the materials as soon as possible. In general, materials submitted by others, including school officials and testing agencies, may take several weeks to process. As a result, your checklist may not be complete by the deadline. This is completely fine. Simply continue to check your Application Status Page regularly until we have received all items.
We strongly prefer online submission through the Common or Coalition Application. If your recommender is unable to submit a letter or other required document online, then they may send the document as an email attachment to email@example.com. Ask your recommender to note your full legal name, school name, and date of birth at the top of the letter.
We do not accept or process supplementary materials. If, however, you would like to provide more detail about your academic program, activities, honors, or background, you are welcome to use the Additional Information section in the application.
To add new information to your application or to correct an error, please send the information in the body of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full legal name, school name, and date of birth in the email.
Stanford requires just one exam—either the ACT with Writing or the SAT with Essay. It is important to take the writing/essay portion of the exam. Test scores without writing/essay will not complete the testing requirement for the application. All scores from all high school sittings of either exam (or both if you took both) are required.
We recommend taking the required tests well in advance of application deadlines. Please see our testing deadline chart for the last acceptable ACT with Writing and SAT with Essay exam dates.
No; at Stanford, we review applications holistically, meaning every component of the application is valuable to us as we get to know each student. Standardized testing is one way to highlight academic preparedness, along with the many other application requirements that inform academic strength. Therefore, there are no minimum test scores, GPA, or rank in class required to apply or to be admitted to Stanford.
Stanford requires just one exam—either the ACT with Writing or the SAT with Essay. SAT Subject Tests are optional. Because subject test scores can highlight areas of strength, you are welcome to self-report these results in your application. You may also send official scores from the College Board. If you are going to report any SAT Subject Test scores, we encourage you to report scores for all SAT Subject Tests you have taken. That said, these exams are optional, so you may report the scores you wish.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), although not required, is strongly recommended for non-native speakers of English. The TOEFL cannot replace the required SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing.
You may submit your IELTS scores, but please note that Stanford does not recognize the IELTS as a measure of English proficiency.
Stanford is committed to making the college application process accessible to every student. To determine if you are eligible for a fee waiver, please review the fee waiver eligibility guidelines in either the Coalition Application or the Common Application. Any student who meets the eligibility guidelines may request an application fee waiver.
The Financial Aid Office does not issue fee payment codes for the CSS Profile for freshman or transfer applicants. However, your fee may be waived by the College Scholarship Service (CSS) if you meet their criteria. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact CSS at (844) 202-0524.
If you requested but are not eligible for a fee waiver, you can return to your Application Submission Page at commonapp.org , change your payment method, and pay the fee.
If SlideRoom is not allowing you to submit, it most likely means the Arts Portfolio deadline has passed. We are not able to accept late submissions. Please check the Arts Portfolio deadline in our deadline chart.
If the Arts Portfolio deadline has not yet passed, and you are still experiencing technical difficulties, please contact SlideRoom directly.
Students must submit their application and Arts Portfolio by the earlier deadlines listed in our deadline chart.
Students must submit their application and Arts Portfolio by the earlier deadlines provided in our deadline chart. We have an earlier deadline so our Fine Arts faculty can have time to review the portfolios. In order to send a portfolio out to Fine Arts departments, it must be linked to a submitted application.
Test scores, transcripts, school reports, and letters of recommendation may arrive by the usual deadlines.
You can find detailed instructions and information in our Arts Portfolio Instructions .
No; students may submit a single Arts Portfolio in only one of the following departments: Art Practice, Dance, Music, or Theater. We recommend submitting a portfolio in the area that best represents your strength in the arts and the art form you are most likely to pursue in college.
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
General Fax Number
Fax for Applicant Credentials
Office of Undergraduate Admission
Montag Hall (map )
355 Galvez Street
Stanford, CA 94305-6106
Send a Message
We welcome your inquiry. Given the high volume of emails we receive, it is possible that we will be unable to provide a personal response to your message. We give priority to questions that are not answered on our website. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited email attachments or application materials via email.