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Master's Admissions (including the Design Program)

To be eligible for admission to the department, a student must have a BS in engineering, physics or a comparable science program. 

If you plan to visit us, PLEASE e-mail for an appointment. We are a very small office and do not have dedicated staff to meet with prospective students, and therefore we are unable to accept drop-in visitors. Drop-in visitors will be turned away if we are occupied with other activities, events or deadlines. We are happy to meet with people who pre-arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time.

All students interested in pursuing a Masters or PhD in Mechanical Engineering use the Stanford Graduate Admissions Application. Your application will consist of the following:

Graduate application checklist

  • Application
  • Application fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts*
  • GRE general results
  • TOEFL results* (if applicable)
  • Product design portfolio* (required in application for MS-ENGR in Product Design)

Statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose should identify personal and professional goals. It should also discuss your development to date and your intentions regarding graduate study and life beyond Stanford. The ME 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. If your background includes industrial experience or involvement in leadership, public service, or entrepreneurial activities, you may wish to include one reference who can comment on that part of your experience. Recommendations must be submitted online. Please see the "Recommendations" section of the online application for information.


One original, official transcript from all colleges or universities attended full time for one year or more are required. Transcripts can be received via mail or electronically. Send them to:

Mechanical Engineering
Graduate Admissions Office
Stanford University
440 Escondido Mall
Building 530, Room 125
Stanford, California 94305-3030

Official electronic transcripts can be sent to

GRE general results

GRE general results must be from an examination taken within five years of the application deadline. 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 “Test Requirements” and “Frequently Asked Questions” sections on the Graduate Admissions website. To meet the December deadline, the GRE should be taken no later than October 31.

TOEFL results

TOEFL results must be from an examination taken within 18 months of the application deadline. 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 “Test Requirements” and “Frequently Asked Questions” sections on the Graduate Admissions website.

Reapplicants must submit new supporting documents and complete the online application as outlined above in the Graduate Application Checklist. Only official test scores can be reactivated.

Application deadlines

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

Autumn 2017-2018: December 6, 2016

(SCPD Part-time Honors Cooperative Program only) Winter 2016-2017 (January Start Date): October 11, 2016

(SCPD Part-time Honors Cooperative Program onlySpring 2016-2017 (April Start Date): January 17, 2017

Note: students applying to the Honors Cooperative Program to start in any quarter should contact directly first.


Admission decisions for those applying for Autumn 2017-2018 will be communicated in March, 2017. 


Product Design Program (Stanford Design Program)

Information for admission to Autumn 2017 will be posted soon!

Updated as of September 21, 2015:

The Stanford Design Graduate Program, including the Masters of Science and Masters of Fine Arts, will not be accepting applications for the 2016-17 application cycle. This does not apply to graduate students who are applying for a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with an interest or focal area in design. This program is ongoing and prospective students are encouraged to apply.

The Design Graduate Program (also referred to as the Joint Program in Design) is taking a hiatus from admissions in order to refresh our curriculum and application process. Over the course of the hiatus, we will modernize our masters-level design education with feedback from academia, both internal and external to Stanford, and our alumni and current students; incorporate the vision of two new faculty members, Sean Follmer, Erin MacDonald and Camille Utterback; strengthen ties with the; and build international connections for the program.

Students interested in our graduate degrees in design are encouraged to check back on this website next Fall for further information on how to apply to the revised program.

The Joint Program in Design focuses on synthesis of technology with human needs and values to create innovative product experiences. This program is a joint offering of the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Art Department. To be eligible, applicants must have at least one year of work experience after conferral of their undergraduate degree. Applicants to the Stanford Design Program program must electronically submit a Portfolio/Case Book. Contact Product Design Program Administrator Renée Chao for more information.

Students wishing to apply for the MS-ENGR (Product Design) degree will choose Engineering Master program and select the proper term. Save your selection and press next. On the following page, please make sure the Department Specialization is listed as Product Design.

Application deadline: To start the program in Autumn 2017-2018 academic year, a completed application, as described above (including letters of recommendation, transcripts and GRE/TOEFL scores) must be received by December 6, 2016.

The selection of MS students admitted to the Department of  Mechanical Engineering is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the scores on General GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments