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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  I'm currently enrolled in an academic program and won't graduate until after the admissions deadline.  May I still apply?
A: Yes. Stanford understands that many of our applicants are finishing up undergraduate or graduate programs elsewhere and won't finish until after the application deadline.  Your current transcript must be uploaded to the online application AND official transcripts from your current and past institutions should be mailed to:

Stanford University
Department of Classics, Bldg 110
450 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-2145

If your institution offers an e-transcript service, you may ask them to email official copies to the Student Services Officer by the deadline.

Q: What is the desired format for the list of modern and ancient languages?
A: For the ancient languages, please provide a list of all the ancient authors and works you have read in the original. (If you have read only part of a longer work, you can specify which books you have read, or note "parts" or "selections".)  Modern languages may be indicated using the labels "Beginner", "Intermediate", "Advanced" and "Fluent", along with the number of years studied.

Q: How many pages should my writing sample be?
A: The writing sample should be 15 - 25 pages long. Pages should be single-sided and double-spaced. You may submit a paper written for a class, a published article, or a section of an undergraduate honors thesis or other long academic work (in which case please include a cover sheet explaining the larger project and how this excerpt fits into it). The writing sample should demonstrate your academic abilities, so the approach should be academic and the subject matter related to your proposed field of study.

Q: Instead of two paper transcripts, can I have an official e-transcript sent from my educational institution?
A: Yes, and you only need to send once (we can print multiple official copies on our end).  Please have them emailed directly to the Student Services Officer by the deadline.

Q: How do I apply for funding for a Ph.D. or M.A. program at Stanford University?
A: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any financial help to M.A. students in Classics. All admitted Ph.D. students are guaranteed funding for 5 academic years, which includes 3 summers. You do not need to apply separately for this funding.

Q: What is the minimum/average/good score I should aim for with my GRE or TOEFL?
A: The GRE score is just one element of the entire application and will be considered in relationship to the whole. Much more important is an excellent writing sample, strong letters of recommendation, an illuminating and thoughtful personal statement about your academic background, research interests, and plans for graduate school. For this reason, we encourage you to achieve good or excellent GRE scores, but do not stipulate any minimum. For the TOEFL, however, the University establishes minima of 250 for the computer-based exam, 600 for the paper-based exam and 100 for the Internet-based exam.

Q. When are GRE scores/TOEFL scores/letters of recommendation due?
A: The same day as the application deadline.  On the letter of recommendation page of the online application, it will give you an option to notify your listed recommenders far before you submit your application.

Q: What about applying for the M.A. program?
A: The deadline for the M.A. program applications is the same day as the Ph.D. application deadline.  All required materials for applying are also the same.  M.A. students receive no funding from Stanford and are not guaranteed acceptance to the Ph.D. program at the end of program.

Q: The cost of applying is so high!  Are there any fee waivers available?
A: For more information on application fee waivers and GRE fee reduction certificates, visit

Q: How can I apply to the coterminal program with the Classics Department? 
A: For more information on the coterminal program visit,

Further questions may be addressed to the Student Services Officer.