How to Get into Stanford University from India?: Complete Guide!

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Did you know that Stanford University is ranked 5th globally according to the QS ranking?

Stanford University is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. Founded in 1885, Stanford University has emerged as a world-renowned research institution, ranked #2 globally by THE (Times Higher Education) rankings. Its sprawling 8,100-acre campus has 600 academic buildings, including research centres, libraries, museums, and sports facilities, making it a perfect place for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Stanford is a truly global university. With over 17,326 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs from over 90 countries worldwide, it is a truly global university. Nearly 500 Indian students enroll at Stanford every year. With a student-to-faculty ratio 5:1, students receive personalised attention from experienced faculty members. 

If you want to learn how to get into Stanford University, keep reading. From the application process to campus life, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

At a Glance:

LocationSilicon Valley, California, USA
Total Students17,300+
Entrance ExamSAT (Optional)
ACT (Optional) 
Top CoursesBA in Economics
BS in Mathematics
Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Average Tuition FeeUG: $82,000 (INR 68L)
PG: $60,000 to $120,000 (INR 50L to 1 Cr)
Average Salary Package$95,728 (INR 80L)
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Why Choose Stanford University?

Stanford University is renowned for its research excellence and is home to many world-class research centres and institutes. It offers various programs across disciplines.

Here are five reasons why you should choose Stanford University:

  1. Outstanding Rankings: According to the Times Higher Education ranking, Stanford University was ranked #2 worldwide. It was also ranked #3 by the US News & World Report and #5 by the QS World Ranking. These rankings are based on various factors such as academic reputation, research output, faculty quality, student-to-faculty ratio, and other criteria. These rankings indicate that Stanford is one of the top universities in the world.
  2.  Diverse Course Offerings: Stanford University offers multiple undergraduate and graduate courses. According to the university’s website, there are over 65 major fields of study, and students can choose from more than 90 graduate areas of study
  3. Scholarships and Financial Aid: Stanford University offers a variety of scholarships, both need-based and merit-based, for undergraduate and graduate students. The university’s website states that approximately 70% of undergraduate students receive financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship is around $44,000. 
  4. Research Opportunities: Stanford University is renowned for its research output and robust research program. In 2020, the university received over $1.6 billion in research funding, one of the highest amounts among US universities. This research funding provides students with various research opportunities, including collaboration with faculty members and access to modern facilities.
  5. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Stanford University has a strong entrepreneurial culture and has produced several successful startups such as Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Yahoo. According to the university’s website, its graduates have founded more than 30,000 companies, which have created over 5.4 million jobs and generated $2.7 trillion in annual revenue. The university has several programs and initiatives that support entrepreneurship and innovation, such as the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

How to get into Stanford University: Admission Requirements

Getting into Stanford University is challenging, as the school has a highly competitive admission process. To be considered for admission, you must meet various academic and extracurricular requirements and possess exceptional intellectual and personal qualities.

The undergraduate requirements for applying to Stanford University are as follows:

  • You must pay the application fee of $90 (INR 7500).
  • You need to submit the Common Application.
  • You must pay a non-refundable application fee of $90 or request a fee waiver. 
  • You can provide ACT or SAT scores (test optional) 
  • You must submit the School Report form and a counsellor’s letter of recommendation.
  • You must provide official transcript(s) or academic results from all high schools attended.
  • You need to submit two letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught the student in academic subjects.
  • You need to submit the midyear transcript (X Certificate).
  • They don’t have mandated English proficiency requirements, but you should take TOEFL/IELTS if your primary language in school is not English.

The graduate requirements for applying to Stanford University are as follows:

  • You must pay the application fee of $125 (INR 10,000)
  • You must have a 4-year long bachelor’s degree.
  • You need to submit transcripts for every post-secondary institution.
  • You need to submit a Statement of Purpose (1000 words).
  • You must take the TOEFL exam and score 89 for engineering and 100 for all other programs.
  • You must submit 3 letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.
  • You must take the GRE/GMAT/MCAT/LSAT exams per your program requirements.

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How to Get into Stanford University from India?: Complete Guide!
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Documents Required for Stanford University

1. Official transcripts from all high schools and post-secondary institutions attended (XII and Bachelors Marksheets).

2. Standardised test scores (if required by your program).

3. Letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.

4. A Statement of Purpose (if required by your program).

5. Proof of English proficiency by taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam (if English is not your first language).

