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Statistics & Data Science MS application requirements

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Statistics MS or Data Science MS program offered by the Department of Statistics.

The following instructions apply to both the Statistics and the Data Science M.S. graduate application.

All graduate applications are reviewed at the department level. Please read the following information and the Admissions FAQ page carefully. We have made a great effort to provide detailed, thorough and relevant information regarding the application process and hope that it will provide answers to your questions.

APPLICATION DEADLINE - Tuesday, December 1, 2020 (11:59PM PST) 

The deadline for all graduate application forms to be submitted online for the Department of Statistics for matriculation in Autumn Quarter 2020 is Tuesday, December 1, 2020. We do not matriculate students in any other quarter. The online application fee is $125 for all applicants, both domestic and international. Click here for details regarding the Application Fee Waiver.


  1. Application Form

  2. Program Selection and subplan declaration

  3. Transcripts, GPA, Converting International GPA

  4. Exam scores: GRE General & TOEFL

  5. Letters of Recommendation

  6. Statement of Purpose

  7. Additional Information



Applicants can access the online application beginning September. Any problems that you encounter while completing or submitting the application must be addressed by contacting the support desk as indicated on the application website. The Stanford application software is not Stanford-based, we cannot help with technical issues at the department-level.



Program Code: STATS-MS
Term Applying For: Autumn 2020-2021

Be sure to click [SAVE] before proceeding to the next page.

Data Science Subplan Declaration - DEPARTMENT SPECIALIZATION

Only applicants who intend to pursue the Data Science subplan should select the specialization from the drop-down menu. Applicants who select Data Science will only be considered for this program and NOT in addition to the Statistics M.S. degree program.



Under Educational History section, applicants are required to upload electronic (or scanned files) of transcripts (either official or unofficial) from all postsecondary institutions attended as a full-time student for one academic year or longer and any degree program in which you are currently enrolled. Visit Graduate Admissions to review the guidelines established.  Be sure your bachelor's degree equivalent will be conferred before your intended program start date. 

Official (hard-copy or electronic) transcripts are not required at the time of application submission.

Offical final transcripts will be required of applicants who are offered admission. The applicant will be requied to transmit offical transcripts (sealed envelope) or certified electronic transcripts prior to matriculation. Admissions offers are contingent on receipt of final transcripts.


If the institution does not issue records in English, original language records must be submitted/uploaded with official English translations. We accept translations issued by the institution or a professional translating service. Translations must be literal and complete versions of the original records. (International student transcripts requirements.)

The University reserves the right to require additional academic documents. If we are unable to verify the nature or authenticity of your academic documents, we may ask you to obtain an evaluation from a foreign credential evaluation service.


Applicants must include GPAs for all current and completed degree programs. If your school uses a 4.0 grading scale, enter your GPA with two decimals (e.g. 4.00).

Applicants whose school's scoring system does not use the 4.0 scale MUST provide the original score, original system (e.g. a scale of 1-30 or 1-100), and a converted GPA based on the 4.0 scale. Stanford University does not convert the GPA for you.

Example: if your school uses a 1-100 point system, divide by 25 to get the 4.0 equivalent. If you feel this method of conversion does not accurately reflect your grades, please use the Additional Educational History section to provide more details.

If the applicant's school does not use any scoring system or only provides grades at the end of the degree program, please note this in the Additional Educational History section.

Educational History  2

Applicants can use the Additional Educational History text box to list any institution/organization that you have taken any preparatory courses that apply to the degree you are applying to, such as online certificate programs; Coursera; extension school programs/continuing education, etc. (Include this effort in your statement of purpose.)

  • E.g. Institutions/MOOC’s/online-platform courses taken that are not affiliated with your degree institutions listed on the previous page. (transcripts can be uploaded (combined PDF) in the Additional Information section on page 15 of the application)
    • If you have more than three previous institutions, please list them in the Additional Educational History section.


The General GRE is required of all applicants, except those who have earned a doctoral degree (or Ph.D. equivalent) by the start of the program. The department does not accept the GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT in lieu of the GRE exam.

The TOEFL exam is required of applicant's whose first language is not English. TOEFL Exemptions

ETS has introduced a solution for students who have been impacted by the coronavirus to take the TOEFL iBT® test and the GRE® General Test at home until test centers can reopen. For more information, please visit the ETS website.

Required Exams page:

Information on GRE/TOEFL registration, test centers and dates, can be found on the ETS website.

Graduate Admissions guidelines for Reporting Scores. Scores must be submitted before their respective expiration dates. No scores are valid beyond the date ETS will send or resend them to schools.

Stanford's institution code is 4704. No department code is needed.



  • GRE scores are reportable for five years following your test date. For example, scores for a test taken on July 3, 2018, are reportable through July 2, 2023.
  • GRE exam should be taken no later than one month prior to the deadline for timely submission of scores. Applicants must be able to enter their self-reported scores before submitting the application.
  • TOEFL scores submitted to Stanford must be from a test taken within the last 18 months. TOEFL Test is required by the University of any applicant who does not meet the English eligibility qualification. If applicable, enter the date and scores from the exam you intend to send to Stanford.
  • GRE Subject Test is NOT REQUIRED.

Exemptions are made on a case-by-case basis. If you are applying for 2021-22 admission and your situation precludes you from being able to register for the GRE general text, you may apply for a waiver from the department.


The Statistics department requires three (3) recommendation letters to be uploaded by the letter writers themselves (or authorized representatives). Applicants should ask for recommendation letters as early as possible. We suggest asking one additional person (if possible), in case one of the recommenders is unable to submit their letter.

Letters should be written by those who have supervised you in either an academic or employment setting. If possible, at least one should be from a university professor familiar with your academic work. Your recommendations should directly address your suitability for admission to the Statistics department. We pay extra attention to the potential for future excellence, as indicated in letters of recommendation.

Letter writers should be faculty or others who are qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.

  • If possible, at least one letter and evaluation should be from a faculty member at the last school you attended as a fulltime student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years).
  • Alternatives for faculty recommendations may include work associates or others who can comment on your academic potential for graduate study.

Applicants will be required to register their recommenders contact information and credentials. They will receive an email with directions on how to proceed. Email notification is sent by

We will accept letters submitted by your university's letter service (e.g. Interfolio, etc.). An automatic email will then be sent to the recommender requesting a letter. You will need to contact them to let them know that they should follow your institution's letter service protocol.

  • Please use this email address when routing to the letter service:

Note: If necessary, you may edit/change your recommender or change your waiver decision in the Activity Status page. ('Manage your recommenders' before submitting your application.)


Important Note: Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, enrolled students have access to educational records concerning them. Students are also permitted to waive their rights of access to letters of reference. For each recommender, indicate whether or not you waive this right.

Please note that in addition to the admission process, the reference letter may also be used as part of the selection process for a different graduate program, for a research group or laboratory, for a research or teaching assistantship, or for an honor or award; in connection with academic mentoring of the student during the period of his or her enrollment; or for financial support derived from any source available to the University.


The SOP or personal statement is required under the Document Uploads section.

Your statement should be typed, single-spaced, and no longer than two pages with a one inch margin at the top of each page, ensuring that your full name and the program to which you are applying is on each page. (Accepted File Types: .pdf, .doc, .docx)

Explain the nature of your interest in one specific program in the department (Statistics MS or Data Science MS) and reasons for wanting to study at Stanford. Include details about your preparation for this field of study, your future career plans, and any other aspects of your background and interests that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. Overall, the personal statement should be concise, focused, and well written.



If you wish to upload supplemental application materials, such as your resumé, submitted/published papers, transcripts related to coursework not taken at your previous institutions.

If uploading more than one document, merge all documents into a single file.

The department cannot accommodate uploads or additions to an application once it has been submitted. Carefully review your responses for accuracy and completeness before submitting.


Carefully review your responses for accuracy and completeness before submitting. Please verify that you have selected the appropriate program/subplan before submitting your application.

Those who selected Data Science will only be considered for that program - NOT in addition to Statistics M.S.

Your responses will become the official property of Stanford University and your admission will be based on the answers you have provided. Once they are submitted, you cannot change your answers using this online system. Please contact the department to which you applied if you need to correct or update your application.

  • Confirm with your letter writers that they are able to provide a letter of support by the deadline.


  • This is the final step in the application submission process. No changes to your application through the online system are allowed once you enter your digital signature and click on the button below.

If you have questions about any of the preceding application sections, please review our Statistics M.S. Admissions FAQ page.

The application deadline for 2021-2022 is December 1, 2020 (Tuesday) 11:59 PM Pacific Time. We do not accept late applications. The application is closed immediately following the deadline.

  • Any admissions related emails sent to department faculty or staff will be discarded.
  • The department will contact the applicant if we require further verification of any of the checklist items.
  • The purpose of the application checklist is to allow applicants to monitor the status of their application materials. The checklist update process will begin after the application has been submitted and upon receipt of official transcripts.
  • Official transcripts can only be recorded as received in your checklist once the application has been submitted. We ask that you send your official documents within 7 days of submitting your completed application.
  • Do not send revised or updated transcripts upon the close of quarterly or semester grades. Updated transcripts will not be reconciled with your application during committee review.