Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a privateresearch university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Stanford is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world.[a]
Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to the memory of Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford's previous Palo Alto farm.
Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Stanford was referred to as the "Cornell of the West" in 1891 due to a majority of its faculty being former Cornell affiliates (professors, alumni, or both), including its first president, David Starr Jordan, and second president, John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to make higher education accessible, non-sectarian, and open to women as well as men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt that radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.
From an architectural point of view, the Stanfords, particularly Jane, wanted their university to look different from the eastern ones, which had often sought to emulate the style of English university buildings. They specified in the founding grant that the buildings should "be like the old adobe houses of the early Spanish days; they will be one-storied; they will have deep window seats and open fireplaces, and the roofs will be covered with the familiar dark red tiles". This guides the campus buildings to this day. The Stanfords also hired renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who previously designed the Cornell campus, to design the Stanford campus.
When Leland Stanford died in 1893, the continued existence of the university was in jeopardy due to a federal lawsuit against his estate, but Jane Stanford insisted the university remain in operation throughout the financial crisis. The university suffered major damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; most of the damage was repaired, but a new library and gymnasium were demolished, and some original features of Memorial Church and the Quad were never restored.
Stanford limited Jewish student admissions during the 1950s.
Stanford in the 1960s rose from a regional university to one of the most prestigious in the United States, "when it appeared on lists of the "top ten" universities in America... This swift rise to performance [was] understood at the time as related directly to the university's defense contracts..." Before the 1950s many regarded Stanford as being "a college for the children of wealthy parents".
In the following decades, however, controversies would damage the reputation of the school. The 1971 Stanford prison experiment was criticized as unethical, and the misuse of government funds from 1981 resulted in severe penalties to the school's research funding and the resignation of Stanford President Donald Kennedy in 1992.
Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km2) campus, one of the largest in the United States.[note 2] It is on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of San Jose. $4.5 billion was received by Stanford in 2006 and spent more than $2.1 billion in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.
View of the main quadrangle of Stanford with Memorial Church in the center background from across the grass-covered Oval.
Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.
On the founding grant:
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research. Researchers and students are involved in biological research. Professors can teach the importance of biological research to the biological community. The primary goal is to understand the system of the natural Earth.
Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892. Based on US Pacific Coast, it is one of the oldest marine laboratories. It includes 10 research laboratories and is also used for archaeological exploration purposes. A graduate student of the anthropology department discover some broken elements, which leads to proof that 100 years before it was home to a Chinese American fishing village.
Study abroad locations: unlike typical study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a "mini-Stanford."
Redwood City campus for many of the university's administrative offices in Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.
The Bass Center in Washington, D.C. provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.
China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with Peking University.
Lake Lagunita in winter; the Dish, a large radio telescope, and local landmark, is visible in the Stanford-owned foothills behind the lake and is the high point of a popular campus jogging and walking trail.
Many Stanford faculty members live in the "Faculty Ghetto," within walking or biking distance of campus. The Faculty Ghetto is composed of land owned by Stanford. Similar to a condominium, the houses can be bought and sold but the land under the houses is rented on a 99-year lease. Houses in the "Ghetto" appreciate and depreciate, but not as rapidly as overall Silicon Valley values. For faculty housing there are some changes that come from the date February 1, 2022.
The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The 11th and current president of Stanford University is Marc Trevor Tessier-Lavigne, a Canadian-born neuroscientist. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report.Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.
As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of Humanities and Sciences (27 departments),Engineering (nine departments), and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of Law,Medicine,Education, and Business, have graduate programs only. A new School of Sustainability will supersede the School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences in September 2022. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators. But most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 54 elected representatives of the faculty for the year 2021–22.
The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a ticket by the entire student body.
Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.
School of Engineering
Stanford University School of Engineering is one of the schools of Stanford University. The current dean is Jennifer Widom, the former senior associate dean of faculty affairs and computer science chair. She is the school's 10th dean.
The School of Engineering was established in 1926, when Stanford organized the previous independent academic departments into a school. The original departments in the school were:
Civil Engineering, one of the original university departments (1891), later to become Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford Department of Electrical Engineering, also known as EE; Double E, is a department at Stanford University. Established in 1894, it is one of nine engineering departments that comprise Stanford University School of Engineering, and in 1971, had the largest graduate enrollment of any department at Stanford University. The department is currently located in the David Packard Building on Jane Stanford Way in Stanford, California.
Early developments (1800s-1940s)
Stanford University opened in 1891, and within the year, courses addressing topics such as electrical currents and magnetism were being taught by professors such as A.P. Carman. Professor Frederic A.C. Perrine was the first faculty to teach the subject of electrical engineering at Stanford, in 1893. In 1983, when F.A.C. Perrine was appointed Stanford's first Professor of Electrical Engineering, the program focused on central generating plants for electricity. Frederic A.C. Perrine, in 1893, made an acknowledgement of gifts to Stanford's Electrical Engineering Department in The Stanford Daily, among them 30 horse power double reduction street-railroad motor, field magnets, and various machines from the General Electric Company and wires from American Electrical Works and New England Butt Company.
