Prospective Students

Graduate Admission Requirements

IMPORTANT: Each applicant should review university requirements at < >These departmental instructions and requirements are SUPPLEMENTAL to the university-wide requirements for each and every application for admission to any advanced degree program at Stanford University.

IMPORTANT for Ph.D. applicants: See Statement of Purpose section below.

IMPORTANT for successful Ph.D. applicants seriously considering Stanford: Please reserve March 5-8, 2015 for your "visit weekend" with us, i.e. during our Chemical Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. (See Overview for additional details.)

Office of the University Registrar, Graduate Admissions:

To gain a more comprehensive picture of the graduate admission process, please go to

All applicants who are not active Stanford students must apply using the University’s official Graduate Admissions application process.  All active Stanford students should visit the Department of Chemical Engineering for information about applying; go to ChemE Student Services, Shriram Center, ChemE Suite, room 129 between 2-4 p.m.

All components of a graduate application must be received by the department no later than the appropriate deadline. A complete application consists of a completed application form, a statement of purpose (with a summary of research experience for Ph.D. applications), the application fee, three letters of recommendation, ETS examination results (scores and percentages), and academic transcripts.

The Ph.D. application season is mid-September through mid-December 2014.

Ph.D. application deadline: Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The M.S. application season is mid-September through mid-March 2015.

All applications received by this date will receive full consideration. Those interested in applying after the March deadline should contact the department before applying.

M.S. application deadline: March 17, 2015


Components of a Completed Application:

1. Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages). For Ph.D. applications: additionally, place at the beginning a summary outline of your research experience and then your 2-3 page statement.

2. Recommendations from three who can discuss most knowledgably the applicant's suitability for pursuit of the selected degree.

3. Bio-demographic information, educational history, and test results (official and self-reported scores and percentages).

4. Transcripts.

Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose gives you an opportunity to distinguish yourself beyond grades and test scores. You may choose to write about previous experiences, your personal and professional goals: Why graduate school? What might follow? What inspires you? What drives you? [For Ph.D. applications: Why is a research life a good fit for you?  Have you ever written a proposal to do independent research (e.g. for a NSF fellowship application)?]  Is there something else about you that you think is important for us to know?  It is not necessary to address each of these issues; we want you to decide how you want to present yourself.  The Chemical Engineering Graduate Admissions Committee members read this essay with interest and care because, along with the letters of recommendation, it offers us further insight into who you are as a distinct individual.

IMPORTANT for Ph.D. program applicants:

At the beginning of your Statement of Purpose, summarize your research experience in the following three categories as applicable, formatted as follows:

[a] Dates,
[b] Where,
[c] With Whom,
[d] Nature of research [4-10 words],
[e] Anything else you want us to know about this research experience, in one pithy sentence.

1. Research experience during summer internships: e.g.

[a] 06/15/2010 - 09/15/2010;
[b] Stanford Univ., Dept. of Chemical Engineering;
[c] Prof. Channing Robertson;
[d] Roles of enzyme and substrate surface charge.

2. Research experience during academic year:

3. Other research experience:

ATTN: M.S. applicants, do not include a summary of research experience.


Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations should be from full-time faculty, ideally, or others qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study. Ph.D. applicants should include one or more letters from a research advisor. At least one should be from a faculty member at the last school attended as a full-time student, unless you have been out of school for more than five years.  Substitutions for faculty recommendations may be work supervisors or others who are qualified to comment on your academic potential for graduate work in chemical engineering.  Letters of recommendation are submitted online.  

GRE and TOEFL examination requirements

All external applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS):

GRE - General Test results are required: both scores and percentages for each individual test.

GRE - Subject Test results are not required.

TOEFL - Scores are required from all applicants whose first language is not English regardless of citizenship, except for those who have completed a four-year bachelor’s and/or a two-year master’s degree at an accredited institution in which English is the sole language of instruction.

All ETS test results must be reported before our application deadlines, both officially by ETS (directly to Stanford University Graduate Admissions) and unofficially by the applicant.  For official scores, the Stanford University score recipient number is R4704; no department number is used. Applicants should self-report their individual scores and percentages in their application or send photocopies of ETS score reports to the department.

Academic records / transcripts and other materials

Applicants, first, must upload an official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended for one year or more into their online application and, second, send to the department in their original, sealed envelopes, two official transcripts (academic records) from each post-secondary institution attended for one year or more.

If ETS scores are not self-reported on the application, then photocopies of ETS score reports are sent to the department.  If you have other information, (e.g. you authored a published article that is relevant to your application), you may submit it as well, preferrably by uploading it into your application.

Use this address for any supplemental materials sent directly to the department:

Graduate Admissions, Chemical Engineering
Stanford University
Shriram Center, Room 129
443 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-4125
Tel: 650-723-1302

Note: Include the extended zip code, 94305-4125, when shipping.

Application Status Inquiries

The Department of Chemical Engineering does not use the checklist in the online Activity Report for applicants; however, you can check if your recommenders have submitted letters. We are unable to respond to inquiries regarding the status of any application. However, if you have followed instructions, (for example: entered your self-reported ETS scores and percentages; ordered ETS reports to be sent to Stanford; and sent original transcripts to the department), we want you to rest assured that we have what we need for evaluations. We will contact otherwise competitive applicants with incomplete applications for follow-up. Be sure your e-email address and telephone number are correct.