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Financial Aid

Undergraduate financial aid

Undergraduate financial aid is handled through the Stanford University Financial Aid Office, which provides comprehensive information on financial aid alternatives for undergraduates. The School of Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering Department do not handle financial aid inquiries for undergraduates.

Stanford Undergraduate Admissions also has an FAQ section that answers some common questions about financial aid.

Graduate financial aid


The Mechanical Engineering Department selectively awards several fellowships to entering graduate students. To be considered for assistance as an entering student, you must submit the Application for Admission to Graduate Study with supporting documents by the December deadline. Notifications regarding fellowships are sent to recipients in March and April.

Stanford Graduate Fellowship

This prestigious three-year University award is intended for outstanding candidates in graduate study leading to the PhD. The fellowship is selectively awarded to entering graduate students who are pursuing (or plan to pursue) a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. The award provides a quarterly stipend and tuition for eight to 10 units per quarter for 12 quarters. The selection process is demanding, requiring nomination and confirmation by both a department and university committee. Students are nominated for this award and cannot initiate the process.

Graduate fellowships

The School of Engineering and Department Fellowships are awarded to entering ME graduate students. Awards are based upon merit, including undergraduate academic performance and research potential. Recipients receive eight to 10 units of tuition per quarter and a quarterly stipend, for anywhere from three to five quarters.

Research assistantships

Research assistantships (RAs) are available to continuing MS and PhD Students, and more rarely, new graduate students. Assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members who have the necessary research funding. Typically, students who have successfully arranged for an RA appointment have secured it by contacting a faculty member directly. Although the majority of Research Assistants are in the PhD program, there are occasional RA appointments available for MS students who have a firm commitment to attaining a PhD.

Research assistants typically receive eight to 10 units of tuition coverage and a salary in exchange for 20 hours of work per week. Some students opt to work fewer hours per week, and their salary and tuition benefits are adjusted accordingly. For the PhD program, incoming students are awarded RA positions based upon the information provided in their admissions application. Current students typically contact faculty members to arrange research assistantships.

Teaching and course assistantships

Teaching/course assistantships are offered primarily to continuing students and to a very limited number of entering graduate students. TA/CAs typically provide recipients with tuition coverage of eight to 10 units and a salary, requiring 20 hours of work per week. Reduced hours (10 hours per week) may also be available, with salary and tuition benefits adjusted accordingly. TA/CA-ships are offered by faculty members who have been allocated the necessary funds to hire a TA/CA.

Students who have been offered an assistantship should refer to the ME Graduate Handbook for details on how to get paid.

Graduate student loans

Permanent residents and U.S. citizens can apply for need-based loans. Information regarding student loans and application packets can be obtained by calling the Stanford University Financial Aid Office at (650) 723-3058.