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Prospective Visitors

Information for Prospective Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers

The DLCL's departments accept a small number of Visiting Scholars (Stanford's designation for those who have earned a PhD or equivalent) and Visiting Student Researchers (the designation for visiting graduate students) each year. The Division is unable to offer those who are accepted as visitors any salary or tuition support.

Visiting Scholar

"Visiting Scholar" is an official University designation, which extends the privileges of the University to scholars established in their fields who wish to be in residence at Stanford for a limited period of time (usually from 3 months up to a year). This is a courtesy appointment for scholars with a PhD and a current appointment at another academic institution, that comes without Stanford salary support; those who are still working towards a PhD must apply for visiting Student Researcher status outlined below. Visiting Scholars are expected to find their own support from their own universities, grants, or other sources. See also Stanford's official policies regarding this designation.

Application Procedure and Deadlines
Those who are interested in being considered as a Visiting Scholar should write a letter to the Director of the appropriate department describing their research interests and plans for research and study during their visit to Stanford, indicating the faculty member(s) and research group(s) they expect to interact with and any classes they intend to audit. The letter should indicate the proposed length of stay and the name of a regular faculty member in the department who would serve as sponsor (see below). The letter should also discuss the ways in which the visitor's research and educational objectives will enhance the department's. Please include your CV with your letter of application.

The application materials must reach the department at least six (6) months prior to your proposed arrival date at Stanford. Because the departments often receive more applications than they can accommodate, it is very important that applications arrive timely and with complete information; late applications are unlikely to be accepted. Notification of appointment will be made in the within one to two months after receipt of materials. The DLCL and its departments have limited resources for visitors, and are unable to accept all who express interest.

All Visiting Scholars must be nominated by a sponsor on the regular faculty of one of the DLCL departments and then be approved by that department's director. It is recommended that prospective visitors contact a potential sponsor from the regular faculty before submitting a formal application. Any contact with the sponsor or other faculty members should be mentioned in the letter of application. Please be aware that no faculty member in the department can sponsor more than one Visiting Scholar in a given academic year, and that sponsoring faculty cannot be on leave during the time of the visit. For finding a sponsor, please write to the Division Manager, Allen Sciutto (, or to the department's director, indicating the dates you would like to visit and describing your research interests.

Application Fees
Stanford charges a $125 fee for preparation of the initial and transfer DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) documents for J-1 Visiting Scholars and family members. A fee of approximately $50-75 is also charged for mailing of the documents via international courier. These fees are payable upon the visitor's arrival. There is also a SEVIS fee of $200 to the US Government which is paid online by the Visiting Scholar before receiving the DS-2019.

Privileges and Associated Fees
Visiting Scholars will have the benefit of the title "Visiting Scholar" and will be accorded library privileges at the University Libraries and sports privileges at the University's sports facilities. Health benefits are not provided.

The DLCL regrets that it has no office space for visitors. It is also unable to provide computers for visitors. It is recommended that visitors who need regular access to a computer for writing or research bring one with them or buy one here. Visitors must pay for copying, postage, long distance telephone calls and faxes, and their own secretarial services. Visitors are welcome to attend classes and seminars during their stay.

Visiting Scholars are responsible for a fee of $16 per month for email sponsorship.

Spouses do not have library or other privileges, though individual arrangements can on occasion be made for access to sports facilities.

Housing Information
Divisional and departmental staff are unable to assist visitors with finding housing. Visitors should consult the following sites for housing information near Stanford University: the Community Housing site, SUpost, the Faculty Staff Housing site, and Craigslist to search for housing listings.

Questions about becoming a Visiting Scholar can be directed to the department administrator in the appropriate department, or to the Division Manager, Allen Sciutto (

Visiting Student Researcher

Graduate students enrolled in PhD programs at other universities may also apply to visit a department for periods ranging from one academic quarter to a year. Visiting students will have the benefit of the title "Visiting Student Researcher" (or "Exchange Scholar" for those students from participating schools; see Exchange Scholar section below). The DLCL and its departments have limited resources for visiting graduate students, and are unable to accept all who express interest.

Normally, Visiting Student Researchers have completed their coursework and are engaged in dissertation research. Visiting Student Researchers cannot register in Stanford University courses for academic credit, and are not permitted to attend classes. Students interested in attending Stanford courses for academic credit must apply for non-matriculated student status, which necessitates a separate application, associated fees, and deadlines.

Application Procedure and Fees
The application procedure for Visiting Student Researchers is the same as for Visiting Scholars; the same application materials are required and must be submitted to the appropriate department at least six (6) months prior to your proposed arrival at Stanford. Like Visiting Scholars, Visiting Student Researchers must also have a regular faculty member to serve as sponsor, as described above. The same visa application fee of $125 is required for non-US citizens, and a fee of approximately $50-75 is also charged for mailing of the documents via international courier. These fees are payable upon the visitor's arrival.  (Please note that these fees are in addition to the $180 SEVIS fee which is paid online to the US governement before your arrival.)

Tuition Rate and Other Fees
Potential Visiting Student Researchers should be aware that in order to have a formal status, the University requires that visiting students, or "Non-Matriculated Graduate Students - Visiting Researchers" as the University designates them, will be charged a monthly fee for every full or partial month in which they are in residence at Stanford. For AY 2014-15, the VSR fee will be $957 per month. This is one-third of the TGR rate of $2,871 per quarter, because Visiting Student Researchers are here in a role similar to advanced Stanford doctoral students. Visiting Researchers will also be charged for student health insurance, unless they document that they have comparable coverage with another health insurance carrier. Students in this category are not permitted to enroll in classes for credit. Visiting Student Researchers are also required to pay the Campus Health Services Fee. For AY 2014-15, these students will be charged the quarterly Campus Health Services Fee ($191/quarter) and the quarterly Cardinal Care premium (if they will be enrolled) for every full or partial quarter in which they are in residence at Stanford.

Those registered as Visiting Student Researchers are entitled to receive a student photo identification card, which permits use of the University Library at the same level as other non-matriculated students, use of recreational facilities, and use of Vaden Student Health services. Visiting Student Researchers are eligible for an email account at no charge. These services are only available during the quarters when the monthly VSR fee has been paid. The DLCL and its departments cannot provide office space for Visiting Student Researchers.

Housing Information
Graduate student housing is available for Visiting Researchers only after all matriculated Stanford students have obtained housing. Given that student housing is extremely tight, for planning purposes, it is best to assume that student housing will not be available.  Visitors should consult the following sites for housing information near Stanford University: the Community Housing siteSUpost, the Faculty Staff Housing site, and Craigslist to search for housing listings.

Detailed information about Visiting Student Researcher policies can be found with the Office of the University Registrar and in the Research Policy Handbook.


The Exchange Scholar Program
Stanford University participates in a limited number of exchange programs at the graduate level, permitting enrolled Stanford graduate students to register for courses at other participating universities, and permitting graduate students at those universities to register for courses at Stanford.  The participating institutions are Brown University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University (School of Humanities and Sciences), University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.  For more information, go to the VPGE page on Exchange Programs.

Questions from graduate students about visiting Stanford should be directed to the appropriate department administator within the DLCL.