Stanford University is the 6th school in the country and located in the center of Silicon Valley in California, right between San Francisco and San Jose. It is a 4 year or more Doctoral/Research University that, unlike many other schools, goes by quarter rather than semester.

Stanford was originally founded in 1885 and saw its first 555 students on October 1st, 1891. The school’s official name is actually Leland Stanford Junior University, named after the founders’ child, Leland Stanford Jr. Leland’s father was the former U.S. Senator and Governor of California, Leland Stanford. Young Leland died at the age of 15 of typhoid fever. His parents decided to dedicate the school, as well as a museum, to his honor. Leland Sr said to his wife, “The children of California shall be our children.”

Starting with only 15 professors, the university was actually completely free until 1920 and accepted women as well as anyone from any religious background, a huge break from tradition. However, the school struggled to stay afloat after the founder’s death and then again after the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Today, the school is on 8,180 acres, has over 2,000 members of faculty, and contains 700 separate buildings.

The unofficial motto of Stanford is “Die Luft der Freiheit weht,” a quote from Ulrich von Hutten, a humanist from the 16th century. It means “the wind of freedom blows.”

Some famous names have graduated from the Stanford University including 31st U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, and Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court Justice. Tiger Woods actually attended the school on a full golf scholarship. John Elway, Sally Ride, and Chelsea Clinton are just three more that have earned their degrees. Although John Steinbeck (author of The Grapes of Wrath) did attend the school, he did not graduate.

Stanford is known for its strong stance on a connection between the students and faculty and their over 125 years of influencing the educational world.

Campus Overview

  • Locale Suburb: Large

  • Highest degree offered Doctor's degree

  • Academic calendar Quarter

  • Religious affiliation Not applicable

Student Enrollment

Total Students
8,049 (44%)
10,234 (56%)
Undergraduate Students
Male 3,944
Female 4,104
Graduate Students
Male 5,014
Female 5,219

  • Campus Location

    Stanford, CA 94305

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