Life at Stanford is about unlimited possibilities. Their students roam the art-filled
halls in Paris’s famed Musée d’Orsay, form part of the White House’s work force, and command
the attention of fifteen Nobel Laureates on the faculty. As an undergraduate, you can
make the Galapagos Islands your classroom, or stay on campus and enjoy the more than eight
million volumes in our libraries, not to mention the technical facilities that advance our
nation’s scientific knowledge daily. Stanford channels the world’s resources into its students, transforming them into tomorrow’s innovators. The university’s alumni are responsible for such
household names as Yahoo!, Google, the laser, GPS Technology, Grapes of Wrath, and One Flew
over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The boundless resources at Stanford create a vibrancy on campus,
infecting students with a sense of purpose and intellectual ambition. Students have
wildly differing interests: a single group of friends may include a computer scientist, a budding
novelist, or a dedicated public servant, all of whom would be well served by Stanford’s curriculum
and extracurricular possibilities.
Balancing the unparalleled academic possibilities are Stanford’s extracurricular activities.
Stanford has received fourteen consecutive Directors’ Cups, an award recognizing the top
all-around Division I athletic program in the NCAA Division I. The university’s stellar sports program
not only injects its undergraduate body with some of the most dedicated and talented athletes
in the country, but it also creates a powerful feeling of pride and unity among its students.
Aside from its sports program, students have created more than six hundred
student-led organizations, ranging from the SIMPS (Stanford Improvisers) to the yo-yo club, to
hip-hop dance groups. Each quarter ninety-nine percent of the 6,700 undergraduates either
reside on campus or are participating in one of ten off-campus studies programs sponsored by
the university; residence life is an integral and vital aspect of the Stanford experience.
Grouping so many young adults together leads to a rich variety of activities, clubs, and social
events, guaranteeing that undergraduate life is anything but dull.
Best of all, students never have to put their activities (academic or extracurricular)
on hold. Thanks to its gloriously mild weather, students literally enjoy the school every
day of the year. Stanford’s perennial sun also serves to highlight its beautiful campus of more
than 8,000 acres located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and less than an hour
from San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. Students also relish being near attractions such as
Lake Tahoe, Monterey Bay, Big Sur, and Yosemite National Park.
Stanford is committed to offering its undergraduates an education that is unrivaled
among research universities. Recognized as one of the world’s leading research and teaching
institutions, the school has one of the most renowned faculties in the nation. Stanford’s extraordinary
students—men and women of all races, ethnicities, ages, and experiences—are distinguished
by their love of learning and desire to contribute in a significant way to the greater
community. From their first day on campus, students explore virtually limitless opportunities
that fuel their intellectual passions and help them fulfill their academic and personal promise.
They are encouraged to share their interests with members of all campus communities, resulting
in a vigorous intellectual life outside the classroom as well as inside.
Let us not be afraid to outgrow old thoughts and ways and dare to think
on new lines as to the future work under our care. —Jane Stanford
The entrepreneurial spirit that inspired Leland and Jane Stanford to establish the institution
and that later helped shape the discoveries and innovations of Silicon Valley, located
right at Stanford’s doorstep, cultivates an environment of intense creativity. Students learn from policy makers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and scholars involved in the most
pressing issues facing the world and in turn they become involved themselves in discovering new
knowledge that will impact the future.
Simply put, the ways you will think and live tomorrow are being shaped at Stanford today.
Stanford prides itself on its quality of education at the undergraduate level. More than
seventy percent of undergraduate classes have twenty or fewer students, so the undergraduate
experience is extremely personalized. Exclusive to freshmen and sophomores are more
than 200 small-group seminars where students can enjoy close interactions with professors.
With a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, it’s easy for both students and faculty to get to know each
other. There are more than sixty majors from which to choose, including several interdisciplinary
majors, and you can create your own major with the help of a faculty member. In addition,
you are free to take any class at Stanford, including the Medical, Law, and Business
schools. This freedom to explore beyond undergraduate classes allows students to get a
glimpse into what graduate school might be like, thus letting them make informed decisions
about their academic futures.
Stanford students can choose from among nine campuses around the world. Beijing,
Berlin, Brisbane, Florence, Kyoto, Moscow, Oxford, Paris, and Santiago all host a
campus complete with Stanford faculty. Students earn full credit while studying at these
centers. Each center provides unique research and/or internship opportunities: While Florence
and Paris are prime centers for art history research, Kyoto offers engineering students great
hands-on skills. Archaeology students benefit greatly from the Santiago program.
Aside from these overseas centers, the school
also offers a myriad of seminars that have taken students
to the Galapagos Islands, China, Korea, Russia,
A Research Institution for
Stanford is a premier research institution, responsible
for MRI technology, gene splicing, global positioning
systems, DNA micoarray technology, and a host of other
inventions contributing significantly to the world. As an
undergraduate at Stanford, you will be invited to participate
in this innovative research. Student research grants
sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Programs
provide undergraduates with over $4 million each year to
pursue their intellectual passions. As with any researcher, students must submit a research
proposal in order to receive these grants. Faculty members assist students in the organization
and development of the project, but students have full ownership of their project.
With more than 130 research centers, Stanford provides students with the opportunities
and resources to research just about any topic, anywhere. Some of the most renowned centers
- Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Hoover boasts one of the largest collections
of twentieth-century political materials.
- Hopkins Marine Station. Located ninety miles south of the campus, students can supplement
their marine biology courses with research in this marine laboratory.
- Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Twelve hundred acres within a short walk of campus,
where protected flora and fauna can be appreciated or studied.
- Stanford Humanities Laboratory. Interdisciplinary humanities laboratory on campus.
- Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Operated for the U.S. Department of Energy, researching
- Stanford University Medical Center. Includes dozens of specialized clinics. Located on
campus, undergraduates are free to attend classes at the medical school, and frequently
become research assistants.
- Woods Institute for the Environment. An interdisciplinary center that serves as the hub for
all environmental research and education on campus.
The following are among the scholars
who will enrich your undergraduate
- Nobel laureates- 15
- Pulitzer Prize winners- 4
- MacArthur fellows- 23
- National Medal of Science
- National Medal of Technology
- American Academy of Arts
and Sciences members- 223
- Wolf Foundation Prize for
Mathematics winners- 7
- Koret Foundation Prize
- Presidential Medal of
Freedom winners- 4
Most Popular Fields of Study
Every year Stanford’s Office of Undergraduate Admission assembles a freshman class of
1,600 students out of about 25,000 applicants. Needless to say, getting admitted is
a complicated and layered process. The selection process weighs everything from extracurricular
activities to personal qualities, but academic excellence is far and away the
single most important criterion for admission.
Each application is reviewed by a committee of admission officers. The goal of the admission
staff is to create a freshman class with a myriad of strengths; every student should contribute a valued talent or life experience to the undergraduate body, as well as proven academic excellence.
The Office of Undergraduate Admission seeks to
admit those students whose distinctions, whatever they
may be, prove they would flourish at a place like
Stanford. The university values both well-rounded and specialized
students; it is important to remember that
there is no cookie-cutter recipe for admission. The admission process is truly a personalized
one. The application relies heavily on short
essays, which allow students to present themselves
fully: their motivations, passions, and ideals should resonate
throughout the application. Admission
officers thus have the privilege of getting to know applicants’
personal strengths as well as their academic achievements and intellectual passions.
All applicants, including transfer students and international students, must present
official scores from either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT with the Optional
Writing Test. The admissions office also strongly recommends that students submit SAT Subject Test
scores. There are no minimum thresholds for grade point average (GPA), test scores, or
rank in class. Although there will be plenty of students with perfect test scores and GPAs
in its applicant pool, Stanford is looking beyond numerical figures: The school seeks to admit
intriguing and passionate individuals who will contribute to campus life and take full
advantage of the opportunities available to them, and who demonstrate an intellectual
vitality that clearly states they derive pleasure from learning for learning’s sake.
The university also values exceptional ability in both the arts and athletics. If you are interested
in having these talents evaluated in the admission process, consider submitting samples
of artwork or auditioning in music, drama, or dance, or communicating with a coach to see if
your abilities are competitive within the Stanford Division I program. For information on
pursuing these options, visit http://admission.stanford.edu. Please keep in mind that these talents
will enhance your application only if you are otherwise well qualified; they will not earn
you admission in and of themselves.
Restrictive Early Action
The school offers a Restrictive Early Action option for those students who know clearly that
Stanford is their first-choice school and have completed a thorough and thoughtful college
search. This option will best serve students who are ready to be evaluated in terms of
their high school career by the beginning of November of the senior year. Early candidates
should feel confident in their sophomore and junior year programs, and should complete
their standardized testing by the October of the senior year. Those offered admission have
until May 1 to consider if they will enroll.
The previous chart gives some statistics on Stanford’s entering freshman class for a
recent fall. Keep in mind that these statistics do not quantify many of the criteria
Stanford values in the admission process, including personal qualities, intellectual curiosity,
and many other areas of excellence as described above.
The institution admits students of either sex and any race, color, religion, sexual orientation,
or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally
accorded or made available to students at the university. It does not discriminate against students
on the basis of race, color, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic
origin in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and
athletic and other university-administered programs.
Tuition, room and board at Stanford costs slightly over $50,000 annually. Stanford is
need-blind in its admission process, meaning that applying for financial aid does not affect the
admission decision. This policy applies to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
of the United States. International students should refer to the following section.
Stanford is committed to providing a financial aid package that will meet the full demonstrated
financial need of every admitted U.S. student or permanent resident of the United States.
In the spring of 2008, the school announced significant enhancements to its financial aid
policies. Parents whose total annual income is less than $60,000 a year will not be expected to
contribute toward educational costs. Parents with income between $60,000 and $100,000 will
receive enough scholarship to cover the cost of tuition at a minimum.
Stanford also allows students to earn the work-study portion of a financial aid package
through community service. This alleviates incoming students’ concern that they will be placed
in unfulfilling jobs. Instead, the school’s service organization, the Haas Center for Public Service,
helps students find rewarding part-time jobs. The popularity of these community service jobs
accounts for the more than 3,000 students who participate in Haas-sponsored activities. In fact,
the university has ranked first among top universities in dispensing federal work-study money for
community service. The Haas Center also works with faculty to combine community service
with classroom teaching. These school-based service programs complementing a student’s curriculum
include the School of Engineering Pre-college program, the East Palo Alto Community
Law Project, the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, and the School of Education’s
Financial Aid for International Students
Stanford does not practice need-blind admission for international students, which
means the need for financial aid is a consideration in admission. Some international
students may be offered admission on the condition that they finance their Stanford education.
Financial aid is available to international students on a limited basis.
For more information on Stanford’s financial aid program, visit http://financialaid.
Student Financial Aid Details
Residential Life at Stanford
More than ninety-nine percent of Stanford students live in student housing or at a
Stanford-sponsored off-campus study program each quarter. That translates into a
community of 6,600 people under the age of twenty-six all living within a relatively small
radius. Because of this, the campus is vibrant and full of every
imaginable student-led organization, from Greek life to political groups, to recreational
clubs, to ethnic-cultural organizations and many more.
Stanford guarantees housing for the four years of a student’s undergraduate career.
The small-house system includes seventy-eight residences all located within ten minutes
walking distance from the center of campus. The houses vary in size and theme, and include:
all freshmen houses, sophomore houses, four-class houses, upper-class houses, apartments,
cross-cultural theme houses, and a handful of Greek houses. Approximately fifteen percent of
students participate in the Greek system, making it a fun option for those who are interested,
but not letting it command the undergraduate social scene.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Stanford Athletics—Go Cardinals!
Athletics flourish at Stanford. The glorious
California weather, the 8,000 acres of open
fields, and the Olympic caliber facilities all contribute
to widespread popularity of athletics at
Stanford. Not only has Stanford’s athletic department
captured the Directors’ Cup for twelve years in
a row, but also eight out of ten Stanford students
participate in the athletic programs, whether it be at
the varsity, intercollegiate, intramural, or club sport
levels. Stanford’s expansive campus and idyllic location
also provide the perfect setting for hikers,
campers, runners, or rock climbers.
A quick list of Stanford’s major athletic facilities
includes: Stanford Stadium, Arrillaga Family Sports
Center, Artificial Turf field, Avery Aquatic Center, Cobb
Track and Angell Field, Maples Pavilion, Stanford Golf
Course, Taube Family Tennis Stadium, twenty-six tennis
courts, a driving range, riding stables, and plenty of
outdoor basketball and volleyball courts scattered
Stanford home games also provide a welcome
release for students who relish the idea of showing
Cardinal pride, often screaming themselves hoarse to
the band music of the most irreverent and colorful
band in college sports.
- Total National Championships: 101
- Total Individual NCAA Championships:
393 (most in the nation)
- Total NCAA Championships (NCAA
rank): 90 (No. 2)
- Total Men’s NCAA Championships
(NCAA rank): 57 (No. 3)
- Total Women’s NCAA Championships
(NCAA rank): 33 (No. 1)
- NCAA Team Championships Since
1980: 93 (most in the nation)
- NCAA Team Championships Since
1990: 50 (most in the nation)
Prominent Cardinal Athletes
- Football Players: John Elway, former
Denver Broncos quarterback;
John Lynch, Denver Broncos wide
receiver; and Jim Plunkett,
Heismen Trophy-winner and former
Oakland Raiders quarterback.
