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Frequently Asked Questions

The information on this page is for PhD, MS, and HCP (part-time MS) applicants.

Please review the Stanford Graduate Admissions FAQ for university-wide admissions policies.

Deadlines and Application Process

GRE/TOEFL

Transcript and Letters of Recommendation

Program Related

Financial Aid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadlines and Application Process

When is the application deadline?

PhD application deadline is Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
GRE and TOEFL exams must be taken by the application deadline.
All letters of recommendation and official test scores must be received by December 20, 2019.

Master's application deadline is Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
GRE and TOEFL exams must be taken by the application deadline.
All letters of recommendation and official test scores must be received by January 31, 2020.

Online applications must be submitted before midnight Pacific Standard Time on the above date. Application deadlines are final. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

Are the application deadlines the same for people applying to the Knight-Hennessey Scholars (KHS) program?

MS applicants also applying for the KHS program must submit their application by Tuesday, October 29, 2019, in order to be reviewed before the invitations are sent for the KHS Immersion Weekend.

PhD applicants also applying for the KHS program use the deadline for all MS&E PhD applicants.

Applications received or completed after the deadlines, cannot be considered for the KHS program.

When will I receive my decision?

For PhD applicants, decisions are usually made by mid-February.

For Master's applicants, decisions are usually made by mid-March.

Will you give me a pre-evaluation to assess my chance of admission or my eligibility for admission before I apply?

No. We cannot review your qualifications before you apply, and we need to see the entire application pool to determine the strongest applicants.

How do I know if you have received all of my documents?

Go into the Review Activity section of your application. Receipt of letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume, unofficial (uploaded) transcripts, and both official and unofficial test scores are updated automatically by the system. We will update by hand the receipt of any hard copies of official transcripts, but these are not required for the review of your application. Stanford's processing of official test scores is very slow, so please do not be concerned if this takes a long time to be updated. We cannot confirm receipt of any material by email or phone. Decision letters are posted here as well.

Will my application still be reviewed if you receive any of my supporting materials (official transcripts, official test scores, and letters of recommendation) after the deadline?

Official transcripts and official test scores received after the deadline will not have any negative impact on the review of your application, as long as the unofficial transcripts and test scores are provided in the online application by the deadline. Letters of recommendation received after the deadline will still be attached to your application, but we cannot guarantee they will be seen by the Admissions Committee if they arrive more than two weeks after the application deadline.

How long should the statement of purpose be?

The statement of purpose should be no more than two pages single-spaced. Most applicants use the statement to explain why they are applying and to answer any questions that might arise from their transcripts or resumes.

May I upload a paper that I have authored/co-authored?

You may upload an abstract of a paper. The abstract should be no more than two pages single-spaced. Please include a link to the full paper.

May I send hard copies of documents other than transcripts?

No. Please do not send hard copies of anything but original official transcripts (and only then if your institution is not sending us secure electronic certified transcripts). The applications are reviewed completely online, so hard copies of resumes, statements of purpose, publications, passports, and proof of funding are destroyed upon receipt. You may include links to any publications or professional certificates in your application. Documents needed for visa processing are collected by the central office (not the department) after admission.

Must I complete the background requirements before applying to the MS program?

Applicants must have completed a course in differential calculus of several variables before applying. Students may complete a general-purpose programming course after admission or during the MS program.

Is work experience required for admission to the MS program?

No.

 

GRE and TOEFL

Where should I send my test scores?

Please send your scores to Stanford University (4704). Because we receive the scores electronically and they are matched to applications by name and birthdate, the department code is irrelevant. If ETS requires a department code, you may list 1699 or any other department code. We cannot see your scores until after your application is loaded into our system.

Official test scores received after the deadline will not have any negative impact on the review of your application, as long as the unofficial test scores are provided in the online application by the deadline. New official scores received after the deadline are automatically added to your application, but we cannot guarantee they will be seen by the Admissions Committee if they arrive more than two weeks after the deadline.

May I take the GMAT instead of the GRE?

No. Official GRE scores are required.

