How to get into Stanford

Stanford is a private research university in California known for its top world ranking. Stanford stands second in the QS world ranking after MIT. The university is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year. Stanford has a reputation for providing the best research outcomes, an entrepreneurial culture, and close ties to “Silicon Valley.” There is a theory called ‘billionaire factory’ which suggests that if Stanford graduates form their own country, it would have one of the world’s top 10 economies. That is why Stanford is infamous for its very low acceptance rate (4%), admitting only the best and brightest. 

In this blog, we will discuss the following:

  • Why Stanford? 
  • Bachelors and Masters in Stanford
  • PhD in Stanford

Why Stanford? 

The university offers a lot of different programs and has well-known professors who are the best in their fields. Some of the professors are Nobel laureates in their fields. Stanford has a strong entrepreneurial culture, with many successful startups originating from the university. The Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program are two of the programs and resources at the university that help entrepreneurs. Stanford is home to numerous research centres and institutes, providing students with opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research projects. The university also facilitates interdisciplinary research, encouraging collaboration across different fields.

Stanford’s campus is known for its stunning architecture, lush gardens, and iconic landmarks like the Hoover Tower and the Cantor Arts Center. The university is in the middle of Silicon Valley, which gives its students access to a lively and active community. The university offers a wide range of cultural, social, and academic organisations to help students connect and enjoy rich diversity. 

Bachelors and Masters in Stanford:

Now that the popularity of Stanford is relatively high, it’s evident that it is really difficult and competitive to get into Stanford. Also, the fees and cost of living are so high that it’s possible to survive there only if you get a scholarship or are from a wealthy family. 

  • Application:-

Your application plays a very important role in describing yourself, and if you submit an improper and unorganized application, your chances of getting selected get very low. Essays and Statement of Purpose (SOP) are essential to make yomakingpplication strong. You can even join some online courses that provide aid in creating attractive and powerful essays and SOPs. Keep an eye on their website for deadlines. Make sure to submit an error-free application by visiting their website and reviewing the necessary details for courses and eligibility. But having a good application doesn’t guarantee your selection.  

  • Academic Background:-

Undoubtedly, you need to be extremely brilliant in your studies throughout your career. You need to have good SAT (for undergrad) or GRE (for grad) scores. Different departments have different preferred scores, so it’s best to check out the website of the department you’re interested in. Apart from grades, you must have done some good projects or research work. Your academic achievements play a crucial role in making you stand out among the small percentage of selected applicants. It would be very advantageous if you had qualified for some international-level Olympiads. 

You also need to have good English proficiency scores. You need to take TOEFL or IELTS for this. 

  • Recommendations:-

Interact with as many professors and teachers as you can. This will help you get good recommendations for your application. You can’t think of getting into Stanford without having amazing recommendations backing your application. You usually need to submit two to three LORs. 

  • Scholarships and fees:-

Bachelor program application fees are $90 (Rs. 7380), while master program application fees are $125 (Rs. 10,245). The total cost of attending graduate school is $57,210 (Rs. 46,88,931), while the total cost of attending undergraduate school is $61,275 (Rs. 50,22,100). The total cost of living, including rent, food, transportation, and other personal costs, is $22,396 (Rs. 18,35,576). Clearly, this is a very huge amount, so to help students financially, there are various scholarships available. For example, the Stanford Reliance Dhirubai Scholarship provides $150,000 (Rs. 1,22,94,000). The selection for these programs is based on merit.

  • Other Activities:-

You must excel in multiple areas. Universities like Stanford don’t look for only academically bright students but students who can perform excellent in every fields. You must be an all-rounder. Try participating in extra-curricular activities like sports, music, NGOs, etc. You must develop yourself as a better and useful person. But don’t forget to be the best at one of them. While taking part in a variety of activities has its benefits, your priority should be the one you are most passionate about.

PhD in Stanford:

Though the procedure for admission to a PhD is similar to that for graduate programs, You should directly correspond with a professor at Stanford who is very active in his or her research area, which also interests you. For that, you should read his research papers published in research journals, understand them, and initiate correspondence with the professor by showing your interest in his area of research. If he/she is convinced that you can contribute by joining him/her in helping to solve the research problem, then you have a 90 percent chance of getting a research fellowship and admission to the Ph.D. program at Stanford. 



Clearly, getting into Stanford is super-hard and financially challenging. It is better to explore the courses being provided and the current status of research facilities before applying there. If you need more information about how to apply to other top institutes in the world, check out our other blogs

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