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Graduate Admissions

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The following information is intended for prospective Stanford CEE graduate students

There are separate internal processes for:

-Current undergraduates interested in the Coterminal Master's

-Current graduate students interested in a second graduate degree

Admissions Committees:

A number of departmental committees, comprised of civil engineering faculty members, carefully consider all completed applications to Civil and Environmental Engineering's advanced degree programs. The committees make all decisions regarding admission to our advanced degree programs. Decisions are based on thorough evaluations of all aspects of completed applications, which are considered within the context of the program pool.

Items considered in admissions decisions:

  • Student’s academic record and experiences
  • letters of recommendation
  • statement of purpose

Important submission notice:

Applicants are requested not to send individual faculty members or staff informal documents and appeals for informal evaluations. We are unable to provide informal recommendations or evaluations on the basis of partial information such as a CV, test scores, or a transcript. Inquiries and materials sent to individual professors will be redirected to administrative staff. We encourage potential applicants to consider discussing their issues with faculty recommenders who know them well and could give better, individualized academic advice.

Prerequisites:

While most applicants to our advanced degree programs have traditional civil engineering backgrounds, we do accept applications from students in other related fields. Those with non-traditional backgrounds should expect, if admitted, to spend some additional time acquiring the background necessary to complete a graduate degree in civil engineering. For reference, the requirements for a Stanford BS in Civil Engineering can be found in the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

Decision Timeline:

Final decisions are not made on a rolling basis, but rather when the pool is complete, after the deadline date.  Applicants are usually informed of their acceptance to a degree program beginning in March. All offers of financial aid (e.g., fellowships, assistantships) will made by early April, most often through a separate letter offering financial aid.

Graduate Application Checklist

All materials must be submitted online through the Graduate Application portal. A completed application consists of:

  • Application 
  • Application Fee 
  • Statement of Purpose 
  • Supplemental Questions for students applying to graduate programs 
  • Letters of Recommendation 
  • Transcripts 
  • TOEFL Results (if English is not your first language)

Application

The application can be accessed through Stanford’s Graduate Admissions website. That page explains University-wide policy and procedures. Please carefully read all information and instructions.

Application Fee

The current fee is posted on the Graduate Admissions website. If you are considering applying to Stanford graduate programs and need assistance with the application fees, consider applying for a fee waiver.  https://graddiversity.stanford.edu/graduate-fee-waivers 

Note: Depending on the type, fee waiver applications are due 2-3 weeks before the application deadline.

Statement of Purpose

Rather than simply summarizing your CV, your Statement of Purpose should identify personal and professional goals. While reflecting on your development to date, it should discuss your intentions relative to graduate study and life beyond Stanford. The CEE Graduate Admissions Committee reads your Statement of Purpose with interest because, along with the Letters of Recommendation, it offers insight into who you are as an individual. Your Statement of Purpose should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced).

Supplemental Questions

CEE advanced degree applicants must submit a supplemental questionnaire. A supplemental form with these questions has been included with the online application.

Letters of Recommendation

We require at least three letters of recommendation for a complete application. All letters of rec must be submitted online. Please carefully follow the instructions on the Graduate Admissions website.

Once you have requested your letters of rec, you do not need to wait for them to be complete before submitting your application. 

IMPORTANT: The email address provided for each recommendation letter writer must be the official email for their university or workplace. Use of a personal email address for a recommendation letter writer may result in a significant delay in reviewing your application, as the admissions committee will have to contact the letter writer directly to verify the authenticity of the letter.

Transcripts

Transcripts must be uploaded to the online application portal. You do not need official transcripts for the initial application review. If the admissions committee chooses to move forward with an application, the applicant will be asked to submit official transcripts at that time.  

The application checklist will say to send official transcripts to our CEE Department address, but please wait to send in official transcripts until you are admitted. 

TIP: It is best to wait to submit official transcripts until after you complete your undergraduate program AND the undergraduate institution has updated your transcript to show degree conferral. Otherwise, you may need to submit official documents multiple times. Depending on the institution, the transcript update may take months.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Results

Scores must be submitted directly by ETS to Stanford's Graduate Institution Code: 4704. Stanford does not use department codes, but it alright if you include one; your scores will still reach us.

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English. For further information regarding the TOEFL Requirement (including minimum scores, exceptions, or waivers) please see the Graduate Admissions website. Stanford does not accept the IELTS.

Application evaluation

The admissions committee for each degree program within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering carefully considers all completed applications to our advanced degree programs. Decisions are based on the student’s academic record and experiences, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and test scores (if applicable). While most applicants to our advanced degree programs have traditional civil or environmental engineering backgrounds, we do accept applications from students in other related fields. Applicants with non-traditional backgrounds should expect, if admitted, to spend some additional time acquiring the background necessary to complete a graduate degree in civil and environmental engineering. For reference, the requirements for a Stanford BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering can be found in the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

Committees of CEE faculty members in each degree program make all decisions regarding admission to our advanced degree programs. Decisions are based on thorough evaluations of all aspects of completed applications. Applications are evaluated in their entirety and within the context of the program pool. Hence, final decisions are not made on a rolling basis, but rather when the pool is complete, after the deadline date.

We are unable to provide informal recommendations or evaluations on the basis of partial information (e.g., a CV or test scores or a transcript). Inquiries and materials sent to individual professors will be redirected to administrative staff. We encourage potential applicants to consider discussing their issues with faculty recommenders who know them well and could give better, individualized academic advice.

If you think one of our graduate programs is a good fit with your educational background and future academic and career goals, we in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering very much look forward to receiving your application. 

We wish you all the best as you make your decisions about your educational future!

Apply through the Graduate Admissions Website

All applicants must make an official application, using the university’s online forms and procedures, and following the directions from the Office of the Registrar, Graduate Admissions. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about the graduate admissions process at Stanford and to apply for graduate admission.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this page provides department-specific requirements that you will need to fulfill as part of your application. These details are not on the Graduate Admissions website.