International Applicants to the Research Fellows Program

Learn more about the additional application requirements for international applicants.

TOEFL Scores

We require scores from a valid TOEFL exam for all applicants whose first language is not English. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the date of the exam. For questions about the validity of TOEFL scores, contact the Educational Testing Service.


Applicants are exempt from submitting TOEFL scores if they have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university in which English was the only language of instruction.

We will verify exemptions and may require you to provide documentation from your institution confirming that English was the only language of instruction for your degree.

International Academic Credentials

Our assessment of a foreign degree is based on the characteristics of a national educational system, the type of institution attended, and the level of studies completed.

The following guidelines indicate the minimum level of study required of applicants from recognized academic institutions outside the United States.

Country Minimum Level Required
African Countries Four-year bachelor’s, bachelor’s with honors, or maitrise.
Britain British patterned education – bachelor’s degree with honors.
France Diplome d’Ingenieur from grandes écoles or completion of two years of classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE) and two years of course work toward the Diplome d’Ingenieur degree. Maitrise from universities.
Germany The Diplom, Magister Artium (MA), or Staatsexamen. Three-year Bologna-compliant bachelor’s degree accepted.
Other European Countries University degree requiring four years of study. Three-year Bologna-compliant bachelor’s degree accepted.
Middle East University degree requiring four years of study.
Canada Three-year bachelor’s degree from Quebec; four-year bachelor’s degree from other provinces.
Latin America University degree requiring four years of study.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Nepal Bachelor’s degree in engineering or medicine; master’s degree in all other fields. (Note: A three-year bachelor’s degree in any subject is not considered sufficient for graduate study at Stanford. The two-year master’s degree following the three-year bachelor’s degree from India is required.)
Philippines Four-year bachelor’s degree.
Russian Republics University diploma requiring four years of study. Three-year Bologna-compliant bachelor’s degree accepted (requires the Diploma Supplement issued in accordance to the Bologna Declaration).
Other Asian Countries University degree requiring four years of study.

Academic Records from Foreign Institutions

Academic records should give detailed information on the content and quality of your performance, courses taken each year, and grades received. Degrees must be verified by official copies of diplomas or conferral statements on academic records.

If the institution does not issue records in English, original-language records must be submitted with translations. All translations must be literal and complete versions of the original records. All supporting material must be in English.

The university reserves the right to require additional academic documents. If we are unable to verify the nature or authenticity of your academic documents, you may be asked to obtain an evaluation from a foreign credential evaluation service.


International applicants may be sponsored on a J-1 scholar visa. Students eligible for OPT are encouraged to use it during the fellowship.