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Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

Research Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Learn about its admissions info, degree programs, and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Stanford University

Stanford University was founded in 1891 near Palo Alto, California. The private school is largely known for its research endeavors, which include developing tools to enable genome sequencing and the algorithm that created Google. In 2012, the university was ranked sixth among all national universities by U.S. News and World Report. In that same year, Stanford was ranked third among America's top colleges by Forbes Magazine.


Stanford University offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs through seven undergraduate and graduate schools, including the School of Business, the School of Earth Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities and Sciences, the School of Law and the School of Medicine. In 2010, biology, economics and engineering were the top majors for undergraduate students. Stanford also offers free online courses to the public in topics like organizational analysis, finance and cryptology.

The school operates 19 libraries that house about 8.5 million volumes of books. Stanford also has six research centers and institutes and about 17 independent research labs on campus. In 2012, it had approximately 5,000 research projects underway.


Stanford University accepts undergraduate applications for admission by November 1st for restrictive early action and January 1st for regular decision. Applications can be submitted online or through the mail. Restrictive early action applicants are notified of their admission status by December 15th and regular decision applicants by April 1st. Prospective freshman students must submit high school transcripts, two teacher evaluations, a financial aid application, the common application and Stanford supplemental application, a $90 application fee, SAT or ACT scores and essays.

Prospective graduate students may apply online. They must submit college transcripts and graduate test scores. Specific admission requirements and deadlines differ for each graduate department.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for undergraduate students for the 2012-2013 academic year was $41,250. Room and board was $12,721 per year and fees were approximately $1,000. Graduate students paid $13,750-$19,100 per quarter for 11-18 units of study, depending on the program.

Undergraduate financial aid packages may include grants, university or outside scholarships, university student employment, federal work-study funding and federal student loans. Stanford also offers merit and need-based scholarships. Graduate student funding options are dependent upon the program. Aid available to graduate students includes scholarships, fellowships, teaching and research assistantships and federal student loans.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; post-master's certificates*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Quarters**
School Setting Large suburb*
Student Body 6,988 undergraduate and 12,957 graduate students (Fall 2011)*
Student Housing Ten undergraduate residence halls and two undergraduate apartment style residences are available**
Schools and Programs Seven schools offering 67 bachelor's, 97 master's, and 72 doctoral degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 12 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: human biology (186)
Master's: business administration and management (385)
Doctoral: law (195)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 79% in four years
95% in six years
96% in eight years*
Admission Rate 7% in 2011*
Entering Class Size About 1,700 as of 2012***
First-Year Retention Rates 98% (full-time students)*
Average ACT Composite Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% ACT scores: 30-34 in Fall 2011*
Application Due Date November 1st for restrictive early action
January 1st for regular decision**
Decision Notification Date December 15th for restrictive early action applications
April 1st for regular decision applications**
Tuition 2012-2013 base undergraduate tuition rate (not including books, room or board): $41,250**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving It) In 2010-2011 (full-time beginning undergraduate students):
Federal grants (16%)
State and local grants (6%)
Institutional grants or scholarships (59%)
Federal student loans (12%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 72% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Stanford University, ***The College Board.

Stanford University Information

  • 'Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Montag Hall, 355 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Phone: (650) 723-2091
  • Website:

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