- Olympic Medalists: Janet Evans,
Eric Heiden, Misty Hyman, Bob
Mathias, Pablo Morales, Summer
Sanders, Debra Thomas, and Jenny
- Basketball Players: Jennifer Azzik,
Jason and Jarron Collins, Kristen
Folkl, Brevin Knight, Mark Madsen,
Kate Starbird, and Jamila Wideman
- Baseball Players: Mike Mussina,
and Cy Young-winners Jack
McDowell and Jim Lonborg
- Golfers: Notah Begay, Casey Martin,
Tom Watson, and Tiger Woods
Stanford traditions are priceless in their sheer
wackiness. Incoming freshmen are accepted into
the Stanford fold in the freshman right of passage, Full Moon on the Quad. During the first
full moon of the quarter, departing seniors welcome incoming freshmen to Stanford with a
kiss. The sight of more than 3,000 people kissing under a full moon is unforgettable.
Serenaded by the crazy Leland Stanford Junior University Band, Full Moon on the Quad is
one raucous night.
Stanford traditions are rooted in irreverence. —Libusha Kelly, class of 1997
Every Sunday night, Stanford students put down their books to go enjoy a movie at
Flicks, a student-run movie house. You can expect a rowdy paper fight during the movie’s
beginning credits as well as dorm chants and sporadic hissing from the crowd. Every student looks forward to the last flick of their undergraduate
career, a free showing of Dustin Hoffman’s The
The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching
Band traditionally dons wild, colorful costumes and
sports uniquely decorated instruments. Known for
their irreverent halftime shows, the Band is one tradition that keeps Stanford jumping.
Backed by Stanford’s ever-energetic mascot, the Tree,
the Band is the wackiest of the school’s wacky traditions.
Students go on to accomplish whatever
they set their minds to. The school’s broad liberal arts
education imbues its students with an education
applicable to any number of disciplines. Among
Stanford’s alumni are world leaders, technological
innovators, and people of great influence.
Career Development Center
While a tremendous number of young
alumni go on to pursue graduate studies, some
set off into the real world with the help of the
Career Development Center (CDC). The CDC provides
individual counseling at all stages of a student’s
career planning and hosts a strong recruiting program,
where industries and employers come to campus
each quarter to recruit new graduates. Stanford
alumni are also a fantastic resource for young alumni
and recent graduates.
Stanford Alumni Association
The personal and academic connections students enjoy at Stanford continue to flourish
after graduation. For those alumni who wish to continue their academic growth after
graduation, the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA) offers an education series entitled
“Stanford Reads.” Designed to connect alumni throughout the world, “Stanford
Reads” includes an on-line book salon hosted by a Stanford professor. For those alumni who
wish to reconnect with their peers in recreational ways, there is a yearly Reunion
Homecoming weekend full of Cardinal activities, as well as opportunities to vacation with
fellow alumni in various locations around the world. These vacations have included
such destinations as the Arenal Volcano of Costa Rica, the Amazonian rain forests, and the
mountains of Tibet.
While this list is by no means exhaustive,
here are a few Stanford alumni who have
made amazing contributions to the world:
- Doris Fisher, Cofounder of Gap, Inc.
- William Hewlett and David Packard,
Founders of Hewlett-Packard Co.
- Philip Knight, Chairman and CEO of
- Ted Koppel, Television Journalist
- Sandra Lerner and Leonard Bosack,
Founders of Cisco Systems
- Charles Schwab, Chairman and CEO of
Charles Schwab Corp.
- Chih-Yuan “Jerry” Yang and David
Filo, Founders of Yahoo!
- U.S. Supreme Court Justices: Stephen
Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day
O’Connor (former), and the late
- U.S. Senators: Max Baucus, Jeff
Bingaman, Kent Conrad, Dianne
Feinstein, and Ron Wyden
- Ehud Barak, Former Israeli Prime
- Warren Christopher, Former U.S.
Secretary of State
- Fred Savage, Actor
- Jennifer Connelly, Actress
- Herbert Hoover, Former U.S. President
- Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page,
- William Perry, Former U.S. Secretary
- Alejandro Toledo, President of Peru