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Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for admission to the full-time PhD and MS programs, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • A student must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, physics or a comparable science program.
  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold before enrollment at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association, or;
  • Applicants from institutions outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. For the minimum level of study required of international applicants, please refer to the International Applicants page on Stanford's central Office of Graduate Admissions website.

Applicants may apply to only one (1) graduate program at Stanford per academic year. Students who hold, or are in the process of obtaining, an MS degree in a related field should apply directly to the PhD program.

Application deadlines

A completed application (including letters of recommendation, transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores) must be received by the following dates:

Autumn 2020-21: December 3, 2019

Only applicants for the Part-time Master's Degree Program for working professionals (Honors Cooperative Program, or HCP) are considered quarterly, and more information can be found on the Stanford Center for Professional Development network. Prospective HCP students follow the same admissions process and must meet the same admissions requirements as full-time graduate students.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. This year, the program will award up to 75 high-achieving students with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including full-time master's and PhD's in Aeronautics & Astronautics. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by October 10, 2019, 1pm PT, and separately apply to the Aeronautics & Astronautics department by December 3, 2019.

All students interested in pursuing a master's or PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics use the Stanford Graduate Admissions Application. Please follow all information and instructions. The fee for online graduate applications is $125. Your application will consist of the following:

Graduate application checklist

  • Application and fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (two original copies)
  • GRE General Results
  • TOEFL Results (if applicable)

Statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose should identify personal and professional goals. It should also discuss your development to date and your intentions relative to graduate study and life beyond Stanford. The Aero/Astro 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).

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required; one letter must come from an academic source, although we prefer at least two. Recommendations must be submitted online. Please see the "Recommendations" section of the online application for information.


Two original, official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended full time for one year or more are required. They must be submitted to the Aero/Astro department using an approved electronic method or by mailing hard copies to:

Aeronautics and Astronautics
Graduate Admissions
Stanford University
496 Lomita Mall
Durand Building, Room 202
Stanford, CA 94305-4035

Official electronic transcripts can be sent to

GRE general results

GRE general results must be from an examination taken within the last five years. No GRE Subject test is required. Official results must be sent electronically by ETS to Stanford. Our institution code for ETS reporting is 4704. You do not need a department code. For more information on GRE requirements, please see the Required Exams and Frequently Asked Questions sections on the Graduate Admissions website. In order to meet the December 3 deadline, the GRE should be taken no later than October 31.

TOEFL results

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Stanford accepts only ETS (Educational Testing Service) scores. TOEFL results must be from an examination taken within the past 18 months. The Stanford institution code for ETS reporting is 4704. You do not need a department code. For more information on TOEFL requirements, please see the Required Exams and Frequently Asked Questions sections on the Graduate Admissions website.

Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned (or will earn, before enrolling at Stanford) a U.S. bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the international equivalent degree from a university of recognized standing in a country in which all instruction is provided in English. U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL if the applicant’s first language is not English.


Reapplicants must submit new supporting documents and complete the online application as outlined above, in the graduate application checklist. Only prior official test scores can be reactivated.

Application Status

You may view your application status and decision on your application activity page. Log back into your online application, and click on "Review Your Activity".

Admission decisions

Autumn quarter completed applications are reviewed by the faculty Admissions Committee throughout the winter. Letters are sent as decisions are made, beginning in February. The selection of graduate students admitted to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, scores on the General GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments.

Application questions?


Patrick Ferguson
(650) 723-2757

Robin Murphy
(650) 725-9825

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