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Nonmatriculated Study (Graduate Students)

Eligibility for consideration for nonmatriculated enrollment is restricted to two groups of applicants:

  1. Stanford alumni who wish to return to Stanford to take courses that are prerequisites for Medical School admission, such as undergraduate Biology or Chemistry courses, are eligible to apply for nonmatriculated status. An application form, application fee, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation are required. The decision to admit or deny is made by the Director of Graduate Admissions on the basis of relevant factors, including a 3.0 GPA and positive letters of recommendation.

    Applicants who graduated from other universities are not eligible to take the prerequisites for Medical School at Stanford.

  2. Individuals who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent and wish to take courses in a specific department that allows non-degree students are eligible to apply for nonmatriculated status. An application form, application fee, statement of purpose, original transcripts, and three letters of recommendation are required. The decision to admit or deny is made by the chair of the department in which they wish to take courses and conveyed in writing to the Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants are notified of the decision by Graduate Admissions in the Office of the University Registrar.

Students who are granted nonmatriculated status are charged the 8-10 unit rate for each quarter in which they are enrolled, and may enroll for a maximum of a total of one academic year. Nonmatriculated status is a privilege and not a right; the nonmatriculated status may be revoked at the University's discretion (and after consideration of such factors as the University considers relevant in the particular case) at the end of any quarter of enrollment.

Nonmatriculated students are not permitted to enroll in certain courses, such as those in the following departments or programs: film and broadcasting courses in Art; all courses in Computer Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, International Policy Studies, and the School of Medicine. Nonmatriculated students are expected to limit their enrollment to classes in the department in which they have been admitted. Nonmatriculated students receive academic credit for courses satisfactorily completed and may obtain an official transcript. As a general proposition, they may use University facilities and services. In classes of limited enrollment, students in degree programs have priority. Nonmatriculated students may apply for housing but have a low priority for assignment and are not guaranteed housing. No fellowships, assistantships, or Stanford loans are available for nonmatriculated students. Nonmatriculated students are not eligible for a leave of absence.

Nonmatriculated students who later apply for admission to a degree program must meet the standard admission requirements and should not anticipate special priority because of work completed as a nonmatriculated student. Students who are admitted to a degree program may apply a maximum of 15 units of nonmatriculated study toward the residency requirement for a master's degree and 30 units for the Engineer or Ph.D. degree, subject to the approval of the degree granting department.

Application forms for nonmatriculated status during the regular academic year are available from Graduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, 630 Serra Street, Suite 120, Stanford, CA 94305-6032. Deadlines for applying are included with the forms and are generally required two months before the start of the quarter.

Applicants interested in nonmatriculated student status for the Summer Quarter only should contact the Summer Session Office, 482 Galvez Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-6079.

Non-Degree-Granting Programs

Stanford University has established a limited number of formal non-degree-granting programs within individual departments. These include the Knight Fellowship Program for mid-career journalists (Communication Department), and the Stegner Fellows Program for selected authors (Creative Writing Program, within the English Department).

Individuals may apply to these programs directly. Application requirements, admissions decisions, tuition requirements and financial support are all handled by the specific program. Individuals who are admitted to these programs will be registered at Stanford as nonmatriculated graduate students in the appropriate program. Upon completion of their program, they will receive a transcript and certificate of program completion.

Stanford Center for Professional Development

Qualified individuals may pursue graduate and professional certificates or take individual graduate and professional courses through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Nonmatriculated students taking individual graduate courses for credit, or towards earning a graduate certificate, are charged tuition on a per-unit basis. For more information on available courses, applications, and deadlines visit or phone (650) 725-3000.

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