The Stanford Undergraduate Program and Admission
Students who derive pleasure from learning for its own sake thrive at Stanford. We look for distinctive students who exhibit energy, curiosity and a love of learning in their classes and lives. Academic excellence is the primary criterion for admission, and the most important credential is the transcript. We seek outstanding students who have selected a rigorous academic program and achieved distinction in a range of courses. We also take into consideration personal qualities—we want to know how students have taken advantage of available resources and their promise for contributing to the campus community and the world beyond Stanford. In some cases, exceptional ability in a particular area may be considered if an applicant is otherwise highly qualified.
Stanford recommends that prospective students take a minimum of four years of English, four years of mathematics, three years of laboratory science, three years of the same foreign language and three years of history or social studies. Each year, many more highly qualified students apply than the univer- sity has places for in the freshman class of about 1,670 and the transfer group of about 40.
Stanford is committed to a need-blind admission policy for U.S. citizens and permanent residents—admitting qualified students without regard to their ability to pay—and to providing a comprehensive financial aid pro- gram for all admitted students who have computed need as determined by the university and who meet other requisite conditions for financial aid. In recent years, financial aid has been provided to more than 75 percent of undergraduate students from a variety of internal and external sources.
The application postmark deadline for Stanford’s Restrictive/Single- Choice Early Action process is Nov. 1, and the application postmark dead- line for the Regular Decision process is Jan. 1. For more information about application policies and procedures, visit http://admission.stanford.edu or call the Office of Undergraduate Admission at (650) 723-2091.
The objective of Stanford University, Jane and Leland Stanford wrote in their Founding Grant in 1885, is "to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life; And its purposes, to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization, teaching the blessings of liberty regulated by law, and inculcating love and reverence for the great principles of government as derived from the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
With an approximate 6.4 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, Stanford emphasizes close interaction with faculty. Stanford offers three undergraduate degrees – Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Sciences (B.S.), and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (B.A.S.) – each designed to achieve balance between depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. Undergraduates complete at least 180 units, including requirements for the major, writing and rhetoric requirements, one year of a foreign language and courses in the following areas:
- Introduction to the Humanities: One course each quarter of the freshman year
- Disciplinary Breadth: Five courses required, at least one in engineering and applied sciences, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences
- Education for Citizenship: Two courses in at least two of the following subject areas—ethical reasoning, the global community, American cultures and gender studies
Of the seven schools at Stanford, three award undergraduate degrees: Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences and Engineering. Students who wish to pursue in depth more than one field may double major—that is, complete the requirements for majors in two fields—or minor in a second field. Students also can pursue an individually designed major.
Major Fields of Undergraduate Study
- African and African American Studies
- American Studies
- Art History
- Film and Media Studies
- Studio Art
- Asian Languages
- Biological Sciences
- Ancient History
- Classical Studies
- Greek and Latin
- Comparative Literature
- Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
- Asian American Studies
- Chicano Studies
- Native American Studies
- Earth Sciences
- Earth Systems
- Earth Resource Engineering
- Geological & Environmental Sciences
- East Asian Studies
- Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Architectural Design
- Biomedical Computation
- Computer Science
- Computer Systems Engineering
- Engineering Physics
- Management Science and Engineering
- Materials Science
- Product Design
- Feminist Studies
- German Studies
- Human Biology
- International Relations
- Mathematical & Computational Science
- Political Science
- Public Policy
- Religious Studies
- Science, Technology and Society
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Spanish and Portuguese
- Symbolic Systems
- Urban Studies
- Individually designed majors
Stanford's academic program prioritizes engaging students in serious critical inquiry from their first days on campus, working closely with faculty members. Among the programs designed to provide mentoring relationships are freshman seminars and sophomore seminars and dialogues, which are taught by some of the university's most renowned faculty members. More than 2,300 students enroll in about 200 seminars annually. Other special programs include Sophomore College and Freshman-Sophomore College at Sterling Quad.
