San Francisco Bay Area
Admission Essay requirements
Common Application Essay
Candidates choose one topic and respond. (250-word minimum, 650-word maximum.)
Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you have experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Stanford Short Essays
Candidates respond to all three essay topics. (250 word limit for each essay.)
Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.
Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better.
What matters to you, and why?
Admission essay/personal statement essay prompts
The essay should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford, your preparation for this field of study, study and research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
Essays help us learn about who you are rather than solely what you have done. Other parts of the application give insight to your academic and professional accomplishments; the essays reveal the person behind those achievements.
Begin work on these essays early, and feel free to ask your friends and mentors to provide constructive feedback. Ask if the essay's tone sounds like your voice. If those closest to you do not think your essay captures who you are, we will not be able to recognize what is distinctive about you. While asking for feedback is suggested, do not enlist hired assistance in the writing of your essays.
Office of Admissions Contacts
Office of the University Registrar
482 Galvez Mall, Suite 120
Stanford, CA 94305-6032
How this university ranks
From LinkedIn University Rankings
for Software Developers at StartupsUndergraduate #1
for Software Developers at StartupsGraduate #1
for DesignersUndergraduate #6
for DesignersGraduate #7
for MarketersUndergraduate #7
for Media ProfessionalsGraduate #8
for Software DevelopersGraduate #8
for Software DevelopersUndergraduate #9
Stanford University statistics (Alumni data based)
Where they live
San Francisco Bay Area - 60,271
Greater New York City Area - 8,483
Greater Los Angeles Area - 8,241
Washington D.C. Metro Area - 4,594
Greater Seattle Area - 4,413
Where they work
Google - 2,333
Apple - 1,249
Cisco - 779
Oracle - 762
Microsoft - 646
What they do
Engineering - 18,884
Education - 16,766
Research - 15,239
Entrepreneurship - 14,866
Information Technology - 9,565
Consulting - 9,489
Media and Communication - 7,884
Operations - 7,652
What they studied
Computer Science - 15,031
Economics - 12,663
Electrical and Electronics Engineering - 12,609
Mechanical Engineering - 8,254
Business Administration and Management, General - 6,715
Political Science and Government - 6,076
Psychology - 5,722
Mathematics - 5,658
What they’re skilled at
Management - 28,392
Research - 25,905
Leadership - 25,228
Strategy - 25,059
Project Management - 24,055
Strategic Planning - 21,399
Public Speaking - 20,107
Start-ups - 18,798
U.S. Senator from New Jersey at United States Senate
Central Ward Council Member at City of Newark
Mayor at City of Newark
United States Senator at United States Senate
B.A., Political Science 1988 – 1991
Film Composer at Film Score Composer
Pianist at Yellowwood Junction
Nanny at Nanny 1984 – 1988
Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy at Airbnb
Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy at Airbnb
Founder, Editor-in-chief at Fest300
Founder at Joie de Vivre Hospitality
BA, Economics 1979 – 1982
Entrepreneur. Product Strategist. Investor.
Member, Board of Directors at Grassroots
Chair, Westcoast Advisory Board at Questbridge
Partner at Greylock
B.S., Symbolic Systems 1985 – 1990
Recommendations to apply
I had wonderful experiences at Stanford, the reputation is well deserved. The professors were excellent I had contact with. My fellow students were most impressive their intellect. The classes were not necessarily more difficult though or professors better than my undergraduate experience at Occidental College which is ranked well, but not very top. Professors at Occidental I preferred, knew better, more involved, just not as well known in their fields in regards to research, but better teachers. Stanford has way more resources, facilities, opportunities though to take advantage of being large institution.
2000 – 2001, Master of Science (M.S.)