Stanford University Intake Process for Computer Science

Stanford University’s Computer Science Department, situated in Stanford, California, is a prestigious institution renowned for computer science education. Established in 1965, it has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s premier computer science programs

What sets Stanford University’s Computer Science program apart is its location in Silicon Valley, which gives it an advantage over other computer science programs.

Applying to a revered university and program like Computer Science at Stanford University might seem like a daunting task in itself, especially as an Indian applicant. But not so with the right guidance, and information. 


Computer Science Degree Requirements

  • SOP
  • 3 recommendation letters to be submitted online while applying (at least 2 from academic sources recommended )
  • Resume
  • Supplemental forms if applicable
  • NDO transcript (if applicable)
  • GRE is not required for PhD and MS
  • TOEFL (not taken before 18 months from the application deadline)

These are a few basic requirements, but they may vary with the degree you choose. For further details, visit here

Computer Science Admission Process

Here’s how to apply for Computer Science at Stanford University.

  • Keep all the transcripts ready to submit online.
  • Complete and submit the online application before the deadline.
  • Pay the application fee through a credit card.
  • Keep a check on your emails as all correspondence regarding your application will be done via the e-mail address you provide.


Computer Science Curriculum

The computer science program has condensed its core material into six courses that are mandatory for all CS students. Subsequently, students select an area of specialization, which is referred to as their track, consisting of 4-5 courses for in-depth study. To complete their CS curriculum, students are required to take 2-4 elective courses.

These electives can be courses from different areas of CS, providing greater breadth, or additional courses related to the student’s track, providing greater depth. The track-related electives also include courses outside of the CS department to facilitate interdisciplinary work for students with interests that cross departmental boundaries.

Stanford University has a unique approach to teaching computer science. Active learning-based classroom teaching methods and lab-based teaching are some of the teaching methods used at Stanford. In addition, Stanford offers its MS students a two-week “shopping period” where they can attend as many classes as they want before deciding which courses to include on their study list.

Computer Science Internships

There is great importance to internships in Stanford University’s computer science program. Internship opportunities provide practical exposure to the things learned in class. Stanford assists in this regard, and students can subscribe to the official “job and internship” email to be updated on new postings. Computer science students also have the option of working in Stanford’s computer labs. Students can also attend career fairs for better opportunities.

Computer Science Research Opportunities at Stanford University

Research groups at Stanford University’s Computer Science Department specialize in:

  • artificial intelligence, 
  • robotics, 
  • foundations of computer science, 
  • scientific computing, and 
  • systems. 

Their main research objective is to conduct fundamental work in computer science, but they also place great emphasis on interdisciplinary research and on developing applications that promote basic research. These groups are well-established and well-regarded in their respective fields.

Stanford is well known for its Computer Science research opportunities. The research budget of Stanford University has exceeded $1 billion, encompassing funds from the federal government as well. The primary aim is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue careers in research and teaching, whether in academic institutions or industry.

Courses Offered

Apart from pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s in computer science at Stanford University, The university also offers a plethora of other options such as;

  • PhD.
  • Conterminal: Coterms are students who pursue undergraduate and graduate at the same time for at least one quarter before completion of undergraduate.
  • Joint Degree Programs 
  • (Joint CS MS/ Law Degree)
  • (Join CS MS/ MBA Degree)
  • (Joint CS Ph.D./Law)
  • Course Assistants (Graduate or conterminal students assisting instructors)
  • CS Diploma 

Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) offers a remote program to non-Stanford students called Non-Degree Option. The classes for the non-degree program are conducted online, and students enrolled may visit the campus for midterm and final exams. 


Career Prospects after Graduating from Stanford University’s Computer Science Program

How does Stanford University’s Computer Science program prepare students for the workforce?

Through its immaculate research-based pedagogy, knowledge that is applicable across fields, and a plethora of options to choose from, Stanford University prepares students for the workforce. Through its career workshops students learn;

  • Resume Writing & Interview Skills
  • Key Job Search Strategies
  • Evaluating & Negotiating the Job Offer
  • Academic, Internships, and Industry
  • Career Planning
  • Career Path in Large Multinational Companies
  • Deciding Between a Start-up Vs a Fortune 500 Company
  • How to Get the Job of Your Dreams and Make the Best Out of It
  • So You’ve Accepted a Full-Time Position or Internship, Now What?
  • A Day in a Life of an Engineer
  • A Day in the Life of a Technologist: Perspectives Across a Software Company.

Computer science careers are one of the most in-demand and high-paying careers of all time.

Stanford graduates are well-equipped with the necessary skills to pursue various careers and positions in diverse fields like 

  • engineering, 
  • technology, 
  • consulting(tech.), 
  • research, 
  • media, 
  • operations, 
  • medicine,
  • teaching, and admission
  • higher studies.

A few job titles that the Computer Science program at Stanford University equips one for are:

  • Research Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Consultant(Tech)


Above, we have provided a comprehensive guide on what to expect from the admission process for Stanford University’s Computer Science program. The aim is to assist you in making a well-informed decision.  The application process for the Computer Science Department of Stanford University is highly competitive, with around 4,000 applicants vying for a spot each year. It is advisable to ensure that all components of the application are strong, given the large number of exceptional applications received. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to provide an English proficiency score?

Yes. If you are not a native English speaker, you need to provide a TOEFL score. The TOEFL score must not be older than 18 months before the application deadline.

Is there any page limit on SOP?

Yes. The SOP must not be more than two pages. It has to be submitted online along with the application.

Is it required to have a CS undergraduate major to apply?

No. It is not mandatory, but you are recommended to have strong quantitative and analytical skills.

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