FAQ



1. Does Stanford show preference in the admission process for students who have demonstrated interest by visiting, calling and emailing?

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. We welcome calls and emails for the same reason. 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.

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2. Would attending Stanford's Summer Session before the senior year improve one's chances for freshman admission?

Not in terms of signifying added interest in Stanford (see above). But what taking enrichment and advanced courses might do, wherever they are taken, is indicate to us your enthusiasm for a subject area, or your excitement about 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.

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3. What are the guidelines for home-schooled applicants?

We do not have a required curriculum or set of courses for applicants to Stanford, although we do make general recommendations (not requirements) 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.

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4. I am a prospective student interested in learning what the admission process is like for applicants with disabilities.  Where can I go to learn more?

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.

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5. Am I a Freshman or Transfer applicant?

Freshman Applicant

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 Applicant
You 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.

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6. Should I take the SAT Subject test?

We recommend (but do not require) that you submit official results of at least two SAT Subject Tests, as these additional scores often assist us in our evaluation process. You are welcome to submit any and all SAT Subject Tests you have completed. We do not have a preference for the specific SAT Subject Tests you elect to take. However, if you elect to take a math test, we do prefer to see the Math Level 2 test if you feel that your math background has adequately prepared you for this test.

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7. What about additional evaluators?

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 the recommender to note your official name, birth date, current school and Common Application ID number at the top of the letter. (Your Common Application ID number is available on the Common Application website after logging in to your account.) No special form is required. The recommender should fax the letter to our Credentials Office at (650) 723-6050.

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8. Does Stanford offer interviews?

For the 2013–14 admission cycle the Office of Undergraduate Admission will offer an optional alumni interview to applicants attending high school in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Washington, D.C.; the states of Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming; as well as Ireland and the UK. New interview areas will be added gradually over the next several years.

Interviews will be offered only to applicants who attend high school in selected zip codes within these areas. You may not travel to an interview area to have an interview.

If you are eligible to be a part of the alumni interview program, an alumnus or alumna will contact you after you have submitted your application. You do not need to do anything—if an interview is available to you, you will hear from us. Please do not call or email the Office of Undergraduate Admission to request an interview or to find out if you are eligible for an interview.

Although we will make every effort to offer an interview to all eligible applicants in the interview areas, please understand that due to limited resources in some areas, interviews may not be available to every candidate. Your application to Stanford will be considered complete with or without an interview.

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9. I am a prospective student and will be visiting the campus. Can I sit in on classes?

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 or the Office of Undergraduate Admission 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.

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10. How can I meet current students during my visit to the Stanford campus?

Current students and recent alumni 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.

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11. Does Stanford offer any academically-oriented summer programs for high school and college students?

Stanford's Summer Session offers programs for both high school and college students.

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12. Does Stanford practice Affirmative Action?

Stanford has a strong commitment to admitting and enrolling a student body that is both highly qualified and diverse. We read 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 we pay close attention to the unique educational contexts and life experiences of students from low-income families and nontraditional backgrounds. We believe that diversity is essential to the educational process and that it affects the student body in all of the ways that our students experience the University. 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.

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13. What is the international community at Stanford like?

Stanford's international community is difficult to capture in words. Without a doubt, they add a vibrancy to our campus community that enriches our 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, please visit the Bechtel International Center's website. Just as there is no typical Stanford student, there is no typical Stanford experience.

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Last update: June 26, 2014 5:39 AM