6. A Resume if required.

7. If required, Mid or Final-year school report (X & XII).

How to get into Stanford University: Application Process

Here are the steps to apply for admission to Stanford University:

1. Research and choose the program that best suits your academic interests.

2. Check the admission requirements and application deadlines for your chosen program.

3. Create an account on the Stanford University application portal.

4. Fill in the application form with your personal and academic details.

5. Pay the application fee.

6. Submit official transcripts from all high schools and post-secondary institutions attended.

7. Submit standardised test scores (if required by your program).

8. Provide letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.

9. Write and submit your Statement of Purpose (if your program requires it).

10. Submit other required documents, such as proof of English proficiency if English is not your first language.

11. Wait for the admission decision, which usually takes a few months.

12. If accepted, submit the required documents and fees to confirm enrollment.

How to get into Stanford University: Top Courses

Stanford University offers three undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences, and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. These programs balance specialisation and exploration, ensuring students gain in-depth knowledge and a broad perspective.

Stanford University comprises seven schools, three dedicated to undergraduate programs, and the remaining four focused on graduatelevel studies.

The following are the 7 schools

  • The School of Humanities and Sciences, 
  • The School of Engineering
  • The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Stanford Law School
  • Stanford School of Medicine

Stanford University has a quarter system, meaning there are four annual intakes. The academic year is divided into three quarters, with an optional fourth summer quarter.

  • Fall Semester
  • Winter Semester
  • Spring Semester

Let’s look at some of Stanford’s top undergraduate and graduate courses:

CoursesAverage Annual Fees in USDAverage Annual Fees in INR
Bachelor of Arts in Economics61,73138L
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics61,73138L
Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture Design61,73138L
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry61,73138L
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering61,73138L
Masters in Business Administration79,86049L
Masters in Management for Experienced Leaders138,64085L
Doctor of Medicine87,12453L
Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering62,58039L
Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering62,58039L

How to get into Stanford University: Admission Deadlines

If you plan to apply to Stanford University, admission Dates and deadlines are crucial for you as they provide a clear timeline for the application process. By sticking to these dates, you can ensure they complete all the necessary steps on time, including submitting all required documents and test scores. 

Here is a table of application dates for Indian students who want to apply to Stanford:

Application with Optional Arts PortfolioOctober 15December 5
Standard Application DeadlineNovemberJanuary
Notification of Missing DocumentsMid-NovemberMid-February
Decision Released ByMid-DecemberEarly April
Student Reply DateMay 1May 1
Note: The deadlines for graduate courses may vary from course to course.

Cost of Living at Stanford University for International Students

Stanford University might be your dream school, but the cost of living in the USA must be considered.  It’s essential to factor this into your decision-making process. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Housing Costs: Stanford on-campus and off-campus housing is notoriously expensive. The university provides a standard budget outlining expenses, with housing and food costing upwards of $20k annually for undergraduates. Off-campus options might offer slightly more flexibility but won’t be much cheaper.
  • Everyday Expenses: Groceries, transportation, and personal expenses are a little pricier at Stanford than the national average. Make wise use of student discounts.
  • Factor in Healthcare: Stanford requires students to have health insurance; plans can add to your overall expenses.

The good news is that Stanford offers generous financial aid packages to many students. Explore scholarship and grant opportunities to help offset the high cost of living.

Here is a detailed analysis of the cost of living at Stanford University:

ParameterCost per month in USDCost per month in INR
Housing & Food19,92212L
Student fees allowance2,2051.3L
Books and Supplies Allowance82551K
Personal Expenses Allowance3,1502L
Monthly Travel Pass726003

Scholarships to get into Stanford University: 

Stanford University offers a variety of scholarships for graduate students, both need-based and merit-based. Here are some of the most notable ones:

Stanford University offers scholarships to help undergraduates cover their educational expenses. Donations from individuals and corporations usually fund these scholarships. 

The university determines a student’s scholarship eligibility based on their financial needs, which is determined through the CSS Profile. 

The university calculates a student’s scholarship amount by subtracting the amount that the student and their parents are expected to contribute, along with other federal and state grant funds, from the total cost of attendance.

Here are some Stanford University scholarships for Indian students:

Knight-Hennessy Scholarship Open for international students

Two basic requirements for eligibility:
Apply, be accepted, and enrol full-time in a Stanford graduate degree program such as JD, MBA, MA, MS, PhD, or MFA. 
Meet at least one of the four conditions to be eligible for the program.

