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Application Requirements for All Doctoral Programs (PhD)

All of our doctoral programs are designed to develop outstanding educational researchers who have a deep understanding of the scientific, practical and policy issues they study. All require full-time study, and we promise five years of full-time financial support for every student we admit. Our doctoral programs are small, typically ranging from about 25 to 35 new students a year. The small size of our doctoral cohorts creates big educational advantages for students: the classes are almost always small, students receive individualized attention from their advisors, and they have many opportunities to develop close collegial relationships with fellow students.

It is extremely important to demonstrate in your statement of purpose that your interests converge closely with the current research of faculty who work in the program to which you are applying. Other doctoral applicants will certainly do this, and if you don't, you will forfeit an important competitive advantage to them. 

If you wish to contact faculty, please read our Which Degree Which Program article, by Professor Eamonn Callan, which outlines the appropriate process for contacting faculty with whom you share research interests. 

  • Program website: Degrees and Programs/PhD
  • Length of Program: average length is 5 years
  • Tuition: fellowship/assistantship salary and tuition guaranteed for first five years of the program (autumn, winter and spring quarters) for all students, including international students

Application Requirements:

Application Form

Complete and submit Stanford's graduate online application.

Application Fee

$125. Application fees are non-refundable and submitted with the online application. The GSE provides a limited number of fee waivers during the application cycle.  To learn more please visit Stanford's Graduate Fee Waivers webpage.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement should be typed, single-spaced and should be between one to two pages. Describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program, your preparation for this field of study and why our program is a good fit for you, your future career plans, and other aspects of your background as well as interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. You may indicate potential faculty mentors as part of your study and research interests. Be sure to keep a copy for your records. What's a Good Statement of Purpose?

Resume

Resumes are required of all applicants. Please upload your resume in the online application.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to acquire three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will be asked to identify your recommenders and their email addresses. Please notify your recommenders that they will receive an email prompt to submit their recommendation online. Stanford GSE only accepts online recommendations through the application system; Stanford GSE cannot accept mailed, emailed or faxed recommendations.

Recommendations should be written by people who have supervised you in an academic, employment, or community service setting. At least one should be from a university professor familiar with your academic work. Your recommendations should directly address your suitability for admission to a graduate program at Stanford GSE.

College and University Transcripts

When submitting your online application, please upload your transcripts as a PDF. Only if admitted, we  will contact you with instructions on sending the official copy of your transcripts. We cannot accept mailed, emailed or faxed copies of your transcripts during the application process. Please note: the instructions for sending transcripts on the online application and on the general Graduate Admissions Office website differ from this Stanford GSE requirement. Transcripts should be submitted for any institution at which you spent at least one-year doing academic study.

Concerning course work completed in a study abroad program

If the course work and grades are reflected on the transcript of your home institution, you do not need to submit original transcripts from the study abroad institution.

Concerning foreign institutions

If your institution provides a transcript in a language other than English, we require that you submit a translation of the transcript that is either provided by the institution or a certified translator.

GRE

The GSE strongly encourages applicants to take the GRE General Test  by October 31. All applicants are required to take the GRE General Test before the application deadline and within five years of the application submission date. GRE Subject test scores are not required. Scores must be from an examination taken within the last five years. Be sure to take the test in time for your scores to be received at Stanford by the application deadline. Stanford Institution code: 4704 (no department code is required). GRE website: http://www.gre.org

Current Stanford undergraduate students who apply to a coterminal program at the Graduate School of Education and Stanford Undergraduate Honors Program applicants are not required to submit GRE scores.

TOEFL

Stanford University requires the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from all applicants whose native language is not English. The Test of Written English (TWE) portion of the TOEFL is not required. Applicants who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree or a two-year master's program (or its equivalent) in the U.S. or at an institution where English is the main language of instruction are not required to take the TOEFL. For more information on TOEFL requirements, please see the "Required Exams" section on the Graduate Admissions website.

The Graduate School of Education requires a minimum TOEFL score of 250 for the computer-based test, 600 for the paper-based test or 100 for the internet-based test in order to be considered for admission.

The test may be taken no earlier than 18 months prior to the application deadline. Be sure to take the test in time for your scores to be received at Stanford by the application deadline. Stanford Institution code: 4704 (no department code is required). TOEFL website: TOEFL

Contact Information

Admissions: gseadmissions@stanford.edu 

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