Recommended High School Curriculum:

  • English: four years, with significant emphasis on writing and literature.
  • Mathematics: four years, with significant emphasis on fundamental mathematical skills (algebra; trigonometry; plane, solid and analytic geometry).
  • History/Social Studies: three or more years. Such courses should include the writing of essays.
  • Science: three or more years of laboratory science (including biology, chemistry and physics).
  • Foreign Language: three or more years of the same foreign language.

Advanced Placement (AP)

  • Students currently enrolled in AP courses are not required to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. However, we welcome the self-reporting of these scores as additional information to your application.

IB Diploma

  • Students currently enrolled in an IB Diploma program outside the U.S. are required to send us their predicted IB marks (including TOK/essay bonus points).

British System

  • Students currently enrolled in the British education system are required to submit their GCSE results and predicted A-Level marks for consideration. 
  • Generally, students applying to Stanford from the British education system will have taken at least three full A-Level courses (though they may not have taken the final examinations).

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized testing is one of the application requirements that can highlight academic preparedness. There are no minimum test scores required to be admitted to Stanford, and there is no score that guarantees admission.

Required testing (SAT/ACT):

  • ACT or SAT (Writing/Essay not required)
  • We will review applications from all students using either self-reported or official scores. If you would like to have official scores sent, it is fine to use the College Board’s Score Choice option or the equivalent offered by the ACT.
  • For the ACT, we will review all subscores and focus on the highest Composite from all sittings.
  • For the SAT, we will focus on the highest individual Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores from all test sittings.
  • For the SAT, you may have taken a sitting with the essay and a separate sitting without the essay. We will superscore your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math scores across these two versions of the exam.

SAT Subject Tests (Optional):

SAT Subject Tests are optional. Because SAT Subject Test scores can highlight your areas of strength, we welcome the self-reporting of these results in your application. If you have taken a subject test more than once, you may report your highest score.

English Language Requirement

International students can further submit their English Proficiency Test Scores (no minimum score specified) 

  • Duolingo English Test
  • Other accepted qualifications

Stanford Short Essay

We ask applicants to answer several short questions (limit 50 words each), and to write a short essay on three topics (100-word minimum and a 250-word maximum for each essay).

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation from two teachers are required.

  • We recommend requesting letters from grade 11 or 12 teachers in English, math, science, foreign language, or history/social studies. You may request a letter from a grade 10 teacher if the coursework was advanced (e.g., Honors, AP, IB). Letters from classroom teachers are strongly preferred.
  • You may submit one optional letter if there is another person who knows you well and can provide new insights about you.


The optional interview provides an opportunity for Regular Decision and Restrictive Early Action applicants to have a meaningful conversation with a Stanford alumnus/a. This two-way exchange allows you to learn more about Stanford, and the Admission Office to learn more about you.