Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the Bay Area of California, Stanford University is a highly regarded institution that was founded in 1885 by a couple who wished to memorialize their son who died at the young age of 15 from typhoid fever. The school underwent some difficult years after the death of its founder and after the huge San Francisco earthquake of 1906 when a large portion of the campus was damaged. Since those difficult early years, the university has grown to become one of the premier schools in the United States with almost 16,000 students attending classes on the school’s suburban campus.

Stanford University Accreditation

As a university operating in California, Stanford University is accredited by ACSCU (Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities) under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) division. At one time, the computer science department at Stanford University was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); however, the school decided not to renew its accreditation with the board because the accreditation lacked “practical significance” for computer science students.

Stanford University Application Requirements

As is the case with most accredited universities in the United States, Stanford University requires a variety of application materials from its applicants like an official application, application fee, official test scores, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation from a counselor. Additionally, the school requires two letters of recommendation from teachers, as well as a midyear transcript. After submitting all application materials, the school recommends that students check on their application status regularly to confirm all application materials have been received.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As a private university, Stanford University charges the same amount of tuition for all students and also has minimum enrollment requirements. Only some programs allow students to enroll with less than a full-time course load. The normal course load tuition for a full-time undergraduate student at Stanford University is $15,777. Students will also need to cover other fees like a $250 document fee upon admission to the university and a health services fee of $203.

Students accepted to Stanford University are eligible to apply for financial aid through the federal government and are encouraged to complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority filing deadline for financial aid is six weeks before the first day of the term the student wishes to attend. Stanford will send an award letter and a notice of availability of financial aid somewhere between six and eight weeks after submitting all application requirements and financial aid forms.

Studying Computer Science at Stanford University

The computer science department at Stanford was started in 1965, and the department has existed as one of the leading centers for computer innovation and invention. Undergraduate applicants to Stanford University will apply through the standard application process with the university, but graduate students will apply directly to the computer science department. Students have three options for computer science degrees including a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy. The department suggests that students submit their applications as early as possible due to the large number of applications the school is sent each year.

Stanford suggests that computer science is an “unusual” field when compared to other academic disciplines. While other scientific disciplines were studied at Stanford University from the beginning, computer science wasn’t introduced until the university had been in existence for a half century. Additionally, the department wouldn’t establish itself as an independent discipline from other scientific fields for a further two and a half decades. Despite its relative newness compared to other fields, computer science is one of the most popular and growth-oriented fields in science today.

One of the unique features of the computer science experience at Stanford University is that undergraduate students have the opportunity to teach certain introductory sections of computer science. The university’s goal in offering this opportunity is to ensure an enthusiastic new generation of programmers, as well as to give undergraduate students a leg-up on getting permanent jobs after graduation. Before teaching a class, however, students will take the university’s official computer science introductory class to figure out whether the program is one to which the student wishes to apply.

The university suggests that students should have an aptitude for mathematics. Discrete mathematics is considered important, and students receive a valuable foundation in mathematics in one of the first computer science courses they take with the university. Students who successfully complete their introductory computer science courses will then take additional CS core courses in programming and systems, as well as in the theoretical aspects of the discipline. After completing the core courses in computer science, students will then have the opportunity to choose from several different specialization tracks.

Those specializations include artificial intelligence, theory, bio-computation, systems, computer engineering, information computer engineering, and human-computer interaction. Beyond the introductory courses and specialization courses, students will also be able to choose from a selection of elective courses, as well as be required to complete related courses in mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals. Students must also complete a senior capstone class project before graduation. Students can speak with faculty at the start of study to figure out which specialization may suit their interests and career goals best.

After graduating from Stanford University, students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of endeavors such as obtaining jobs in the technology industry or going on to study for an advanced degree. In addition, students can choose to enter a concurrent program at Stanford that will allow the student to earn a B.S. and M.S. degree concurrently in their “coterminal master’s program.” A graduate degree may help a student obtain a greater number of job offers or seek out employment opportunities with higher salaries than if he or she only had a bachelor’s degree.

At its position near the tech capital of the world, Stanford University offers students the benefit of a world-class education at a respected university, as well as the convenience of study near some of the world’s largest names in computer science and technology. Attending Stanford University requires rigorous attention to study, and after graduation, computer science degree holders will enjoy the reward of a degree from a prestigious university and many opportunities for further study and work.


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