I'm an international student receiving a degree in the U.S. Do I need to submit the TOEFL?

No. The University grants an exception to the TOEFL requirement for students who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university before beginning their studies at Stanford.

My GRE and/or TOEFL scores are low. Should I retake these tests?

If you think you can significantly improve your scores, you may want to retake the tests. All scores will be seen, but the highest in each section will be considered.

My scores are old. Do I need to retake them?

We must receive official scores from ETS. If ETS no longer has your scores, then you need to retake the test to have official scores sent to us. If you previously applied to a graduate program at Stanford and had ETS send official scores then, we may have the official scores already in our system.

Is the GRE subject test required?

No, it is not required. Most of our applicants do not take a subject test. For applicants interested in taking the subject test, we recommend the engineering, math, economics, computer science or other science subject tests.

 

Transcript and Letters of Recommendation

How many official transcripts must I submit?

Please submit either one secure electronic certified transcript, or one original official transcript, from every postsecondary institution attended for at least one year as a full-time student. If you are not sending secure electronic certified transcripts and your international institution provides only one official copy, please send one notarized copy. Please do not send two copies.

Must I submit recommendation letters from faculty?

Current Stanford students should submit at least two recommendation letters from Stanford faculty. New applicants should submit at least one academic recommendation letter. We understand that there may be circumstances where this is not possible, but recommend that you make every effort to do so, as it could negatively affect your application.

Recommenders continue to have access to submit letters after the application is submitted, but must upload their letter no later than two weeks after the application deadline.

My recommender is having technical difficulties uploading a letter. How can they get help?

Please direct your recommender to the CollegeNet online help page, where they can find more information and submit a help ticket.

 

Program-Related

How long does it take to complete the MS program?

Students can complete the MS program in nine months by taking 15 units per quarter. Students also have the option to complete the program in 15-18 months by taking 8-10 units per quarter, which costs less per quarter and allows for part-time employment.

Is this a STEM program?

Yes, this is a STEM-eligible degree program, eligible for the STEM extension on Optional Practical Training (OPT).

What is Honors Co-op?

Honors Co-op students are students who are admitted to a graduate degree program, but who participate part-time through the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). For more information, please visit the SCPD website.

How do I apply for the Honors Co-op program?

You apply as a regular applicant for the autumn quarter by 11:59pm PST on January 14, 2020. You need to send us your transcripts, because we do not have access to the transcripts you sent to SCPD for the NDO program. When you are admitted to the degree program, you may begin taking courses through the HCP program in any quarter. We'll change the admit quarter in our system, since you can only apply for the autumn quarter. We also have an early review deadline of 11:59pm PST on October 29, 2019, for current matriculated Stanford undergraduate and graduate students and current NDO (Non-Degree Option) students. Be sure to include your Stanford transcript so we can see your NDO courses completed and grades.

Are the admission criteria different for Honors Co-op applicants?

No. HCP students receive the same degree as full-time students, so the admission criteria are the same. This policy also allows students the ability to transfer from the HCP program to full-time and vice-versa, as needed.

Do courses taken as an NDO student count for the degree?

The non-degree option (NDO) allows students to take courses online before being admitted to a degree program. NDO students apply to take courses each quarter through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Up to 18 units taken as an NDO student may be applied toward a degree program.

 

Financial Aid

Is financial aid available?

The MS&E Department has fellowship and assistantship funding available for doctoral students only. Master's students must find their own funding. Loans are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

How much will the degree cost?

The Stanford University Office of Graduate Admissions provides more information about Financing Graduate Study and an estimated expense budget.

For 2019-2020:
Most of our graduate students choose to complete the degree in five quarters, taking 8-10 units per quarter.

$12,023 per quarter - estimated ​living expenses for graduate students 
$12,110 per quarter - Tuition cost for 8-10 units
$120,665 - Estimated total cost for five quarters of graduate study

Some of our graduate students choose to complete the degree in three quarters, taking 15 units per quarter.

$18,635 per quarter - Tuition cost for 11-18 units
$91,974 - Estimated total cost for three quarters of graduate study