Apply simultaneously to both KHS and a full-time Stanford graduate degree program. Defer admission to a full-time Stanford graduate degree program.
Eligible if you add a second full-time Stanford graduate degree program.
Being a first-year Stanford PhD student also meets one of the eligibility criteria.
-Tuition Fees-A stipend for living and academic expenses, including room and board, books, academic supplies, transportation, personal expenses 
-A travel stipend for a round-trip economy-class ticket to and from Stanford once a year.
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai FellowshipThe Stanford MBA Program entails tuition fees and other course-related expenses that the student needs to bear. 

A stipend is also available to cover living expenses and other educational expenses.
The Stanford MBA Program entails tuition fees and other course-related expenses the student must bear. 

A stipend is also available to cover living expenses and other educational expenses.

Here are some externally funded scholarships to study at Stanford:

External ScholarshipsBenefits
Inlaks Shivdasani FoundationThe foundation covers tuition fees, living expenses, and one-way travel allowances.The scholarship amount may differ based on the student’s financial requirements and the program of study.
TATA Scholarship for Indian studentsEach scholar is eligible to receive a scholarship award ranging from INR 60,000 to INR 4 Lakhs.
Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial ScholarshipAcademic Year Ambassadorial Scholarship: INR 20.82
LakhsMulti-Year Ambassadorial Scholarship: INR 9.90 Lakhs
Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship: INR 9.90 Lakhs – INR 15.80 Lakhs

Quick Tips: How to get admission in Stanford University

Stanford University is incredibly selective, but with dedication and strategic planning, you can increase your chances of admission.

Here are some key tips to get into Stanford:

  • Strive for Strong Grades: Aim for a near-perfect GPA, ideally above 3.95. Take challenging courses to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and ability to handle rigorous academics.
  • Standardised Tests: While test-optional policies are becoming more common, scoring well on the SAT or ACT can still strengthen your application. Aim for scores above the 75th percentile for admitted students (typically around 1500 on the SAT).
  • Develop Your Passions: Pursue extracurricular activities you’re genuinely passionate about. Don’t just spread yourself thin – focus on achieving depth and leadership within a few key areas.
  • Demonstrate Impact: Show how your extracurricular activities have a positive impact on your community or your field. Did you win awards, start a club, or volunteer extensively? Highlight these achievements.
  • Tell Your Story: Craft compelling essays that showcase your unique voice, experiences, and aspirations. Use the Stanford essays to demonstrate intellectual vitality, purpose, and the challenges you’ve overcome.

Additional Strategies:

  • Research Stanford’s Values: Stanford seeks students who will contribute to their vibrant community. Research the university’s mission and highlight aspects that resonate with your own goals and values.
  • Consider Early Action/Decision: If Stanford is your top choice, consider applying Early Action or Early Decision to potentially improve your chances. However, only do this if you’re truly committed to attending.
  • Prepare for the Interview: If offered an interview, be prepared to discuss your academic pursuits, extracurricular involvement, and future goals. Practice beforehand to showcase your confidence and enthusiasm.


  • Holistic Admissions: Stanford practices holistic admissions, considering all aspects of your application, not just grades and test scores.
  • Focus on Authenticity: Be genuine in your application. Stand out by highlighting your unique talents, experiences, and perspectives.

While acceptance is competitive, a well-rounded application that showcases your academic prowess, genuine passions, and potential to contribute to Stanford’s vibrant community will put you on the right track.

Placements after Stanford University

Stanford University is renowned for its academic programs and has a high job placement rate for its graduates. The Career Development Center (CDC) at Stanford provides a range of services to assist undergraduate and graduate students in their career planning. These services include counselling, workshops, job/internship databases, on-campus recruiting, reference file services, library resources, and alumni networking. Students are encouraged to use these resources to make informed decisions about their future and prepare for life after graduation.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for Stanford graduates was approximately $95,728

Many top companies recruit Stanford graduates, and the university has a strong alumni network. Let’s look at some of the top recruiters for Stanford University.

  1. Bain & Company
  2. Facebook
  3. Deloitte
  4. IBM
  5. Instagram
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Microsoft

The Bottom Line

Stanford University is a world-renowned research institution located in Silicon Valley, California. With its outstanding rankings, diverse course offerings, scholarships and financial aid, research opportunities, and strong entrepreneurial culture, Stanford University is an excellent choice for students pursuing higher education. 

