Applying to IPS

We are pleased that you are considering applying to the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies (IPS). Before beginning the application process, please see our list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for detailed information on IPS requirements regarding test scores, prerequisites, financial aid, etc.  In order to complete your application, you will want to use the following information in conjunction with the information found on the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions website.

Application Process

The application for admission to Stanford is hosted by the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions. The application is web-based and the application fee for ALL applicants is $125 and requires payment via MasterCard or Visa. Payment details can be found in the Application Fee and Payment section

The deadline for all application materials this year is JANUARY 8, 2013 (11:59 pm EST).  All materials should be submitted electronically by this date. Extensions are usually not granted. There is only one admissions deadline per year for the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies. To begin coursework in the Autumn Quarter 2013 (late September), applications should be submitted in January 2013.

Questions about admissions should be directed to Michelle Laker, IPS Program Coordinator, at or (650) 725-9075.  Please be sure to review the FAQ first to make sure your questions haven't already been answered.

Application Requirements

A complete application includes the following:

  1. Application
  2. Academic Credentials (Official Transcripts)
    Applicants are required to hold a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited college or university, a strong undergraduate grade point average and curriculum, and a demonstrated interest in international studies. For questions regarding international academic credentials, please review the information for international applicants. A copy of your transcripts must be uploaded to the online application and two (2) hard copies must be sent directly to IPS (address below) and must bear the official seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar.
    Graduate Admissions, International Policy Studies
    Stanford University

    417 Galvez Mall
    Encina Hall, 2nd floor
    Stanford, CA 94305-6045
  3. GRE Scores
    Stanford University requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for all applicants to the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies. If your scores are more than five years old, you will likely need to contact ETS to see if they are still able to send them.  Please see the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions FAQ for more details.
  4. TOEFL Scores
    Students for whom English is not their native language and whose undergraduate degree is from a university or college program taught in a language other than English must also submit TOEFL scores. Please visit the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions information on the TOEFL.
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Letters of Recommendation
    Three letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via the online application. Please see the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions FAQ regarding letters of recommendation. 
  7. Academic Writing Sample (supplemental; upload to the online application)
    The academic writing sample can be on any topic and may be either something you have previously written or something written specifically for the application. It should be 8-15 pages (double-spaced) and should showcase your academic writing ability.
  8. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (supplemental; upload to the online application)
  9. Prerequisites
    The International Policy Studies curriculum assumes that students have completed the following:
    • Microeconomics (Stanford equivalent: Econ 51)
    • Macroeconomics (Stanford equivalent: Econ 52)
    • International economics, including both finance and trade (Stanford equivalents: Econ 165 and Econ 166)
    • Calculus-based course in introductory statistics (Stanford equivalent: Econ 102A, Poli Sci 150A or STATS 191)

While the prerequisites are not required to be completed at the time of application, they must be completed prior to matriculation. Incomplete prerequisite coursework may make it more difficult for the admissions committee to assess that portion of your application. Additionally, it is not permissible to complete prerequisite courses during the IPS program. You should review the Stanford equivalents of the prerequisite courses found in the Explore Courses website in order to guage your preparedness and familiarize yourself with the core competencies expected of incoming students.  More details on the prerequisite courses can also be found in the IPS FAQ.

Financial Aid

Limited financial aid is available.  Applicants who wish to be considered for a first-year fellowship should indicate this on the application.  During the first year, there will be a select number of fellowships given.  In the second year, students are encouraged to seek assistantships to support their education.  Admitted students will be notified of fellowship offers in their letters of acceptance.  More detailed information concerning fellowships and assistantships can also be found in the IPS FAQ.

Post Application Details

Notification letters, including offers of financial assistance, will be sent to applicants in mid-March. Admitted students who have been offered fellowship funding must respond to offers of admission by April 15. Admitted students who have not been offered fellowship funding will have a later deadline in April.  Students who respond after their respective deadline cannot be guaranteed space in the program.

After reviewing the IPS FAQ for any needed information, all inquiries should be directed to Michelle Laker, IPS Program Coordinator, at or (650) 725-9075. Please do not send email or written requests/inquiries to the Faculty Director. Our physical location is:

Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies
Encina Hall West, 2nd floor
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6045

Campus Visits & Information Sessions

Applicants who are admitted to the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies are invited to attend "Admit Day" in early April 2012 (date to be determined) to learn more about the program, meet faculty and current students, attend classes, and tour the campus. Admitted applicants will receive more information about this event with their notification of admission.

Printed Materials

Currently IPS does not maintain printed admissions or general information materials. All of the program details are available on our website. If you are unable to access the Internet and are in need of printed materials, please contact us and we will try to accommodate you. If you would like information regarding admissions, please visit the Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions.