Application Process

I’m an international student. Do I need a special visa to attend Summer Session?

Details about Visa requirements can be found in the International Requirements section of the Summer Session for Visiting International Students program.

Do I need to complete a Summer Session application to take courses during the Summer Quarter?

Matriculated Stanford students do not need to submit a Summer Session application to take courses during the Summer Quarter. Simply enroll for courses on Axess when the system opens on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Visiting students must submit a Summer Session application and be confirmed in the program in order to enroll for courses. Detailed information on this process is available on the domestic visiting student or international visiting student How to Apply pages.

I have been admitted to Summer Session in the past. Do I need to apply again?

Yes, application requirements can change from year-to-year. Each year students must re-apply to the program. If you have attended Stanford previously please include your Stanford University transcript(s) with your application.

What is the Application Fee and can it be waived?

The Summer Session application fee covers the cost of processing your application and maintaining your record in our database. Refer to the Application Deadlines table for information regarding fees and application periods. The application fee cannot be waived and is non-refundable.

Do I need to supply college or university transcripts or standardized test scores?

A college or university transcript or transcripts covering all years of college or university education is required as part of the application process. The transcript can be unofficial and must be uploaded directly into the Summer Session application. Standardized test scores are not required. Detailed instructions on how to upload transcripts are provided in the application.

What if the university I attend doesn't provide grades during the first year of instruction?

If your institution does not provide grades during the first year of instruction, use one of the following methods to complete the transcript requirement:

  • If you have taken A-level exams, upload a copy of your test results, as well as a copy of your current university registration showing the courses in which you are enrolled. Your A-level exam certificate must include your full name, the date the exam was taken, the subject areas covered, and the grades you received. You must include scores from at least 3 subject tests.
  • If you do not have A-level exams, upload a copy of your current university registration showing the courses in which you’re enrolled, and contact the Summer Session Office for more information.

Do I need to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores as part of my application?

International students who have not completed a full year at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction are required to upload a digital version (PDF or JPEG) of their TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam score. See the International Requirements page for minimum score requirements and qualified exceptions.

Do I apply for a specific course?

No, when you apply to the Summer Session, you apply to be a visiting Stanford student. Visiting students are able to enroll in any course that they are qualified for. Once admitted, Summer Session students register for courses in Axess beginning April 9, 2017.

If you mention a specific course on your application or in your personal statement you are not automatically registered nor are you guaranteed enrollment. Course registration is first come, first serve once enrollment opens.

How do I find out if I’ve been admitted to the program?

Student applications are processed according to their completion date. Please refer to the Application Deadlines table for information regarding application periods and decision release dates. Be aware that your admission decision does not guarantee you a spot in the program. Students must complete the online acceptance process and be issued a Stanford ID number in order to apply for housing or register in courses.

What do you base admission on?

We admit talented students with a history of academic success. Students are evaluated as individuals. We do not disclose the reasons behind our admission decisions and admission decisions are final.

What are my chances of being admitted? Is there a certain percentage of students you take?

Stanford Summer Session does not have a specific program capacity. Therefore, our admission decisions are based entirely on each applicant’s individual application and whether the student demonstrates a history of academic success.

I was admitted to the program. Does that mean I am confirmed as attending?

No. Students who are admitted must complete their Acceptance Checklist and receive their Stanford ID number before they are confirmed in the program. Instructions on how to accept an offer of admission are sent as part of the admission email. Admitted students are not obligated to attend the program; however, the application and any visa-processing fees are non-refundable.

Is there a deadline for me to accept the offer of admission?

For International students the last day to accept an offer of admission and complete the acceptance process is three weeks after an admission decision is released or May 2, 2017 (whichever comes first).

For Domestic students the last day to accept an offer of admission and complete the acceptance process is three weeks after an admission decision is released or June 1, 2017 (whichever comes first).

It is important to note that on-campus housing is only guaranteed for undergraduate students who complete the housing application by the first-round deadline in early May. Likewise, course registration opens on April 9, 2017, and some courses will fill. Students must be confirmed in the program with a Stanford ID number in order to apply for housing and enroll in courses. For these reasons, if you decide to attend, it is best to accept the offer as soon as possible.

My passport is going to expire in a few months! I am getting it renewed before Summer Session begins. Can I still apply for my I-20 with the old passport?

As long as all the biographical information stays the same, students can apply with a passport that is about to expire. Although they can apply with the old passport, all the information must be exactly the same on the new passport. After getting a VISA stamp on the old passport, students must carry both passports -old and new- when they travel. 

Please, be sure to check with the US embassy/consulate in your home country to verify any policies regarding passports and visas.  

Do I automatically receive on-campus housing if admitted to Summer Session?

No. Confirmed students interested in on-campus housing must submit a separate housing application in Axess. The housing application opens in early April, and undergraduate students must apply for housing by the first-round deadline by early May in order to be guaranteed a housing assignment. A Stanford ID number is required in order to apply for housing. Confirmed students will be sent comprehensive instructions on how to apply for housing.

Can I attend Summer Session while on OPT? Will I qualify for OPT after Summer Session?

In order to enroll in Summer Session courses while on Optional Practical Training (OPT) you must consult with your current visa sponsor. Your university will determine if Stanford Summer Session is related to your area of study and whether summer courses can be considered part of your practical training. If they agree, then you can attend under OPT.  Once you resolve this with the international students office at your university, please provide all of your current visa details as part of the application process.

Summer Session is a non-degree granting program. Students on a Stanford sponsored I-20 will not qualify for OPT time after the end of the Summer Quarter.

Is there financial aid available during the Summer Quarter?

    • For matriculated Stanford students: Need-based Stanford scholarship funds for summer are available only to Stanford matriculated students who have missed a standard quarter of the same academic year, or those who will graduate at the end of summer. For more information, visit the Stanford Financial Aid website.
    • For IHP Students: Financial aid for IHP students may be available through their home universities. Students should consult with their institution’s program coordinator for details.
    • For visiting domestic students: Partial financial assistance is available as a Summer Session Tuition Grant, and is based on demonstrated financial need and course enrollment. To qualify for financial assistance, you must be a U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident, attend university in the United States, and have completed a FAFSA application for the 2016-17 or 2017-18 school year for your current school (not for Stanford University). Tuition Grants are available for select academic programs of study, and grant recipients must adhere to all stated conditions of enrollment. Additional information for eligible applicant groups is available on their How To Apply page.
    • For visiting international students: Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for financial assistance at this time.

Does attending Stanford Summer Session improve my chances of being accepted as a Stanford transfer/graduate student?

Stanford does not consider “demonstrated interest” (e.g., visiting campus, participating in Summer Session, calling or emailing admissions staff, etc.) in making admission decisions. However, taking enrichment and advanced courses does indicate enthusiasm for a subject area or excitement about discovery. The fact that a student is participating in summer or enrichment programs is not in and of itself the value-add to their application; it’s what the student takes from the experience, how the student shares the experience through essays and written responses, and how that experience has enhanced the student’s intellectual life that is of importance.

I am an incoming Stanford student. Can I start my studies early by attending courses this Summer Quarter?

A student who will be entering the University in the Autumn Quarter as a new full-time Stanford freshman is generally not able to enroll in on-campus courses during the Summer Quarter. Specific online only courses may be enrolled in for credit, with prior approval. Incoming freshman and transfer students should check with the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) for enrollment information. Incoming graduate students should contact their department directly.