University of Stanford


Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world. It is known for its entrepreneurial character, drawn from the legacy of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford, and its relationship to Silicon Valley. Areas of excellence range from the humanities to social sciences to engineering and the sciences. Stanford is said to be, after Harvard, the US' most selective university, accepting around 7 per cent of applicants. Its alumni founded corporate giants including Hewlett-Packard and Google. The world's third-richest university, it teaches about 7,000 undergraduate and around 4,000 graduate students.

The Leland Stanford Junior University was founded in 1885 by California Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, in memory of their only child, Leland Jr., who died of typhoid fever at 15. After his 1884 death, the Stanfords determined that they would use their wealth to do something for “other people’s” children.

They decided to create a university, one that, from the outset, was untraditional: coeducational in a time when most private universities were all-male; nondenominational when most were associated with a religious organization; and avowedly practical, producing “cultured and useful citizens” when most were concerned only with the former. The Founding Grant states the university’s objective is “to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life” and its purpose “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”

Stanford University accepts the best and the brightest from across the world. These are only some of Stanford’s most famous graduates:

Scientists and Inventors: Vinton Cerf, co-author of Internet protocol; Ray Dolby, designed noise reduction systems; and Brent Townsend, inventor of 56K modem.

Business Leaders:Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft; Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, founders of Google; Doris Fisher, co-founder, Gap, Inc; Philip Knight, Chairman and CEO, Nike, Inc.; Peter Thiel, PayPal founder; and Jerry Yang and David Filo, founders, Yahoo!

Government Officials: Alejandro Toledo, former President of Peru; former U.S. President Herbert Hoover; U.S. senators Jeff Bingaman, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Ron Wyden and Dianne Feinstein; Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy and former justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Stanford occupies the number one position in numerous domestic college ranking measures, leading Slate to dub Stanford "the Harvard of the 21st century," and The New York Times to conclude that "Stanford University has become America’s 'it' school". From polls done by The Princeton Review in 2010, 2013 and 2014, Stanford is the most commonly named "dream college" for both students and parents (and in 2011 for students), while a 2003 Gallup poll found that Stanford is the second-most prestigious university in the eyes of the general public.

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings placed it third in the World in 2014, and it has particularly held its second place for many years in the ARWU.

  • Year established
  • Location
  • Registered students

Academic specialism

There are 7 schools at the University of Stanford:

  • Business
  • Earth Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Humanities and Sciences
  • Law
  • Medicine
University of Stanford
450 Serra Mall, Stanford,
California, United States
CA 94305
United States
United States
View Location
+1 650-723-2300

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Stanford is located in California's Bay Area, one of the most intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse areas of the nation.

There are an estimated 13,000 bikes on the Stanford campus daily. Stanford has been named a Platinum-level "Bicycle Friendly University." Freshmen may not bring cars to campus, but the free Marguerite bus service includes 64 buses in a 24-route system. Campus also hosts more than 65 Zipcars.