Frequently Asked Questions

What are the exams required for admissions?

The exams for admissions in the Chemistry Department are normally the GRE general and the GRE chemistry subject test. The subject exam is only offered in September, October, and April; however, GRE exams are now optional. Our annual deadline is usually the first Tuesday in December.   

Do you offer a fee waiver?

Applicants who need assistance with the application fee are encouraged to apply for a fee waiver. Preference is given to low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  Fee waivers for international students are extremely rare. Applying to more than one fee waiver option will not increase your opportunity of receiving a fee waiver. For a complete list of fee waiver options and eligibility requirements, please visit the Graduate Diversity website.

Please note that fee waiver requests are required to be submitted 10 or 15 business days prior to the application deadline (Thursday, December 1 at 11:59:59 pm PST) so please plan accordingly.

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. Exceptions are granted for applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the equivalent of either degree from a non-U.S. college or university of recognized standing where all instruction is provided in English. This exception does not apply if the courses were completed in a country where English is spoken but not all courses were provided in English. Being a U.S. citizen does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit TOEFL scores.

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)

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 16th, 3 PM PST and January 1st. 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. 

Two copies of your official transcripts may be mailed (or emailed if your university offers official e-transcripts) to the department upon admission.

They can be mailed to: 

Graduate Admissions

Chemistry Department

337 Campus Drive 

Stanford, CA 94305-4401


*Transcripts are only required from every college/university you have attended for at least one year as a full-time student. For more information about requirements please visit the Graduate Admissions website

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. You must submit a Stanford application before submitting a TOEFL waiver request form.

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