Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.
Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, former Governor of and U.S. Senator from California and railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford admitted its first students on October 1, 1891 as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Tuition was free until 1920. The university struggled financially after Leland Stanford’s 1893 death and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley. By 1970, Stanford was home to a linear accelerator, and was one of the original four ARPANET nodes (precursor to the Internet).
The main campus is in northern Santa Clara Valley adjacent to Palo Alto and between San Jose and San Francisco. Stanford also has land and facilities elsewhere. Its 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus is one of the largest in the United States. The university is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
There are three academic schools that have both undergraduate and graduate students and another four professional schools. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 109 NCAA team championships, the second-most for a university, 476 individual championships, the most in Division I, and has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup, recognizing the university with the best overall athletic team achievement, every year since 1994–1995.
Stanford faculty and alumni have founded many companies including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yahoo!, and companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world. It is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts, and 20 Turing Award laureates. It is also one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress. Sixty Nobel laureates and seven Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty or staff.
- 2,153 faculty members
- 4:1 student to faculty ratio
B.A., B.S., B.A.S., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., D.M.A., M.D., M.B.A., J.D., J.S.D., J.S.M., LL.M., M.F.A., M.L.S., M.L.A., M.P.P., ENG
- Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
- Humanities and Sciences
MAJORS WITH HIGHEST ENROLLMENT
- Computer Science
- Human Biology
- Science, Technology and Society
Stanford is a thriving residential campus and community sitting on 8,000 acres of foothills and flatlands – once a horse farm belonging to Jane and Leland Stanford and still fondly known as “the Farm.” Living at Stanford brings surprises and new experiences every day, in an extraordinary community of creative and accomplished people from around the world.
- About 6,500 undergraduates and 5,700 graduates live on campus.
- 97% of undergraduates live in on-campus housing.
- 64% of housing-eligible graduate students live on campus.
- 81 diverse facilities, including all-freshmen and four-class residences, small group houses, apartments and suites.
- 650+ organized student groups
- 44 recognized religious organizations
- Over 88 student groups committed to the arts
ATHLETICS & FITNESS
- 36 varsity sports and 24 club sports
- 107 NCAA team championships
- State-of-the-art recreation and fitness facilities
- An estimated 13,000 bicycles on campus
- 79 free Marguerite shuttles
- 35 miles to San Francisco and 19 miles to San Jose
- Reese Witherspoon
- John F. Kennedy
- Larry Page
- Sandra Day O’Connor