Prior to 1894, electrical engineering had been taught as part of the Physics and Mechanical Engineering curriculum. That year, the EE Department was established in the Engineering Labs. In 1894, the first undergraduate degree in electrical engineering was awarded to Lucien Howard Gilmore of Capron, Illinois.
In January 1894, the electrical engineering department proposed building an electrical railroad from the university to Palo Alto. Perrine gave the project to students, with the land having been purchased by private owners prior for a railroad that had fallen through. The design proposed no overhead wires, with the plant to be owned by Stanford University, and the engineering and management to be entirely constructed by the different engineering departments at Stanford. A telegraph office was set up in the Electrical Engineering building in 1897 to act as an operator for the Western Union Company.
In 1898, it was reported that Perrine was taking a two year leave of absence from teaching, but would continue to reside in Palo Alto and would still have charge of the Electrical Engineering department. With the advancement of electricity, industry and employment opportunities proved plentiful for those with knowledge in the subject. In 1899, Standard Electrical Company completed one of the world's longest transmission lines. Professor FAC Perrine was the engineer, and the following year, he left academia for industry. When Perrine left in 1898, the department was administered instead by civil or mechanical engineering professors instead until 1905. That year, Harris J. Ryan was named both Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering. Under Ryan, the department began teaching high voltage transmission of electric power.
A branch association formed at Stanford University of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1904, with membership limited to upper classmen in the Stanford Electrical Engineering Department. In 1919, Leonard F. Fuller earned a PhD degree at Stanford's Electrical Engineering Department. Primary faculty of the EE department as of 1923 included Ryan as Professor, J.C. Clark as Associate Professor, H.H. Henline as Assistant Professor, and two instructors. Henline started the Communications Laboratory in 1924.
In 1925, Stanford established the School of Engineering, with all undergraduate degrees in engineering given out by the school instead of the departments with the new change. F.E. Terman joined EE as an instructor, introducing radio courses, and also in 1925, the department opened The Ryan High Voltage Laboratory, financed in large part by Los Angeles and the private power industry.
Leonard Fuller returned to Stanford to serve as an acting professor of electrical engineering from 1946 until he retired in 1954.
Government contracts (1940s - 1960s)
According to historian Piero Scaruffi, in 1946, Frederick M. Terman became dean of Stanford's engineering school, using his connections with the military and the Office of Naval Research to both start and fund the Electronics Research Lab (ERL). The Korean War in 1950 brought in a new infusion of funds from the Office of Naval Research, and Terman used the money to open the Applied Electronics Library, then opening the adjacent Stanford Industrial Park nearby for private business. Terman served as head of the Electrical Engineering Department and dean of the school of Engineering until he retired in 1965.
In 1947, E. Ginzton in the EE department helped design and build the first Linear Accelerator. Also that year, a Joint Services Electronics Contract was signed, with the department stating on its website that the contract started "large scale Federal support of Department Research."
The department's Microwave Laboratory in 1949 was moved into a new building with Edward Ginzton as director, and was later turned into the Ginzton Laboratory. The department opened its Electronics Research Library (ERL) in 1951, with HP and Gilfillan "significantly" supporting construction until 1956, according to the department. An IBM 650 computer was maintained in ERL, which was the only air-conditioned room in the building. In 1955, the department held its first courses in digital and analog computing. In 1955, Stanford merged the Electronics Research Laboratory and the Applied Electronics Laboratory into the Systems Engineering Laboratory, to focus on electronic warfare under Terman. According to Stanford, the Applied Electronics Laboratory (AEL) was constructed in 1958 to "support military classified research in electronic countermeasures."
Gibbons Plan and AEL occupations (1960s - 1970s)
John G. Linvill was appointed EE chair in 1964 and subsequently built the semiconductor program at Stanford.
In May 1966, after comments by Stanford administration about contracts, there was picketing by students at Stanford University protesting the Electrical Engineering Department's contract with the Central Intelligence Agency. Heffner kept the nature what he called "purely an engineering research project" secret, stating "we accept grants from donors with whom we do not particularly care to be allied, but we will not refuse a gift if its objectives are worthwhile."
In January 1969, chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department John Linvill stated that the department would allow the enrollment of "minority group" students to study for advanced degrees in electrical engineering. In the Gibbons Plan, the students were only allowed partial credits, with their studies financed by their external employers.
On April 3, 1969, 700 students voted to occupy the AEL. This formed the April Third Movement, a coalition of Stanford campus organizations, occupied the Applied Electronics Laboratory for nine days, in protest for Stanford doing classified work for the government. 1400 Stanford community members signed a statement of participation. At the time, the lab was linked with classified military electronics research and electronic warfare being used against the Vietnamese people. The students of the April Third Movement occupied the hallways of the Applied Electronics Lab building, shutting down research for the occupation. Students slept on the roof of the lab, with large nightly meetings. The group also used the publishing materials in the basement to product documents linking Stanford trustees to defense contractors. The sit-in ultimately led to the school severing ties with the former Stanford Research Institute and moving its military research off campus.
In later 1969, the Applied Electronics Laboratory (AEL), was a part of the Stanford Electronic Laboratory, which was the "research affiliate of the electrical engineering department, especially in doctoral research." That year, AEL director William Rambo admitted after criticism and a sit-in protest that the laboratory was working with the Department of Defense in matters related to the Vietnam War.
In 1969, Stanford EE classes were broadcast to Silicon Valley by the Stanford Instructional Television Network for the first time.
In 1971, the Electrical Engineering Department had the largest graduate enrollment of any department at Stanford University.
Recent chairs and research (1980s - 2020s)
In 1981, R.L.White was appointed EE chair, with a number of successions over the next two decades.
In 1997, James Plummer became the department chair, as the John M. Fluke Professor of Electrical Engineering. He became dean of the overall engineering department in 1999.Mark Horowitz was appointed chair of EE in 2009.
Jelena Vučković was the "Fortinet Founders" chair of the department as of 2023, leading the department's Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics (NQP) lab. The department is currently based out of the David Packard Building on Jane Stanford Way in Stanford, California. Research is also done out of other locations at Stanford University.
The Stanford University Department of Electrical Engineering offers Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in Electrical Engineering, full-time Master of Science degrees, and doctoral of philosophy (EE PhD) degrees.
Degree programs offer some flexible options, such as coterminal BS and MS degrees completed in 5 years. The department has two joint degree programs. The joint EE MS/MBA degree is managed in conjunction with the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The JD/EE MS degree is managed in conjunction with the Stanford Law School. The department also offers online graduate certificates, and non-degree options (NDO) with four online certificate programs for graduate-level courses.
Electrical Engineering is a broad subject. Stanford's EE Department presents their research in 3 core areas, and 2 interdisciplinary areas.
Information Systems & Science
Physical Technology & Science
In late 2021 a team in the department was working on ultra-thin solar cell technology, publishing in Nature Communications in December 2021, with co-authors including Nassiri Nazif and Alwin Daus. In December 2022, Yecun Wu of the department was a co-author of Observation of an intermediate state during lithium intercalation of twisted bilayer MoS2 published in Nature.
Emmys for technical and engineering innovations in sports TV broadcasts. (1) 1998 with ESPN football; (2) 2013 America's Cup LiveLine System won 2 Emmy's (first-down line and hockey puck). (3) Emmy with America's Cup (2013).
The Stanford Graduate School of Education (Stanford GSE or GSE) is one of the top education schools in the United States. It offers master's and doctoral programs in more than 25 areas of specialization, along with joint degrees with other programs at Stanford University including business, law, and public policy.
The Graduate School of Education was founded in 1891 as the Department of the History and Art of Education, one of the original twenty-one departments at Stanford University. It awarded its first Ph.D. in 1916, and in 1917 was renamed the Stanford University School of Education (SUSE). The Graduate School of Education building and Cubberley Library were built in 1938, and the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) was established in 1959. In 2013, the school name was changed to the Stanford Graduate School of Education to better reflect its advanced research and its graduate-level preparation of educators, scholars, policy makers and entrepreneurs.
The school also offers numerous professional development programs and resources for practicing elementary and secondary school teachers. These include the Center for the Support of Excellence in Teaching, the National Board Resource Center, the Problem-Solving Cycle, and Stanford English Learner Education Services.
Since U.S. News & World Report began ranking schools of education, Stanford has ranked among the top five overall in the United States and has received the top peer assessment score of any school each year.
The university's endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $36.3 billion as of August 31, 2022. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21% of university expenses in the 2022 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only Harvard University, the University of Texas System, and Yale University had larger endowments than Stanford.
The original Golden spike on display at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
In 2006, President John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in "Seeking Solutions" to global problems, $1.61 billion for "Educating Leaders" by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for "Foundation of Excellence" aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; the new Cantor Arts Center; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
In April 2022, Stanford University announced a $75 million donation, in support of a multidisciplinary neurodegenerative brain disease research initiative at the university's Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. The donation came from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny; hence The Phil and Penny Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience will explore cognitive declines from diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Stanford is considered by US News to be 'most selective', with an acceptance rate of 4%. Half of the applicants accepted to Stanford have an SAT score between 1440 and 1570 or an ACT score of 32 and 35. Admissions officials consider a student's GPA to be an important academic factor, with emphasis on an applicant's high school class rank and letters of recommendation. In terms of non-academic materials as of 2019, Stanford ranks extracurricular activities, talent/ability and character/personal qualities as 'very important' in making first-time, first-year admission decisions, while ranking the interview, whether the applicant is a first-generation university applicant, legacy preferences, volunteer work and work experience as 'considered'. Of those students accepted to Stanford's Class of 2026, 1,736 chose to attend, of which 21% were first-generation college students.
Teaching and learning
Stanford follows a quarter system with the autumn quarter usually beginning in late September and the spring quarter ending in mid-June. The full-time, four-year undergraduate program has arts and sciences focus with high graduate student coexistence. Stanford is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Stanford's admission process is need-blind for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; while it is not need-blind for international students, 64% are on need-based aid, with an average aid package of $31,411. In 2012–13, the university awarded $126 million in need-based financial aid to 3,485 students, with an average aid package of $40,460. Eighty percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Stanford has a no-loan policy. For undergraduates admitted starting in 2015, Stanford waives tuition, room, and board for most families with incomes below $65,000, and most families with incomes below $125,000 are not required to pay tuition; those with incomes up to $150,000 may have tuition significantly reduced. Seventeen percent of students receive Pell Grants, a common measure of low-income students at a college. In 2022, Stanford started its first dual-enrollment computer science program for high school students from low-income communities as a pilot project which then inspired the founding of the Qualia Global Scholars Program. Stanford plans to expand the program to include courses in Structured Liberal Education and writing.
The Cantonese language had classes at Stanford until 2020, when the remaining Cantonese instructor was laid off.
Research centers and institutes
Hoover Tower, inspired by the cathedral tower at Salamanca in Spain
Stanford is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity." The university's research expenditure in fiscal year 2021 was $1.69 billion and total sponsored projects was 7,900+. As of 2016 the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research oversaw eighteen independent laboratories, centers, and institutes. Kathryn Ann Moler is the key person for leading those research centers for choosing problems, faculty members, and students. Funding is also provided for undergraduate and graduate students by those labs, centers, and institutes for collaborative research.
Stanford is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project, a collaboration with the King Center to publish the King papers held by the King Center. It also runs the John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists and the Center for Ocean Solutions, which brings together marine science and policy to address challenges facing the ocean. It focuses mainly 5 points, such as climate change, overfishing, coastal development, pollution and plastics.
The main library in the SU library system is the Green Library, which also contains various meeting and conference rooms, study spaces, and reading rooms. Lathrop Library (previously Meyer Library, demolished in 2015), holds various student-accessible media resources and houses one of the largest East Asia collections with 540,000 volumes.
Stanford University Press was founded in 1892. It published about 130 books per year has printed more than 3,000 books. It also has fifteen subject areas.
Stanford is home to the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, a museum with 24 galleries, sculpture gardens, terraces, and a courtyard first established in 1891 by Jane and Leland Stanford as a memorial to their only child. The center's collection of works by Rodin is among the largest in the world. The Thomas Welton Stanford Gallery, which was built in 1917, serves as a teaching resource for the Department of Art & Art History as well as an exhibition venue. In 2014, Stanford opened the Anderson Collection, a new museum focused on postwar American art and founded by the donation of 121 works by food service moguls Mary and Harry Anderson. There are outdoor art installations throughout the campus, primarily sculptures, but some murals as well. The Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden near Roble Hall features includes wood carvings and "totem poles."
Slate in 2014 dubbed Stanford as "the Harvard of the 21st century".
In the same year The New York Times dubbed Harvard as the "Stanford of the East". In that article titled To Young Minds of Today, Harvard Is the Stanford of the EastThe New York Times concluded that "Stanford University has become America's 'it' school, by measures that Harvard once dominated." In 2019, Stanford University took 1st place on Reuters' list of the World's Most Innovative Universities for the fifth consecutive year. In 2022, Washington Monthly ranked Stanford at 1st position in their annual list of top universities in USA. In a 2022 survey by The Princeton Review, Stanford was ranked 1st among the top ten "dream colleges" of America, and was considered to be the ultimate "dream college" of both students and parents.Stanford Graduate School of Business was ranked 1st in the list of America's best business schools by Bloomberg for 2022–23.
From polls of college applicants done by The Princeton Review, every year from 2013 to 2020 the most commonly named "dream college" for students was Stanford; separately, parents, too, most frequently named Stanford their ultimate "dream college."
Vint Cerf (BS 1965), co-leader of the Stanford team that designed the architecture of the internet
ARPANET – Stanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes. In the early 1970s, Bob Kahn & Vint Cerf's research project about Internetworking, later DARPA formulated it to the TCP(Transmission Control Program).
Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken. Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.
Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies, and it is often considered a model for technology transfer. Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.
The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.
Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and have created some 5.4 million jobs since the 1930s. When combined, these companies would form the tenth-largest economy in the world.
Cisco, 1984: co-founders Leonard Bosack (M.S) and Sandy Lerner (M.S) were in charge of the Stanford Computer Science and the Graduate School of Business computer operations groups, respectively, when the hardware was developed
Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women made up 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.
Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master's degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university's coterminal degree (or "coterm") program, which allows students to earn a master's degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.
As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.
As of 2013, 89% of undergraduate students lived in on-campus university housing. First-year undergraduates are required to live on campus, and all undergraduates are guaranteed housing for all four undergraduate years. Undergraduates live in 80 different houses, including dormitories, co-ops, row houses, and fraternities and sororities. At Manzanita Park, 118 mobile homes were installed as "temporary" housing from 1969 to 1991, but as of 2015 was the site of newer dorms Castano, Kimball, Lantana, and the Humanities House, completed in 2015.
Most student residences are just outside the campus core, within ten minutes (on foot or bike) of most classrooms and libraries. Some are reserved for freshmen, sophomores, or upper-class students and some are open to all four classes. Most residences are co-ed; seven are all-male fraternities, three are all-female sororities, and there is also one all-female non-sorority house, Roth House. In most residences, men and women live on the same floor, but a few dorms are configured for men and women to live on separate floors (single-gender floors).
Many students use bicycles to get around the large campus.
Several residences are considered theme houses. The Academic, Language, and Culture Houses include EAST (Education and Society Themed House), Hammarskjöld (International Themed House), Haus Mitteleuropa (Central European Themed House), La Casa Italiana (Italian Language and Culture), La Maison Française (French Language and Culture House), Slavianskii Dom (Slavic/East European Themed House), Storey (Human Biology Themed House), and Yost (Spanish Language and Culture). Cross-Cultural Themed Houses include Casa Zapata (Chicano/Latino Theme in Stern Hall), Muwekma-tah-ruk (American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Themed House), Okada (Asian-American Themed House in Wilbur Hall), and Ujamaa (Black/African-American Themed House in Lagunita Court). Focus Houses include Freshman-Sophomore College (Academic Focus), Branner Hall (Community Service), Kimball (Arts & Performing Arts), Crothers (Global Citizenship), and Toyon (Sophomore Priority). Theme houses predating the current "theme" classification system are Columbae (Social Change Through Nonviolence, since 1970), and Synergy (Exploring Alternatives, since 1972).
Co-ops or "Self-Ops" are another housing option. These houses feature cooperative living, where residents and eating associates each contribute work to keep the house running, such as cooking meals or cleaning shared spaces. These houses have unique themes around which their community is centered. Many co-ops are hubs of music, art and philosophy. The co-ops on campus are 576 Alvarado Row (formerly Chi Theta Chi), Columbae, Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF), Hammarskjöld, Kairos, Terra (the unofficial LGBT house), and Synergy. Phi Sigma, at 1018 Campus Drive was formerly Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, but in 1973 became a Self-Op.
As of 2015 around 55 percent of the graduate student population lived on campus. First-year graduate students are guaranteed on-campus housing. Stanford also subsidizes off-campus apartments in nearby Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View for graduate students who are guaranteed on-campus housing but are unable to live on campus due to a lack of space.
As of May 9, 2022, Stanford has won 130 NCAA team championships, more than any other school. Stanford has won at least one NCAA team championship each academic year for 46 consecutive years, starting in 1976–77 and continuing through 2021–22. The second-longest NCAA championship streak was 19 years, achieved by USC from 1959 to 1960 through 1977–78. As of January 1, 2022, Stanford athletes have won 529 NCAA individual championships. No other Division I school is within 100 of Stanford's total. Stanford won 25 consecutive NACDA Directors' Cups, from 1994 to 1995 through 2018–19, awarded annually to the most successful overall college sports program in the nation.
177 Stanford-affiliated athletes have won a total of 296 Summer Olympic medals (150 gold, 79 silver, 67 bronze), including 26 medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 27 medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Stanford-affiliated athletes won 26 medals, more than any other university. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Summer Olympic Games since 1912.
"Hail, Stanford, Hail!" is the Stanford hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various university singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in economics and later became associate professor of sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Big Game: The central football rivalry between Stanford and UC Berkeley. First played in 1892, and for a time played by the universities' rugby teams, it is one of the oldest college rivalries in the United States.
The Stanford Axe: A trophy earned by the winner of Big Game, exchanged only as necessary. The axe originated in 1899 when Stanford yell leader Billy Erb wielded a lumberman's axe to inspire the team. Stanford lost, and the Axe was stolen by Berkeley students following the game. In 1930, Stanford students staged an elaborate heist to recover the Axe. In 1933, the schools agreed to exchange it as a prize for winning Big Game. As of 2021, a restaurant centrally located on Stanford's campus is named "The Axe and Palm" in reference to the Axe.
Big Game Gaieties: In the week ahead of Big Game, a 90-minute original musical (written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram's Head Theatrical Society) is performed in Memorial Auditorium.
Full Moon on the Quad: An annual event at Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
Fountain Hopping: At any time of year, students tour Stanford's main campus fountains to dip their feet or swim in some of the university's 25 fountains.
Mausoleum Party: An annual Halloween party at the Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the Mausoleum party was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
Wacky Walk: At commencement, graduates forgo a more traditional entrance and instead stride into Stanford Stadium in a large procession wearing wacky costumes.
Steam Tunneling: Stanford has a network of underground brick-lined tunnels that conduct central heating to more than 200 buildings via steam pipes. Students sometimes navigate the corridors, rooms, and locked gates, carrying flashlights and water bottles.Stanford Magazine named steam tunneling one of the "101 things you must do" before graduating from the Farm in 2000.
Band Run: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at Main Quad.
Viennese Ball: a formal ball with waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed (since 1987) Stanford in Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
The long-unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is "Die Luft der Freiheit weht." Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, "The wind of freedom blows." The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official. It was made official by way of incorporation into an official seal by the board of trustees in December 2002.
Degree of Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the "degree of Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman" was created by Stanford Associates, part of the Stanford alumni organization, to recognize alumni who give rare and extraordinary service to the university. It is awarded not at prescribed intervals, but instead only when the president of the university deems it appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include Herbert Hoover, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Lucile Packard, and John Gardner.
Former campus traditions include the Big Game bonfire on Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered salamanders in the lake bed.
Students and staff at Stanford are of many different religions. The Stanford Office for Religious Life's mission is "to guide, nurture and enhance spiritual, religious and ethical life within the Stanford University community" by promoting enriching dialogue, meaningful ritual, and enduring friendships among people of all religious backgrounds. It is headed by a dean with the assistance of a senior associate dean and an associate dean.
Stanford Memorial Church, in the center of campus, has a Sunday University Public Worship service (UPW) usually in the "Protestant Ecumenical Christian" tradition where the Memorial Church Choir sings and a sermon is preached usually by one of the Stanford deans for Religious Life. UPW sometimes has multifaith services. In addition, the church is used by the Catholic community and by some of the other Christian denominations at Stanford. Weddings happen most Saturdays and the university has for over 20 years allowed blessings of same-gender relationships and now legal weddings.
In addition to the church, the Office for Religious Life has a Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning, and Experiences (CIRCLE) on the third floor of Old Union. It offers a common room, an interfaith sanctuary, a seminar room, a student lounge area, and a reading room, as well as offices housing a number of Stanford Associated Religions (SAR) member groups and the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Religious Life. Most though not all religious student groups belong to SAR. The SAR directory includes organizations that serve atheist, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jewish, and Sikh groups, though these groups vary year by year.
The Windhover Contemplation Center was dedicated in October 2014, and was intended to provide spiritual sanctuary for students and staff in the midst of their course and work schedules; the center displays the "Windhover" paintings by Nathan Oliveira, the late Stanford professor and artist.
Some religions have a larger and more formal presence on campus in addition to the student groups; these include the Catholic Community at Stanford and Hillel at Stanford.
Fraternities and sororities have been active on the Stanford campus since 1891 when the university first opened. In 1944, University President Donald Tresidder banned all Stanford sororities due to extreme competition. However, following Title IX, the Board of Trustees lifted the 33-year ban on sororities in 1977. Students are not permitted to join a fraternity or sorority until spring quarter of their freshman year.
As of 2016 Stanford had 31 Greek organizations, including 14 sororities and 16 fraternities. Nine of the Greek organizations were housed (eight in University-owned houses and one, Sigma Chi, in their own house, although the land is owned by the university). Six chapters were members of the African American Fraternal and Sororal Association, 11 chapters were members of the Interfraternity Council, seven chapters belonged to the Intersorority Council, and six chapters belonged to the Multicultural Greek Council.
Stanford College Republicans tabling on campus in April 2022
As of 2020, Stanford had more than 600 student organizations. Groups are often, though not always, partially funded by the university via allocations directed by the student government organization, the ASSU. These funds include "special fees," which are decided by a Spring Quarter vote by the student body. Groups span athletics and recreation, careers/pre-professional, community service, ethnic/cultural, fraternities and sororities, health and counseling, media and publications, the arts, political and social awareness, and religious and philosophical organizations.
In contrast to many other selective universities, Stanford policy mandates that all recognized student clubs be "broadly open" for all interested students to join.
Stanford is home to a set of student journalism publications. The Stanford Daily is a student-run daily newspaper and has been published since the university was founded in 1892. The student-run radio station, KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM, features freeform music programming, sports commentary, and news segments; it started in 1947 as an AM radio station.The Stanford Review is a conservative student newspaper founded in 1987.The Fountain Hopper (FoHo) is a financially independent, anonymous student-run campus rag publication, notable for having broken the Brock Turner story.
Stanford hosts numerous environmental and sustainability-oriented student groups, including Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Students for Environmental and Racial Justice, and Stanford Energy Club.
Stanford is also home to a large number of pre-professional student organizations, organized around missions from startup incubation to paid consulting. The Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) is one of the largest professional organizations in Silicon Valley, with over 5,000 members. Its goal is to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.StartX is a non-profit startup accelerator for student and faculty-led startups. It is staffed primarily by students. Stanford Women In Business (SWIB) is an on-campus business organization, aimed at helping Stanford women find paths to success in the generally male-dominated technology industry. Stanford Marketing is a student group that provides students hands-on training through research and strategy consulting projects with Fortune 500 clients, as well as workshops led by people from industry and professors in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Stanford Finance provides mentoring and internships for students who want to enter a career in finance. Stanford Pre Business Association is intended to build connections among industry, alumni, and student communities.
The Stanford Axe Committee is the official guardian of the Stanford Axe and the rest of the time assists the Stanford Band as a supplementary spirit group. It has existed since 1982.
Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) which hosts the annual Stanford Powwow started in 1971. This is the largest student-run event on campus and the largest student-run powwow in the country.
The Stanford Improvisors (SImps for short) teach and perform improvisational theatre on campus and in the surrounding community. In 2014 the group finished second in the Golden Gate Regional College Improv tournament and they have since been invited twice to perform at the annual San Francisco Improv Festival.
Asha for Education is a national student group founded in 1991. It focuses mainly on education in India and supporting nonprofit organizations that work mainly in the education sector. Asha's Stanford chapter organizes events like Holi as well as lectures by prominent leaders from India on the university campus.
Stanford's Department of Public Safety is responsible for law enforcement and safety on the main campus. Its deputy sheriffs are peace officers by arrangement with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The department is also responsible for publishing an annual crime report covering the previous three years as required by the Clery Act. Fire protection has been provided by contract with the Palo Alto Fire Department since 1976.
Murder is rare on the campus, although a few cases have been notorious, including the 1974 murder of Arlis Perry in Stanford Memorial Church, which was not solved until 2018. Also notorious was Theodore Streleski's murder of his faculty advisor in 1978.
Campus sexual misconduct
In 2014, Stanford was the tenth highest in the nation in "total of reports of rape" on their main campus, with 26 reports of rape.
In Stanford's 2015 Campus Climate Survey, 4.7 percent of female undergraduates reported experiencing sexual assault as defined by the university, and 32.9 percent reported experiencing sexual misconduct. According to the survey, 85% of perpetrators of misconduct were Stanford students and 80% were men. Perpetrators of sexual misconduct were frequently aided by alcohol or drugs, according to the survey: "Nearly three-fourths of the students whose responses were categorized as sexual assault indicated that the act was accomplished by a person or persons taking advantage of them when they were drunk or high, according to the survey. Close to 70 percent of students who reported an experience of sexual misconduct involving nonconsensual penetration and/or oral sex indicated the same." Associated Students of Stanford and student and alumni activists with the anti-rape group Stand with Leah criticized the survey methodology for downgrading incidents involving alcohol if students did not check two separate boxes indicating they were both intoxicated and incapacity while sexually assaulted. Reporting on the Brock Turner rape case, a reporter from The Washington Post analyzed campus rape reports submitted by universities to the U.S. Department of Education, and found that Stanford was one of the top ten universities in campus rapes in 2014, with 26 reported that year, but when analyzed by rapes per 1000 students, Stanford was not among the top ten.
On the night of January 17–18, 2015, 22-year-old Chanel Miller, who was visiting the campus to attend a party at the Kappa Alpha fraternity, was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner, a nineteen-year-old freshman student-athlete from Ohio. Two Stanford graduate students witnessed the attack and intervened; when Turner attempted to flee the two held him down on the ground until police arrived. Stanford immediately referred the case to prosecutors and offered Miller counseling, and within two weeks had barred Turner from campus after conducting an investigation. Turner was convicted on three felony charges in March 2016 and in June 2016 he received a jail sentence of six months and was declared a sex offender, requiring him to register as such for the rest of his life; prosecutors had sought a six-year prison sentence out of the maximum 14 years that was possible. The case and the relatively lenient sentence drew nationwide attention. Two years later the judge in the case, Stanford graduate Aaron Persky, was recalled by the voters.
In February 2015, Elise Clougherty filed a sexual assault and harassment lawsuit against venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale. Lonsdale and Clougherty entered into a relationship in the spring of 2012 when she was a junior and he was her mentor in a Stanford entrepreneurship course. By the spring of 2013 Clougherty had broken off the relationship and filed charges at Stanford that Lonsdale had broken the Stanford policy against consensual relationships between students and faculty and that he had sexually assaulted and harassed her, which resulted in Lonsdale being banned from Stanford for 10 years. Lonsdale challenged Stanford's finding that he had sexually assaulted and harassed her and Stanford rescinded that finding and the campus ban in the fall of 2015. Clougherty withdrew her suit that fall as well.
