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Master’s Admissions

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The MS program in Mechanical Engineering is a non-thesis degree that allows students broad flexibility in selecting a program of lecture and project-based courses to meet their individual educational objectives.

Students interested in performing research may incorporate a substantial amount of research for course credit into their educational programs.  Please be aware that admission to the MSME program does not typically include financial support, and research or teaching assistantships are rarely awarded to incoming MS students.  A detailed description of current requirements for the MS in Mechanical Engineering is provided in the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Handbook (SUNetID required for access).

Application Deadlines

  • Start quarter Winter 2023-2024
    Application due October 23, 2023
    HCP applicants only. A completed application, including official TOEFL scores (if applicable), unofficial transcripts, and all letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline.
  • Start quarter Spring 2023-2024
    Application due January 19, 2024
    HCP applicants only. A completed application, including official TOEFL scores (if applicable), unofficial transcripts, and all letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline.
  • Start quarter Autumn 2024-2025
    Applications due December 1, 2023 
    ALL applicants. A completed application, including official TOEFL scores (if applicable), unofficial transcripts, and all letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline. 

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the department, applicants must:

  • Have earned, or be in the process of earning, a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, physics, or a comparable science program.
    • Please note that students who have completed, or enrolled in, a program leading to a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field, or an international degree equivalent to a U.S. Master’s degree, are not eligible to apply to the MSME program.
  • Submit all application materials no later than the application deadline.
  • Meet minimum TOEFL requirements, if applicable. Review the Required Exams on the Graduate Admissions website for more information.

All students interested in pursuing a Master's in Mechanical Engineering must use the Stanford Graduate Admissions Application. A complete application includes all of the materials listed below and must be received by Stanford by the application deadline. 

Graduate application checklist

  • Online Application
  • Application fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • MS Supplementary Information form (within application)
  • Resume/CV
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended for one year or more
  • Official TOEFL results (if applicable)

The GRE will not be accepted for applications received through September 2024. We ask that you do not submit or reference GRE scores in your application, as they will not be considered. (Updated July 2023)

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).

MS Supplementary Information form

The MS Supplementary Information form within the application asks applicants to briefly address four prompts:

  • What are your goals for after you complete the MS program? (multiple choice)
  • Briefly comment on your primary motivation for seeking an MS in Mechanical Engineering as related to your career ambitions.
  • Briefly describe an activity (academic or not) that you initiated and involved independent inquiry, e.g. a technical project, or an extracurricular activity that you planned and executed. What did you learn?
  • Briefly describe a situation in which you experienced failure, or a situation in which your beliefs were challenged. How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn?

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. Please do not submit letters of recommendation through Interfolio.


You are required to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts or e-transcripts onto the online application for all institutions you have attended for at least a year as a full-time student. Please do not send your official transcripts unless we contact you to do so. 

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. No department code is needed. For more information on TOEFL requirements, please see the Required Exams and Frequently Asked Questions sections on the Graduate Admissions website.

Application Status Inquiries

After submitting the online application, applicants will have access to an online checklist which will track all required application materials. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to confirm with individual applicants when documents have been received. All applicants should monitor the online checklist to track individual documents. It is the applicant's responsibility to monitor the checklist and ensure that all documents are received by the deadline. Please allow 2-6 weeks for application materials to be added to the application and appear in the checklist. 

Admission decisions will be released electronically by mid-late March. 


Reapplicants must submit new supporting documents and complete the online application as outlined above in the Graduate Application Checklist. 

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program cultivates and supports a highly-engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program known as the King Global Leadership Program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. Two applications must be submitted separately; one to Knight-Hennessy by October 6, 2021, 1 pm PST, and one to the Stanford graduate degree program by its deadline. Visit to learn more and apply.

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 Statement of Purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments.