PhD Admissions Requirements and Procedures


Thank you for your interest in applying to the doctoral program offered by the Department of Statistics.

Contact: stat-admissions-PhD [at]

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 - Thursday, November 30, 2023 (11:59PM PST) 

The deadline for all graduate application forms to be submitted online for the Department of Statistics for matriculation in Autumn Quarter 2023 is Thursday, November 30, 2023. 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.

Self-reported (unofficial) test scores that could not be included with the online application should be emailed to stat-admissions-PhD [at] and must be received by the deadline above.

Recommenders must submit online recommendation letters by the deadline above.

IMPORTANT: Effective March 2021, the GRE Math Subject Test is no longer required. Applicants to our program are only required to take the GRE General Test.

Applicants who do not have a bachelor's degree from a university based in the U.S. should review the information for international student eligibility to apply to graduate school at Stanford. The applicant should be sure that the bachelor's degree or equivalent will be conferred before the intended program start date.

Offers of admission cannot be made without receipt of official test scores.


What do I need to submit?

1. Application Form

Applicants can access the online application and all accompanying information beginning in early October. If you encounter any problems while completing or submitting the application, please contact the support team by clicking Request Application Support in the 'Instructions' section of the application. Since the Stanford application software is not Stanford-based, we are unable to help with technical issues.

2. Statement of Purpose

Explain the nature of your interest in one specific program in the department and reasons for wanting to study at Stanford. In the first sentence of your statement of purpose, indicate the name of the specific program to which you are applying. Include details about your preparation for this field of study, your future career plans, and any other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. Your statement should be typed, single-spaced, and no longer than two pages, ensuring that your full name and the program to which you are applying is on each page. If you are applying to Stanford together with another person (siblings, couples, etc.) and would not accept admission if both were not admitted, please let us know. Note that once your application has been submitted, we cannot accept any revised statements of purpose, résumés or transcripts.

Do not upload academic papers, theses, or dissertations as part of your statement of purpose. These items are not required. If you wish to submit them, please do so separately by uploading them in either the 'Experience' section of the application (if applicable) or the ‘Additional Information’ section. We do not accept materials submitted via email or mail.

3. Transcripts, GPA, Converting International GPA

On the application, list any degree program in which you are currently enrolled, as well as every post-secondary institution you have attended as a full-time student for one or more academic years. Upload unofficial transcripts for each of these. Current transcripts should be the most recently available versions even if no grades are listed for autumn courses.

If you have participated in a study abroad program or transferred courses to your home institution, and the individual courses and grades are reflected on the transcript of the home institution, then you do not need to submit transcripts from the study abroad/transfer institution. Multiple page uploads are allowed for all transcripts. Do not send official copies of transcripts (print or e-transcripts) to the department during the application process. They are not required as part of the application and will not be uploaded to your application or acknowledged.

If you are offered admission to Stanford statistics and accept the offer, you will then be required to submit official transcripts/degree certifications that show your degree conferral directly to Graduate Admissions (not to the department/program). Instructions are provided on the status page immediately after accepting the offer. Note that transcripts uploaded with the online application are not considered final official transcripts.

Stanford requires:

  • Official documents from all institutions attended full-time for at least one academic year
  • Undergraduate program documents (associate's & bachelor's level): Final official transcript(s) showing completion of coursework required for the degree, degree earned, and the date of degree conferral. If from an international institution, additional documents probably are needed, such as official degree conferral/graduation document(s).
  • Graduate program documents (master's & doctoral level): If applicable, official graduate transcript(s). In-progress documents are all that are usually required. Only in the following cases must the graduate transcript be final and degree conferral/graduation documents be included: those needed for a TOEFL waiver or following a 3-year undergraduate degree from India, Pakistan, or Nepal.
  • If the documents are not in English, then institution-produced or certified translations are required, in addition to the official original-language documents.

Stanford does not consider transcripts that come from applicants or that have been in the applicant's possession to be official. Transcripts/degree documents submitted by the student as email attachments are also not considered official.

GPA/Converting International GPA

GPAs of at least 3.5 are strongly recommended.

Applicants must include GPAs for all current and completed degree programs. 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 of the application. 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. It is the applicant's responsibility.

4. GRE General Test Score

GRE Math Subject Test: Effective March 2021, the GRE Math Subject Test is no longer required. Applicants to our program are now only required to take the GRE General Test. The GRE Math Subject Test will not be considered during the review of applications. GRE Math Subject Test scores submitted to Stanford University will not be made available to our department.

IMPORTANT: Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for your official test scores to arrive from ETS. In addition, the department cannot see or access these scores until approximately two weeks after you have submitted your online application. Finally, the test score status in your checklist (viewable after submission of the application) may take an additional 10 business days to change from 'Received - Not Official' to 'Received - Official'. Applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, although no offers of admission can be made without official scores.

GRE General Test ( Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Applicants who already hold a PhD degree from an accredited institution may request a waiver for the general test (see below).

Applicants wishing to submit an application for matriculation in 2024 must be able to provide at least self-reported (unofficial) test scores for the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE general test by the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline. All official score reports must be sent electronically by ETS to Stanford University. Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 5 years, dating back from the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline. The GMAT is not accepted as a substitute for the GRE.

Applications will be processed using the self-reported (unofficial) test scores. If you submit your online application before you have taken the test(s), please email your scores to stat-admissions-PhD [at] as soon as you receive them and no later than the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores.

While we have not established any particular GRE score necessary for admission, the average General GRE percentile scores of recently admitted applicants are Verbal 90%, Quantitative 95% and Analytical Writing 74%. If you submit results from more than one eligible test date we will consider the higher of the scores.

If you have already earned a PhD degree, or your PhD studies are in progress when you apply and your degree will be conferred prior to your intended start quarter, you may request a GRE General Test waiver by emailing stat-admissions-PhD [at] with the following information and attaching an unofficial copy of your PhD transcript: full name, institution attended, degree earned, and degree conferral date. Use the subject heading 'GRE General Test Waiver Request'.

Note: To bypass the entry of GRE General Test scores in the application, enter a future test date. In the additional information section of the application you can note that you have received a waiver from Graduate Admissions.

5. TOEFL Scores

IMPORTANT: Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for your official test scores to arrive from ETS. In addition, the department cannot see or access these scores until approximately two weeks after you have submitted your online application. Finally, the test score status in your checklist (viewable after submission of the application) may take an additional 10 business days to change from 'Awaiting' to 'Received'. Applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, although no offers of admission can be made without official scores.

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Stanford accepts only ETS (Educational Testing Service) scores. Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 24 months, dating back from the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline. Scores expire after two years and will not be available from ETS.

We accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL iBT Paper Edition if you are unable to take the traditional TOEFL iBT test in a test center. If you take the Home Edition or Paper Edition, you may be required to complete additional English placement testing prior to enrollment. We do not accept TOEFL Essentials scores or any other English proficiency test (e.g., IELTS, PTE).

Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned (or will earn, before enrolling at Stanford) a U.S. bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States (territories and possessions excluded), or an equivalent degree from an English-language university in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

You may request a waiver if you (will) have an equivalent degree from a recognized institution in a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom in which English was the language of instruction. You must submit a Stanford application before submitting a TOEFL waiver request form. If you receive confirmation from the Graduate Admissions Office that your TOEFL waiver request has been approved, you must forward this notification to stat-admissions-PhD [at] Note that U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL if the applicant’s first language is not English.

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet based test (iBT) is required by Stanford University for all Ph.D. applicants. However, please note that the Graduate Admission's Required Exams webpage also states that incoming students who score below 109 on the TOEFL will likely be required to complete additional English placement testing prior to enrollment. Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions. The average TOEFL score of Ph.D. applicants admitted to the statistics department is 112. The Test of Written English (TWE) portion of the TOEFL is not required. Stanford accepts MyBest scores but does not currently accept TOEFL Essentials test scores.

Applications will be processed using the self-reported (unofficial) test scores. If you submit your application before you have taken the test, please email your score to stat-admissions-PhD [at] as soon as you receive it. iBT test-takers should be able to access their scores online approximately 10 days after the test date. We recommend that you take the test no later than early November 2023 to ensure that you meet the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline application deadline. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores.

6. Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Letters of recommendation are managed via an online recommendation system, which is part of the online application. Applicants will be required to register the contact information of their recommenders who will then receive an email with directions on how to proceed. Recommendations must be submitted by the Statistics Department's PhD application deadline. We do not accept emailed or paper recommendations. However, we do accept letters submitted by your university's letter service. If this applies to you, you will still need to enter information for each recommender in the online application, including e-mail addresses which will automatically generate the email to each recommender requesting a letter. It is your responsibility to contact them to let them know to disregard this email and to use the university's letter service. Please use stat-admissions-phd [at] when routing through the letter service.

Your 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. The most important factors we look at are: quantitative and analytic strength, communication skills in English, leadership, maturity and focus.

Note: If you have any concerns that one of your recommenders will not be able to submit their letter by the deadline, you may want to consider requesting letters from a total of four recommenders. This will increase the likelihood that three letters will be submitted by the deadline and that your application will be marked as complete.

7. Resume (and optional papers)

Applicants must upload a resume/CV into the 'Experience' section of the application. Applicants may also upload additional papers such as samples of your academic or published works in this section. Any additional papers will be included in your application file, though there is no guarantee that they will be reviewed by the admissions committee. Do not send any duplicates of materials that you have submitted online; they will not be added to your file.

8. Consideration for the M.S. Program

Applicants who indicate that they would like to be considered for the master’s program in the ‘Program Selection’ section of the online application must confirm this by submitting a written request within three business days of receiving the PhD admissions decision email. Note that it is not guaranteed that the MS Admissions Committee will accept your application for review. You will be notified via email whether your request has been approved.

Notification of Received Application Materials

Please refer to your application checklist on the Graduate Application Status page of your online application to determine whether any materials have yet to be received.

Financial aid

Please note that requesting financial aid on the application form will not affect your chances of being admitted to one of our graduate programs. All prospective students should review the estimated expenses associated with graduate study at Stanford.

All students accepted to the Ph.D. program are offered financial support. All tuition expenses are paid and there is a fixed monthly stipend determined to be sufficient to pay living expenses. Financial support can be continued for five years, department resources permitting, for students in good standing. During this time students typically receive both a teaching and research assignment each quarter, which do not exceed 20 hours total.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for outside scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial support. Students with outside support enable the department to stretch its own resources. The department will supplement outside awards to the level set for departmental support. More information about financial support.

For more information

For more information, please review the Stanford Graduate Admissions web site. If you still have questions after carefully reviewing this page and our FAQ page, please contact us at stat-admissions-PhD [at] (subject: Admissions%3A%20LAST%20NAME%2C%20First%20Name) ; type "Admissions: LAST NAME, First Name" in the subject line of your message, specifying your last and first names. We receive a large number of requests for information, and therefore appreciate your understanding in the event that there are delays in receiving a response.

Good luck! We look forward to receiving your application.