Stanford is a residential university, where roughly half of our 16,000 students are engaged in some aspect of graduate study. In all disciplines the University has a primary commitment to advanced research and education and provides excellent facilities and staff to support this commitment.
Some 5,200 acres of the campus, located on the San Francisco peninsula, are in general academic use. The remainder of the 8,800 acres stretch westward into the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains. Deep redwood forests and Pacific beaches are close by, and San Francisco, only 35 miles north, offers many cultural and recreational opportunities. The Sierra Nevada lies approximately 200 miles to the east with superb hiking and skiing. The mid-peninsula climate, tempered by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, is mild both in summer and winter. The humidity is low, and intense heat or frost seldom occur. This combination of urban and rural opportunities, the very diverse populations of graduate and professional school students, and an ideal climate makes Stanford particularly desirable for graduate study.
Campus dormitories, apartments, and eating clubs are available to students. Escondido Village, an apartment development on campus, provides studios and 1-3 bedroom apartments for single students as well as married students and single parents. The newer Rains and Lyman graduate housing complexes provide an additional on-campus housing alternative. For students with small children, several nursery schools are located conveniently on campus. In addition, two of the state's finest elementary schools are located on campus. A brochure describing campus housing options and a housing application are automatically mailed to all admitted students. For those who prefer to live off campus, Community Housing Services (630 Serra Street, Suite #110, 650-723-3906) maintains a list of rentals available in the neighboring communities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and beyond. Given the residential nature of the surrounding communities, it is very common for groups of students to share a house. Student housing costs in the Palo Alto area are comparable to other universities in major metropolitan areas