EE Admissions Application Requirements

The materials outlined below are required if this is your first time submitting an application for graduate study to the EE department. If you have previously submitted an application for graduate study to the EE department, please consult the "Reapplying" section of our Frequently Asked Questions page for further instructions.

1. Transcripts (Academic Records)

When completing the "Educational History" section of the online application, you are required to list and provide transcripts from every college/university you have attended for at least one year as a full-time student.

Please use the following order when listing institutions on the application:

Institution 1 (required) The institution where you earned or expect to earn your bachelor's degree
Institution 2 (if applicable) The institution where you earned or expect to earn your master's degree
Institution 2+ (if applicable) Any additional postsecondary institutions you attended for at least one (1) academic year as a full-time student

Guidelines for Submitting Trancripts

Please submit the most current version of your transcripts available at the time of application, even if your fall grades are not yet available. You do not need to submit an updated version of your transcript after the application deadline has passed, as doing so will have no impact on the review of your application.

Two (2) modes of submitting transcripts are required:

  1. Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to the "Educational History" section of the online application.
    • Uploaded transcripts should be legible and in English (the original-language version is not required to be uploaded for international transcripts).
    • A scan of the official transcript is preferred, but an unofficial version of the transcript is also acceptable.
  2. Official transcripts must be submitted to the EE department using an approved electronic method or by mailing hard copies. If possible, applicants are encouraged to use one of the electronic methods, as these options are eco-friendly and provide the same level of authenticity as official paper transcripts. Please refer to the table below to see if you qualify for one of the electronic methods:
Electronic Method
Who is Eligible?
How are Documents Submitted?
Secure Electronic Transcripts Applicants whose institution offers a secure electronic transcript delivery service One (1) copy via direct email from the institution to
eTranscript Service Current Stanford students and alumni who have active SUNet IDs Within online application
CollegeNET China Credential Service Applicants from Chinese institutions Within online application
    If you use one of the above electronic methods, you do not need to submit paper transcripts. If any of the institutions you attended do not qualify for electronic transcript delivery, please arrange for two (2) hard copies of your official transcripts to be mailed to our department at the below address:

Stanford University
Department of Electrical Engineering
Graduate Admissions Office
350 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-9505

Note: Official transcripts received after the application deadline will not have a negative impact on the review of your application, as long as the uploaded unofficial transcript is legible.

International applicants should consult the Office of Graduate Admissions website for guidance on what must be included in official transcripts.

2. Test Scores (GRE & TOEFL)

The table below summarizes the exams you may be required to take. Please consult the Educational Testing Service website for more information about the exams (including when scores will be released) and to register for the exams.

Exam Name
Required For...
Scores Valid For...*
All applicants
5 years
Applicants whose first (native) language is not English
18 months

*For Autumn 2016 applications: GRE scores must be from July 1, 2010, or later, and TOEFL scores must be from March 1, 2014, or later.

Guidelines for Submitting Test Scores

Two (2) modes of submitting test scores are required:

  1. Unofficial test scores must be reported on the online application. Please include the test date, score and percentile for each section of the GRE. You may report scores from one test administration only (do not mix and match).
  2. Official test scores must be reported directly to Stanford from Educational Testing Service (ETS). Stanford’s ETS institutional code is 4704; an individual department code number is not necessary. As long as the 4704 institutional code is selected, the score will be electronically delivered to Stanford.
    • Note: Official scores received after the application deadline will not have a negative impact on the review of your application, as long as you self-report your scores on the application and submit it by the deadline.

TOEFL Minimum Requirements

Please refer to the Required Exams page on Stanford's central Graduate Admissions Office website for details on Stanford's minimum TOEFL requirements. Note that, if your TOEFL score falls below the University's minimum requirements and you are admitted, Stanford may require you to take an English placement exam and/or take English classes.

TOEFL Exemptions and Exceptions

Applicants who earned or expect to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction may be eligible to receive an exemption or exception from the TOEFL requirement, but some restrictions apply. For more information on TOEFL exemptions and exceptions, please refer to the Required Exams page on Stanford’s central Office of Graduate Admissions website.

TOEFL exception requests are reviewed and approved by Stanford’s central Office of Graduate Admissions. They will send you an e-mail notification once a decision has been made. 

3. Statement of Purpose

Applicants are required to provide a statement of purpose. Note, only one (1) file may be uploaded in the online application for the statement of purpose.

  • In your statement of purpose, you should succinctly describe your reasons for applying to the proposed program, which may include:
    • Preparation for this field of study,
    • Motivation for graduate study,
    • Why our program is a good fit for you,
    • Future career plans,
    • Other relevant aspects of your background and interests,
    • Interest in specific research at Stanford or specific Stanford faculty (if applicable).
  • There is no word limit, but it should not exceed two (2) pages in length, single-spaced.
  • Make sure to set your computer to a Western European or other English-language setting. (We cannot guarantee the ability to access your statement if it is submitted in other fonts.)

Changes to your uploaded statement of purpose will not be accepted after you submit your application. Please double-check your statement for errors before submitting your application.

4. Letters of Recommendation

A maximum and minimum of three letters of recommendation are required.

Choosing Your Recommenders

Our admissions committee is charged with evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. Therefore:

  • Letters should come from academic (or professional) references that speak to your academic and/or research background.
  • Recommenders should know you well and be able to comment on your strengths, as well as your potential for graduate study.

Submission Guidelines

  • All recommendations must be submitted via the online application system. Paper copies sent via post will not be accepted. The online recommendation submission system is easy to use and has been thoroughly tested.
  • All letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline in order to guarantee that your application will be reviewed in its entirety.
  • Please do not wait for all of your letters of recommendation to be submitted before submitting your application. The online recommendation system will remain open for your recommenders until they submit their letter. You may view the status of received letters of recommendation on your Activity Status Page.
  • To change your recommenders, please consult the application database provider's Letters of Recommendation Issues page for guidance. The EE Admissions Office does not have access to change your recommenders or send email reminders to recommenders.
  • Should any of your recommenders experience technical difficulties with the online letters of recommendation process please refer them to our application database provider's Letters of Recommendation Help page or have them submit an online help request form directly to our application database provider.

5. Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $125 is required for each application submitted to a graduate program at Stanford University. The fee must be paid through the payment section of the online application. The only accepted method of payment is by credit/debit card (Visa or MasterCard only). To request an application fee waiver, please see the Graduate Application Fee Waivers page on Stanford's Graduate Diversity Staff Council website. The EE department is not authorized to grant application fee waivers. 

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