Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Admissions & Application FAQ

Main content start

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 you are an international student with questions about whether your undergraduate degree makes you eligible for graduate study at Stanford, we invite you to visit Stanford's graduate admissions eligibility page for international students. ICME is unable to grant exceptions to the linked eligibility policy.

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?

For students applying for Fall 2024, the GRE is not required. GRE scores will not be accepted or considered as part of the MS or PhD application packet.


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.

Am I exempt from taking the TOEFL?

You are exempt from submitting a TOEFL score if you meet one the following criteria:
     A. You (will) have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally- accredited college or university in the United States (territories and possessions excluded).
     B. You (will) have an equivalent degree from an English-language university in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, or the United Kingdom.

You do not need to contact ICME to process this exemption; it will be automatically applied after you submit your application.

What if I received a degree taught in English from a university outside one of those countries? 

You may request a waiver if you (will) have an equivalent degree from a recognized institution in a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom in which English was the language of instruction.

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. 

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

ICME admissions is 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 and your mailing address. 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 For MS applicants contacting us in advance of the January 2023 application deadline, please note that we will not be responding to email inquiries during the winter closure (December 21, 2022 - January 3, 2023). We will respond to your email when the office reopens in January.