Stanford believes learning is enhanced by participation in research. The Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research offers advising, grants and programs to aid undergraduate participation in the production of new knowledge. Grants are awarded to faculty and departments to support student involvement in faculty members’ research and to students themselves to support independent research projects under faculty mentorship. The Summer Research College is a residential community for undergraduates conducting research over the summer, and the Symposia of Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS) provide opportunities to present scholarly work to Stanford faculty, students and alumni.
In 2006-07, more than $4 million was allocated for grant programs involving about 1,200 students. More than 200 undergraduates lived in the 2007 Summer Research College, and nearly 200 student presentations were exhibited at three SURPS events.
Collaborating with faculty, undergraduates work in laboratories, do research through Stanford's extensive library and archive collections, or travel to sites worldwide to complete independent projects. The resulting honors thesis is recognized by conferring the degree "with Honors." About 25 percent of each graduating class earn departmental honors. In 2007, 95 students from 22 majors participated in Bing Honors College.
Stanford offers academic services to students, including the Writing Center, the Stanford Language Center, Undergraduate Advising and Research and tutorial services. The Schwab Learning Center serves students with learning differences. The Career Development Center offers support for life after college.
Stanford offers study opportunities in Australia, Beijing, Berlin, Florence, Kyoto, Madrid, Moscow, Oxford, Paris and Santiago. Students may enroll for one or more quarters at most centers and participate in internships (in Europe and Asia), research projects and public service. Seven hundred and fifty-two students, or about 46 percent of the average class year, studied abroad with Stanford in 2006–07. Also offered are Overseas Seminars, which are three-week academic courses in locations around the world. Past semi- nars have been offered in Greece, Mongolia and South Africa.
Other Off-Campus Study Opportunities
The Bing Stanford in Washington Program enables undergraduates to work and study through courses and internships in a residential program in the nation's capital. The Hopkins Marine Station allows students to live in Pacific Grove while studying marine biology. Students also can take advantage of exchange programs with Dartmouth College, Howard College, Morehouse College and Spelman College.
|High schools represented|
|Largest state represented||California (41.8%)|
|Top 10 percent of class*||91%|
|Top 20 percent of class*||98%|
|SAT Critical Writing 700-800||61%|
|SAT Writing 700-800||60%|
|SAT Math 700-800||67%|
|Declined to State||3.1%|
|Majors by School(Percentages are rounded)|
|School of Humanities and Sciences||2,363||(35%)|
|School of Engineering||684||(10%)|
|School of Earth Sciences||78||(1%)|
|Foreign (68 countries)||425||(6%)|
|Middle East and North Africa||25||(6%)|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||156||(2%)|
|Asian American or Pacific Islander||1,613||(24%)|
|Other Undergraduate Education Facts|
|Undergraduate degrees awarded in 2007: 1,709|
|Graduation Rates (percentage of students receiving undergraduate degrees within five years of initial enrollment at Stanford)|
|Courses Enrolling Undergraduates Fall 2007|
|Class Size||Number of courses||Percentage of courses|
|Majors Granting Highest Number of Undergraduate Degrees in 2006-07|
|1. Biology or Human Biology |
3. Political Science
|Financial Aid 2006-07|
|Total students on aid:||5,197|
|Total students enrolled (4 qtrs):||6,689|
|Percent of students receiving any form of aid:||77.7%|
|Percent of students receiving need-based scholarships from Stanford||41.7%|
|Percent of students receiving Pell Grants||12.1%|
|Scholarship Aid|| |
|Long-Term Loans||$10,761,357|| |
|Term-Time Jobs||$3,674,911|| |
Sources of Scholarship Aid 2006-07
Stanford General Funds
|Federal Pell Grants||$2,306,651|
|Federal Supplemental Grants||$1,431,094|
|Other Federal Grants||$1,267,568|
|Other External Awards||$10,317,304|
|Student Budget 2007-08|
|Room and Board||10,808|
|The average per student cumulative undergraduate indebtedness for 2007 Stanford graduates receiving financial aid:||$16,728|
|Stanford Student Awards|
|Marshall Award Winners||76|