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Applying to the Graduate Program

The Application Deadline for the 2019-20 has passed. The 2020-21 application will be available in early September 2019; please check back in September for more application details. The deadline submit your application for 2020-21 will be on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 11:59 pm PST.  

For inquiries regarding graduate admissions, please send your materials and files to our student services officer,

Graduate study is offered in more than 60 departments and programs. Since you may submit only one application per academic year, it is essential that you carefully review the available programs. We recommend students review all available programs, before applying. During your application process you will be able to designate whether you would potentially like your application to be referred to a different department, although this does no guarantee that the other department will offer you candidacy.

Stanford University Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for admission to graduate programs at Stanford, applicants must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold before enrollment at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  • Applicants from institutions outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. See minimum level of study required of International applicants.

English Language Proficiency

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English.

International students enrolled at Stanford must be able to read English with ease, understand rapid idiomatic English as used in lectures and group discussions, and express thoughts quickly and clearly in spoken and written English. Admission is offered only to students who are fully prepared in English or who have advanced intermediate proficiency in English that could be raised to the required level by enrollment in a summer intensive English program.

Stanford University offers a six-week Intensive English and Academic Orientation Program in the summer for students who plan to begin graduate study in the autumn quarter.

Stanford English Placement Test

The English for Foreign Students Office administers an English placement test at the beginning of each quarter. This test may be a required condition of admission for students whose native language is not English.

Standard protocol for the test involve:

  • The test assesses the ability to understand, speak, and write American English with particular emphasis on active speaking and writing.
  • Results are evaluated in terms of the students’ intended academic programs at Stanford and the University’s requirements for that program.
  • The results of the test determine whether students will be required to take courses in English in addition to their academic courses.
  • Completion of a degree program may be lengthened if the English courses are required.
  • Students who hold teaching assistantships or who are enrolled in a PhD program that has a teaching requirement will be evaluated in a separate test for oral communication in English.
  • A special English course for teaching assistantships is available for students who are found to need additional language training before beginning their teaching assignments.


Please check the appropriate pages below to see admissions requirements:

Masters of Arts Requirements

Ph.D. Requirements


Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

The Knight-Henessy Scholars program awards full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford to students from all disciplines, with additional opportunities for leadership training and collaboration across fields. 

Apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by September 2019, and to the degree program of your choice by November 2019.