However, getting admitted into the university is highly competitive, and students must meet various academic and extracurricular requirements. Additionally, living in Stanford, California, can be costly, but the university offers generous financial aid packages to many students. Stanford graduates have a high job placement rate, with many top companies recruiting from the university.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation and require assistance with studying abroad, LeapScholar is available to help. Our team of specialists can help you complete the application process and attain your academic aspirations.

And if you’re considering other options like the UK, Canada and Australia, we’ve got you covered, too. Schedule a free consultation with our experts today for personalised guidance and advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What are the Stanford University requirements for International Students?

    A. International students who want to enrol at Stanford University must complete the same application process as domestic applicants. They must submit their academic transcripts, standardised test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. Additionally, international students must demonstrate proficiency in English by taking either the TOEFL or IELTS exam.

  • Q. What is the Stanford University acceptance rate?

    A. Stanford University is one of the most selective universities in the world, with an acceptance rate of around 4.4% for the class of 2024. This means that out of the more than 47,000 students who applied for admission, only about 2,057 were accepted. The university’s admission process is highly competitive, and successful applicants typically have exceptional academic credentials, unique extracurricular experiences, and compelling personal essays.

  • Q. What are some of the most popular courses at Stanford University?

    A. Stanford University offers various courses across various fields. Some of the most popular undergraduate majors include 
    Bachelor in Computer Science, 
    Bachelor in Economics
    Master in Business Administration
    Master in Mechanical Engineering

  • Q. What is the duration of UG courses at Stanford University?

    A. The duration of undergraduate courses at Stanford University is typically four years. Students must complete 180 coursework units, including major courses, general education requirements, and elective courses. Some programs, such as a senior thesis or capstone project, may have additional requirements.

  • Q. What are some additional application requirements beyond academics?

    A. The University of Stanford evaluates applications based on academic and non-academic factors. In addition to academic transcripts and test scores, non-academic factors such as extracurricular activities, volunteer work, leadership experience, and personal statements are also considered. Some programs may require additional materials such as essays, portfolios, or interviews. Applicants must review the specific requirements for their program of interest to ensure they submit a complete and competitive application.

  • Q. What are Stanford’s application fees?

    A. Applicants must pay an application fee when applying to the University of Stanford. The fee for undergraduate programs is $90 (INR 7500), while the fee for graduate programs is $125 (INR 10,000). This fee is non-refundable and must be paid online via credit card or other accepted forms of payment. 

  • Q. How can I get into Stanford from India?

    A. Getting admission to Stanford from India requires a rigorous application process. You must have exceptional academic records, extracurricular activities, standardised test scores, and recommendation letters. Additionally, you need to showcase your unique qualities and achievements that make you stand out from other applicants. A well-crafted essay and interview are also recommended to impress the admissions committee. Moreover, being aware of the application deadlines and submitting the application well in advance is crucial.

  • Q. Does Stanford have online courses for international students?

    A. Stanford offers online courses for international students through its Stanford Online platform. These courses cover a wide range of topics and are designed to be flexible and accessible. Some courses are free, while others require payment of a fee. Students can earn a certificate upon completion of specific courses. It’s best to check the Stanford Online website for more information on available courses and enrollment requirements.

  • Q. What is student life like at Stanford?

    A. Student life at Stanford is vibrant, diverse, and engaging. With over 600 student organisations, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities. The campus offers a range of amenities and facilities, including dining halls, sports facilities, and libraries. Stanford is also located in the heart of Silicon Valley, providing students access to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • Q. What is the average salary for Stanford graduates?

    A. The average salary for Stanford graduates varies depending on the field of study and the level of education. According to Glassdoor, the salary of a Stanford graduate is $95,728 (INR 60L). It also depends on the industry, job title, and location.

  • Q. What documents are required for admission to Stanford?

    A. If you apply to Stanford University, you must submit 
    a completed Common Application, 
    Stanford Supplement, high school transcripts, 
    Standardised test scores (either the SAT or ACT), 
    Two teacher evaluations, 
    A mid-year report
    Additionally, international students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores and provide financial certification. It’s important to check Stanford’s website for any updates to the application requirements.

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Jhansi Rani

Jhansi Rani is an experienced overseas education counsellor and specializes in helping students choose the right academic path in the USA.

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