Stanford's faculty and former faculty includes 48 Nobel laureates, 5 Fields Medalists, as well as 17 winners of the Turing Award, the so-called "Nobel Prize in computer science," comprising one-third of the awards given in its 44-year history. The university has 27 ACM fellows. It is also affiliated with 4 Gödel Prize winners, 4 Knuth Prize recipients, 10 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award winners, and about 15 Grace Murray Hopper Award winners for their work in the foundations of computer science. Stanford alumni have started many companies and, according to Forbes, has produced the second highest number of billionaires of all universities.
Non-alumni former and current faculty, staff, and researchers who received the Turing Award:
Whitfield Diffie: BS Mathematics Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1965. Visiting scholar at Stanford from 2009–2010 and an affiliate from 2010–2012; currently, a consulting professor at CISAC (The Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University).
Doug Engelbart: BS EE Oregon State University 1948; MS EE Berkeley 1953; PhD Berkeley 1955. Researcher/Director at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) 1957–1977; Director (Bootstrap Project) at Stanford University 1989–1990.
Edward Feigenbaum: BS Carnegie Institute of Technology 1956, Ph.D. Carnegie Institute of Technology 1960. Associate Professor at Stanford 1965–1968; Professor at Stanford 1969–2000; Professor Emeritus at Stanford (2000–present).
Robert W. Floyd: BA 1953, BSc Physics, both from the University of Chicago. Professor at Stanford (1968–1994).
Alan Kay: BA/BS from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D. 1969 from the University of Utah. Researcher at Stanford 1969–1971.
John McCarthy: BS Math, Caltech; PhD Princeton. Assistant Professor at Stanford 1953–1955; Professor at Stanford 1962–2011.
Robin Milner: BSc 1956 from Cambridge University. Researcher at Stanford University 1971–1972.
Amir Pnueli: BSc Math from Technion 1962, PhD Weizmann Institute of Science 1967. Instructor at Stanford 1967; Visitor at Stanford 1970
Dana Scott: BA Berkeley 1954, Ph.D. Princeton 1958. Associate Professor at Stanford 1963–1967.
Niklaus Wirth: BS Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 1959, MSC Universite Laval, Canada, 1960; Ph.D. Berkeley 1963. Assistant Professor at Stanford University 1963–1967.
Andrew Yao: BS physics National University of Taiwan 1967; AM Physics Harvard 1969; Ph.D. Physics, Harvard 1972; Ph.D. CS University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign 1975 Assistant Professor at Stanford University 1976–1981; Professor at Stanford University 1982–1986.
^The rules governing the board have changed over time. The original 24 trustees were appointed for life in 1885 by the Stanfords as were some of the subsequent replacements. In 1899 Jane Stanford changed the maximum number of trustees from 24 to 15 and set the term of office to 10 years. On June 1, 1903, she resigned her powers as founder and the board took on its full powers. In the 1950s, the board decided that its fifteen members were not sufficient to do all the work needed and in March 1954 petitioned the courts to raise the maximum number to 23, of whom 20 would be regular trustees serving 10-year terms and 3 would be alumni trustees serving 5-year terms. In 1970 another petition was successfully made to have the number raised to a maximum of 35 (with a minimum of 25), that all trustees would be regular trustees, and that the university president would be a trustee ex officio. The last original trustee, Timothy Hopkins, died in 1936; the last life trustee, Joseph D. Grant (appointed in 1891), died in 1942.
^ abTimothy Lenoir. Inventing the entrepreneurial university: Stanford and the co-evolution of Silicon Valley pp. 88–128 in Building Technology Transfer within Research Universities: An Entrepreneurial Approach Edited by Thomas J. Allen and Rory P. O'Shea. Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN9781139046930
^The Belmont Report, Office of the Secretary, Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects for Biomedical and Behavioral Research, April 18, 1979
^Steffen, Nancy L. (May 20, 1964). "The Claw: White Plaza Dedication". Stanford Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2016. Has information on the White brothers that slightly corrects some of the facts in other articles.
^"About Fleet Street". Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017. Because Fleet Street maintains Stanford songs as a regular part of its performing repertoire, the university used the group as ambassadors during the university's centennial celebration and commissioned an album, entitled Up Toward Mountains Higher (1999), of Stanford songs which were sent to alumni around the world.
^This chapter had voiced concern that women were being treated unfairly due to the campus ban on sororities. Nu Deuteron Chapter voted to become co-ed in 1973, relinquishing its charter over the matter, according to fraternity records (accessed November 17, 2016). This occurred just four years before the ban on sororities was ended by the Regents.
^"The History of Big Game Gaieties". Ram's Head Theatrical Society. Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013. The Big Game Gaieties started in 1911 (when the Big Game was rugby) but did not acquire its present name until the 1920s when it also became part of Ram's Head. The tradition was dormant from 1968 until revived in 1976 and has run ever since.
^Levy, Dawn (July 22, 2003). "Edward Teller wins Presidential Medal of Freedom". Archived from the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2008. Teller, 95, is the third Stanford scholar to be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The others are Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1988) and former Secretary of State George Shultz (1989).