What are Stanford admission requirements?

Stanford University, located in California, is one of the most selective universities in the United States and the world. It is considered the 4th best university in the World University Ranking of 2020; with such prestige, it is challenging to get an admission to study there.

Thousands of students apply each year, but not all of them are accepted. This university has very high standards; its students must be the bests, not only regarding grades, but also leadership, talent, and potential.

If you want to go to Stanford one day, in this article, we explain the main requirements you must fulfill to get an admission.

Stanford’s acceptance rate

Once you decide to go to Stanford, you must understand that it is a very rigorous process of selection. If you want to get admitted, you need to start preparing as soon as possible.

The acceptance rate is calculated with the percentage of people who are accepted, compared to the total number that applied.

For example, these are the numbers from the class of 2022 (which applied in July, 2018):

  • They received 47.451 applications (for undergraduate studies).
  • They accepted only 2,071.
  • But, out of the accepted students, only 1,706 actually enrolled at Stanford (this could be because of different reasons, such as the cost of the semester).

When analyzing these numbers, the acceptance rate is 4.4%; we can confirm that it is a real challenge to get there. However, do not stress, keep reading to know the requirements.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

It is not a surprise that the first requirement to get an admission at Stanford is to have excellent grades. Not only excellent, remarkable. This is why you should work really hard while you are still in high school.

The general recommendation is that you should have a GPA of 4.0 or higher; students with that GPA have an admission probability of 75%, according to the data from Freshmen Fall 2016.

Also, if you get to the Top 10% of your rank in class, you have a 95% chance to be accepted.

gpa and rank in class ranges for stanford admission

SAT score

SAT is a standardized test applied in US universities and colleges to measure your intellectual potential and key skills. It has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, and two types of Math (with calculator and without calculator). There is also an optional essay, but Stanford does not require it.

If you want to know more information about the SAT, we recommend you to read this article: www.blog.prepscholar.com/what-is-the-sat-a-complete-explanation-of-the-test

Back to the Stanford requirements, when it comes to the SAT score, there is not a specific number that will guarantee your admission. They use a holistic approach to review the applications, which considers not only the grade, but other components such as leadership, comprehension, volunteering, extracurricular activities, talents, etc.

However, you can have an idea of how much you should try to accomplish by looking at the test results of the applicants from 2018:

sat scores for stanford admission

According to this data, you should score between 720-800 in the Math Section, and 700-770 in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.

➡ READ ALSO: Phi Beta Kappa • Requirements

ACT score

The ACT is another test used to evaluate student admissions to colleges and universities. It is not that different from the SAT, so most of the time, you can take any of them. It also evaluates your skills in four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, and an optional essay.

To get more information about this test, check this article: www.blog.prepscholar.com/what-is-the-act-a-complete-explanation-of-the-test

On the other hand, Stanford accepts either the SAT or the ACT in your application; you are free to choose. However, you must know how to report your scores properly. In the Standardized Testing section of their website, they provide this information.

Even though there is not a minimum score, the average points for the ACT was 32-35 in 2018.

act scores for stanford admission

Application requirements checklist

Besides your GPA, and the SAT or ACTs, there are other components to start your application.

For your convenience, Stanford designed a list of all the things you need to have. Click this link to go to the website: www.admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/index.html.

freshman application requirements stanford

Even though it is optional, if you have a unique talent in arts, you can submit your Arts Portfolio. The main areas are: Art Practice, Dance, Music, and Theatre. This will surely give you more chances to achieve your Stanford admission.

Requirements for international applicants

There is also a section only for international students who want to study at Stanford. You can get all the information you need in this link: www.admission.stanford.edu/apply/international/index.html.