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 our FAQ section for further instructions.

1. Transcripts (Academic Records)

Academic records must be submitted from the following:

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

Guidelines for Transmitting Trancripts

Two modes of submitting transcripts are required:

  • Official transcripts (2 copies) must 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
    • International applicants: If the official transcripts are in a language other than English, please submit two (2) copies in the original language and two (2) copies of the official English translation. For complete requirements regarding official transcripts, please read the Transcript (Academic Record) guidelines on Stanford's central Office of Graduate Admissions website. 
    • If the name listed on your transcript is different from the name you used to apply to our program, please send an e-mail to with the pertinent information.
  • Unofficial transcripts (preferably scans of the official transcript) must be uploaded to the "Educational History" section of the online application.
    • List your bachelor's degree institution FIRST ("Post-Secondary Institution 1").
    • All uploaded transcripts should be legible and in English (the original-language version is not required to be uploaded for international transcripts).

2. Test Scores (GRE & TOEFL)

Required Exams

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...*
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
All applicants
5 years
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Applicants whose first (native) language is not English
18 months

*For Autumn 2015 applications: GRE scores must be from July 1, 2009, or later, and TOEFL scores must be from March 1, 2013, or later.

Guidelines for Submitting Test Scores

Two modes of submitting test scores are required:

  • 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.
    • If the name and/or birthdate you used to register for the exam is different from the information you provided in your application, please send an e-mail to with the pertinent information.
  • Unofficial test scores must be reported on the online application. If you have already submitted your application without the scores, you may self-report your scores by sending an e-mail to with the following information: test date, score for each section, and percentile for each section (GRE only).

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 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.)

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.
  • If you submit more than three (3) letters of recommendation, only the first three (3) that you list will be reviewed, as our department accepts a maximum of three letters of recommendation.
  • 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 status page.
  • 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.

Graduate Admissions Links