Stanford University: One of the world's leading institutions
Stanford University is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. It’s known for its innovative academics, rich diversity, entrepreneurial character, and relationship to Silicon Valley. With areas of excellence ranging from the humanities to social sciences to engineering, Stanford is dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and preparing students for leadership in a complex world.
A Stanford undergraduate education is rigorous and defined by the inherent freedom and flexibility enjoyed by students as they delve into the subjects they’re most passionate about while forging meaningful relationships with their talented peers and renowned faculty.
Grounded in the liberal arts, the Stanford curriculum is designed to achieve a balance between the depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and the breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. It permits each student to plan an individual program of study that takes into account their personal educational goals, prior experience, and future aims. It’s an education that broadens understanding and awareness in each area of the human experience, significantly deepens comprehension,and prepares students for a lifetime of continuous learning.
Many undergraduate students supplement this already robust education with high-level research. In fact, Stanford has more funding available for undergraduate research—offering more than $6 million per year—than most colleges or universities in the nation. Students often write proposals (with advice from faculty sponsors) to have their projects funded, which covers expenses such as travel and equipment and allows students to devote their full attention to their research.
Stanford students and faculty come to campus from all over the world with a vast range of backgrounds. Undergraduates represent all 50 states and more than 70 countries. In the most recent undergraduate class, 19% of students are the first in their families to attend college, and 12% are international students.
The Stanford community embraces a wide array of geographic, socioeconomic, religious, cultural, and educational experiences. From the vibrant residential environment to intellectually charged classrooms to every corner of campus where students engage, diversity is celebrated. The Stanford community values a broad range of opinions, cultures, communities, perspectives, and experiences—all of which challenge each student’s beliefs, intellectual passions, opinions, and understanding of the world. Members of the Stanford community believe the best education can only develop in a community that actively affirms both the differences and points of connection among its members.
Just down the road from campus is the global epicenter of high tech: Silicon Valley. From Instagram and Google to Netflix and Pandora, many of the most innovative enterprises in modern history were sparked by Stanford students, faculty, and alumni. However, entrepreneurship at Stanford extends far beyond founding companies; Stanford’s entrepreneurial spirit is homegrown, organic, and pervasive. Students, faculty, and alumni—representing a wide range of academic disciplines—generate transformative ideas and set them in motion.
One such idea incubator is the Haas Center for Public Service, which connects academic study with public service to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders. Nationally recognized as a model for public service education, the Center encourages Stanford students to impact their community through service, scholarship, and community partnerships. The Haas Center offers more than 350 opportunities for students to participate in full-time service for an academic quarter or more in the United States and abroad as well as more than 75 courses across 25 academic disciplines.
Located in California’s intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse Bay Area, Stanford is a thriving residential campus and community that sits on 8,180 pastoral acres (once a horse farm belonging to Jane and Leland Stanford and still fondly referred to as “the Farm”). Today, Stanford’s campus is mostly open space, home to 43,000 trees and 800 species of plants. The University is a leader in sustainability, with 49 miles of roads traveled daily by the free, all-electric Marguerite shuttle system and 13,000 bikes. Designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the campus features California Mission–inspired buildings made of local sandstone with iconic red-tiled roofs as well as acloistered quadrangle with Memorial Church as its focus.
About 97% of undergraduate students live on Stanford’s sprawling yet intimate grounds, with housing guaranteed for all four years. Students can choose from more than 80 residence hall options, each surrounded by extraordinary campus resources and facilities. And with San Francisco only 35 miles to the north, San Jose 20 miles south, and Palo Alto right next door, students enjoy a region rich not only in opportunity but in entertainment and activities.
Vibrant student life
With its culture of creativity and innovation, Stanford University fosters an arts scene alive with student and professional voices, from film archives to visiting Broadway legends to orchestral concerts—not to mention a collection of visual arts pieces that spans 4,000 years.
For the student-athlete driven to excellence, Stanford offers 25 varsity teams and 32 club sports. The University has also won the Directors’ Cup, which honors the most successful program in NCAA Division I sports, for the last 25 years. And for 44 years in a row, Stanford has won at least one national championship—the longest streak in the nation.
In addition to the on-campus offerings, the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) is considered an integral part of Stanford’s curriculum. The BOSP operates a variety of programs and internships at 11 centers around the globe, and approximately half of each graduating class studies abroad during their undergraduate career at Stanford.
Stanford is committed to a need-blind admission policy for US citizens and eligible non-citizens in addition to providing a comprehensive financial aid program for all admitted students demonstrating need. Stanford’s financial aid program is entirely need based, with the exception of some athletic scholarships, meaning all aid eligibility is determined by each family’s specific financial circumstances. Stanford is dedicated to funding financial aid packages with grants and scholarships, with no loan expectation for the student. In fact, over 80% of Stanford students graduate debt-free. In recent years, about 68% of undergraduate students received financial support from a variety of internal and external sources. Visit financialaid.stanford.edu to learn more.