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Admissions & Application FAQ

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Stanford offices closed December 17, 2021 - January 3, 2022

Please be advised that Stanford University is closed for winter break between December 17, 2021 and January 3, 2022. Your admissions email will be answered when the office reopens in January. In the meantime, please consult the following FAQ and our general information links to see if the answer to your question is here.

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Before applying:

We invite you to look into our institute's program details for information about application requirements, deadlines and more.

Learn more about Information about Stanford University's general graduate admissions process

Please review our affiliated faculty members' publications for further insight into their research. If you feel that your academic background and research interests are a good match for our program, we encourage you to apply!

Selecting a Program

What academic background is required for application?

We expect applicants to have a strong applied math background in preparation for the core courses of the program. The courses we recommend are advanced undergraduate level linear algebra, probabilities, introductory PDEs, stochastics, and proficiency in programming.

If I apply for your PhD program and am not accepted, will I be automatically considered for the MS program?

No, these two applications are separate processes. You may only choose one program to apply to each year.

What is the difference between the ICME MS program in Data Science and the MS program in Statistics? 

The programs are designed to be identical. However, each program includes the opportunity to choose a focus that is either more computational or more theoretical (these are not as strict as the track designations within ICME, just an opportunity to tailor your studies a little bit to your particular research interests). The reasons you may choose one program over the other could be either: interest in working with specific faculty members, or a particular research interest that you feel is more aligned with either statistics or computational mathematics.

Can I apply for multiple Stanford graduate degrees in one year?

No, you are limited to applying for just one graduate degree program at Stanford each year. Exceptions are joint JD or MD/PhD programs, and some MBA programs. Learn more about specific exceptions to this university requirement.

Can I complete the MS program in one year?

No. Our MS programs are designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. 

Tuition and Funding

What are Stanford's tuition costs?

Information on tuition costs can be found at:

What kinds of financial aid are available for graduate students?

All incoming PhD students are guaranteed fellowship support in the first year, followed by support through teaching assistantships in the second year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for external fellowships. Information about external fellowships options are listed on the Graduate Funding page.

ICME does not offer guaranteed financial support for MS students; you should not plan on attending Stanford if such support is essential to you.

Required Application Materials

Where do I send materials for my application?

All application materials should be uploaded through the online application portal. The Admission Committee reviews all graduate applications online, and will have no access to copies of any documents sent via post or email. Please note that we will not upload documents emailed to us for your applicant file.

Required Exams

Is the GRE required? Can this requirement be waived?

Yes, the GRE is required for applications for ICME for Fall 2022. We are not able to waive this requirement. Students may self-report scores on their application but must also request official scores be reported directly to Stanford from Educational Testing Service. Stanford’s ETS institutional code is 4704. Please learn more at ICME's guide to GRE test scores and reporting requirements.

What are the typical GRE scores of successful applicants?

We do not use cut-off levels for test scores or for the GPA and do not publish our typical range of scores. Our faculty admissions committee is committed to a holistic review of each application.


Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and earn at least the University minimum required TOEFL score to be eligible for admission.

If no testing sites are available due to COVID-19, you may send official scores from the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. If you are offered admission and accept the offer, you may be asked to take an English Placement Exam at Stanford.

Where can I find info about the TOEFL waiver process?

This can be found at the general grad admissions website, under TOEFL exemption.

Recommendation Letters

How long after the application deadline can recommendation letters be submitted?

Recommendation Letters can be submitted up to one week after the application deadline. We cannot add or remove recommenders from the list. It is your responsibility to remind your references to upload their letters of recommendation.

Do I need a letter of recommendation from my undergraduate institution? What if I graduated several years ago?

Three letters of recommendation are required; at least one letter must come from an academic source, however we recommend two. Exceptions to the academic source requirement are made for students who graduated 5+ years ago (these applicants may include 3 professional references). 


Do I need to submit official transcripts as part of my application?

ICME no longer requires applicants to submit official transcripts for application review. Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded as part of your application. Official transcripts will only be required if you are accepted. Communication regarding how to submit your transcripts will be sent as part of your acceptance.

Once your application is submitted, the included documents are final. We are unable to update the application with a new statement of purpose, CV, or any other information.

Application Process

Stanford graduate admissions has a full explanation of each part of the general application process

When will the online application system open?

For both the PhD & MS program, the online application system opens in late September each year.

When is the application deadline?

The application system will close at 11:59 PM PST on the application deadline (last day of the application window). For current deadlines, please refer to the Important Deadlines page for the current admissions cycle. Late applications will not be accepted.

What is the application fee?

Visit Graduate Admissionsfor the current year's application fee and information.

Is it possible to waive the application fee? And how would I request one?

Yes. The University and School of Engineering provide application waivers. Eligibility requirements and fee wavier applications may be found on the SoE Fee Waivers webpageICME is not authorized to grant application fee waivers.

How can I check the status of my application?

For updates on your application status:

  1. Visit:
  2. Check your "checklist" on your "Application Activity Status Page" to view the status of your official transcripts, official test scores, and letters of recommendation. Your status will remain “incomplete” until we receive all relevant test scores and 3 letters of recommendation. 
    • Note for Fall 2022 applicants who have self-reported GRE scores: There is a known glitch with the appearance of self-reported GRE scores on your final application pdf. This should be resolved shortly, but if you entered self-reported scores and are unable to see them after you have submitted your application, please do not be concerned. Your application will still be reviewed.

I am having a technical issue with my application, who can I contact to get help?

We are unable to help with application issues; please contact "Application Help" which is at the bottom of the navigation bar on any page within the application portal.

When will I find out about the decision on my application?

Please check the Important Deadlines page for the decision date of this year's admissions cycle.

If you do not receive an email from our office by the posted decision date, you may email us to inquire about your application status.  Include your first and last names as used on the application, mailing address, and a fax number (if available). Please do not call our office with this particular inquiry, as we are unable to provide any applicant information over the phone.

What if I have a question that has not been addressed here?

If your question has not been answered by the above FAQs and links, please email us at Please note that we will not be responding to email inquiries during the winter closure (December 17, 2021 - January 3, 2022). We will respond to your email when the office reopens in January.

Can I visit the institute?

The Stanford campus is currently closed to the public. However, admitted PhD applicants will be invited to a campus visit in February 2022 for ICME's Admit Weekend. If you are admitted, you will be invited to tour campus and meet with students and affiliated faculty.