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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the exams required for admissions?

Applicants may take the general GRE exams in the autumn prior to applying, or earlier.  However, all GREs are optional. There is also a TOEFL requirement for foreign applicants who have not studied in an English speaking country for at least two years leading to a BS or MS degree.

Do you offer a fee waiver?

Applicants who need assistance with the application fee are encouraged to apply for a fee waiver. Information on fee waivers is available on the Graduate Admissions website.

How long are GRE and TOEFL scores valid?

GRE scores are valid for approximately five years from the date taken. TOEFL scores submitted to Stanford must be from a test taken within the last 24 months. No scores are valid beyond the date ETS will send or resend them to schools. GRE exams are optional.

What recipient number do I use for sending test scores to Stanford University?

Stanford’s institution code is 4704. There is no department code.

Are letters of recommendations sent from my university's career center or letter service accepted?

Yes, you can use the career center or letter service from your university.

I'm an international student currently attending a university in the U.S. and wonder if my TOEFL can be waived.

Scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English. 

You may request a waiver in the online application if you (will) have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral 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 will be asked to provide the following:

  • Upload an official statement certifying that your program was taught exclusively in English
  • You may also link to your institution’s official website stating the language of instruction

Your waiver request will be routed to Graduate Admissions after you submit your application and pay the application fee. Allow up to 15 business days after submitting your application for a response. This will not delay the receipt of your application by your graduate program.

Can I apply to more than one graduate program at Stanford University?

No, you can only apply to one degree program per academic year.

Are there minimum score requirements for the GRE or the GPA?

There are no minimum scores required for applying to the chemistry Ph.D. program; however, we do want to see a minimum of 108 on the TOEFL. The admissions committee evaluates each applicant’s potential for success based on all materials in the file, recommendation letters, test scores, transcripts, and personal statements. GRE exams are optional. It's best to get letters from referees who have observed your research promise.

What is the minimum required TOEFL score for admission?

The University minimum TOEFL score is 600 (IBT 100), but the Chemistry Department is looking for a 108 or higher.

I would like to check the status of my application. Who do I contact?

Your application status will be updated online periodically as we receive your application materials so please check the online application status for updates. If you have submitted your materials, but the status still remains unchanged, you can send an email to chem.admissions [at] (subject: Admissions%20Documents) (chem[dot]admissions[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Please allow two weeks processing time once your transcripts are sent for your status to be updated. 

All applicants with incomplete applications will receive an email about their missing documents by the end of the second week in January.

The Chemistry Department and the entire University will be closed between December 21st, 3 PM PST and January 3rd. During this time there will be no one available to answer questions regarding your application. We encourage you to apply well before the deadline should any questions arise regarding your application or supporting documents.

I have previously applied to your program but was not admitted. Do I have to submit another application if I reapply?

Yes, you must submit a complete application and pay the application fee. We do keep transcripts, recommendation letters and other application materials on file from the previous year. You can contact us if you want material from your previous application to be included when you reapply.

What are you looking for in the Statement of Purpose?

Describe your research projects/skills/experience and specifically your research interests at Stanford; provide details and research group names. Be direct. 

Are official transcripts required?

Yes, but only after receiving an offer of admission. We will review your application with your uploaded unofficial transcripts. 

Once you accept the offer of admission, you will need to have your official transcripts and degree documents sent to Graduate Admissions. Information can be found on their website, as well as on you application status page.

*We require official documents from all post-secondary institutions where you were enrolled in a degree program for at least one academic year.


When am I exempt from the TOEFL?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English. For detailed information, see the TOEFL information in Required Exams.

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 college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the international equivalent degree from a university of recognized standing in a country in which all instruction is provided in English. Therefore, applicants with degrees from the U.S., Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL and do not need to submit the TOEFL waiver request form. If you are offered admission, the official transcript must be received showing the conferral of the degree from the qualifying institution or TOEFL exam scores will be required to enroll.

Applicants with degrees from institutions in countries other than those listed above and in which English was the only language of instruction may be eligible for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. Applicants may request a waiver in the online application, which will then be reviewed by Graduate Admissions once your application has been submitted and the application fee is paid.

To learn more about the application procedure please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions