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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.
Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, former Governor of and U.S. Senator from California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford, Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford admitted its first students on October 1, 1891 as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Tuition was free until 1920. The university struggled financially after Leland Stanford's 1893 death and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley. By 1970, Stanford was home to a linear accelerator, and was one of the original four ARPANET nodes (precursor to the Internet).
Stanford University's Computer Science Department is part of the School of Engineering. The department offers the degrees Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. It also participates in the following undergraduate inter-disciplinary programs: Computer Systems Engineering, Symbolic Systems, and Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Founded in 1965, the Department of Computer Science is a center for research and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Strong research groups exist in areas of artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing, and systems. Basic work in computer science is the main research goal of these groups, but there is also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research and on applications that stimulate basic research.
Fields in which interdisciplinary work has been undertaken include chemistry, genetics, linguistics, physics, medicine and various areas of engineering, construction, and manufacturing. Close ties are maintained with researchers with computational interests in other university departments. In addition, both faculty and students commonly work with investigators at nearby research or industrial institutions. The main educational goal is to prepare students for research and teaching careers either in universities or in industry.
In 1876, former California Governor Leland Stanford purchased 650 acres of Rancho San Francisquito for a country home and began the development of his famous Palo Alto Stock Farm. He later bought adjoining properties totaling more than 8,000 acres.
After Leland Stanford’s death in 1893, the university entered a period of financial and legal uncertainties resulting from federal challenges to his estate. During that time, Jane Stanford took over the responsibility of ensuring that the new university would prosper.
In 1939, with the encouragement of their professor and mentor, Frederick Terman, Stanford alumni David Packard and William Hewlett established a little electronics company in a Palo Alto garage. That garage would later be dubbed "the Birthplace of Silicon Valley."
The post-war years were a time of tremendous growth and change as Stanford expanded its national reputation as a leading university. A record 8,223 students showed up for class in Fall 1947, including many former soldiers taking advantage of the G.I. Bill of Rights.
The 21st century has proven to be a period of rapid change, with growing demands on research institutions like Stanford, which was founded on the idea that teaching and research could—and should—benefit society.
|U.S. News & World Report||4||Times||3|
Stanford is ranked 4th (tied with Columbia University and the University of Chicago) among U.S national universities for 2016 by U.S. News and World Report. Notably, 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, by measures that Harvard once dominated." From polls done by The Princeton Review in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the most commonly named "dream college" for students was Stanford; separately, parents, too, most frequently named Stanford as their "dream college." Just 12 years ago, a 2003 Gallup poll had Stanford only tied for second as the most prestigious university in the eyes of the general public.
The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings placed it third in the world in 2015, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), has ranked Stanford second in the world for many years.
|Ranking name||Nature of ranking||Rank|
|MONEY's Best Colleges||Best Value||1|
|Council for Aid to Education||Annual Fundraising||1|
|Princeton Review Dream College||Students' Dream College||1|
|Princeton Review Dream College||Parents' Dream College||1|
|Parchment||Admitted Student Preference||1|
|Business Insider||Professionals' Assessment||1|
|Daily Beast||Multiple Factors||1|
|University Entrepreneurship||Venture Capital Investment in Alumni Startups||1|
|NACDA Directors' Cup||Annual NCAA Athletic Achievement||1|
Stanford is a thriving residential campus and community sitting on 8,000 acres of foothills and flatlands – once a horse farm belonging to Jane and Leland Stanford and still fondly known as "the Farm." Living at Stanford brings surprises and new experiences every day, in an extraordinary community of creative and accomplished people from around the world.
Arts & Culture
Stanford has a rich tradition of fostering creativity and the arts, and the university is now constructing a major expansion of its arts district.
- The Arts at Stanford
- Departments & Programs
- Stanford Live
- Cantor Center for Visual Arts
- Anderson Collection
- Student Arts
Athletics & Fitness
Stanford students compete in 35 varsity sports and 20 club sports. Students, faculty and staff also enjoy state-of-the-art recreational facilities and fitness programs.
- Cardinal Athletics
- Recreation & Fitness
- BeWell @ Stanford
- Summer Sports Camps
Stanford is a residential university with over 11,000 students living on campus. Students have access not only to extraordinary campus resources but also to the Bay Area's many cultural and outdoor attractions.
- Student Affairs
- Housing & Dining
- Graduate Life
- Community Centers
- Religious Life
The Haas Center for Public Service connects academic study with public service to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders.
- Haas Center for Public Service
Getting Around & Campus Safety
Biking is a popular way to get around campus. Transit options also include a free campus shuttle and car-share. Public Safety provides police and emergency services 24 hours a day.
- Parking & Transportation
- Public Safety
- Maps & Directions
Stanford University is one of the world's leading research universities. 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 located in California's Bay Area, one of the most intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse areas of the nation.
- 6,994 undergraduates
- 9,128 graduates
- 2,153 faculty members
- 21 Nobel laureates are currently members of the Stanford community
- 4:1 student to faculty ratio
- 8,180 contiguous acres
- Nearly 700 major buildings
- 97% of undergraduates live on campus
- 5,500 externally sponsored projects
- $1.22 billion total budget
- President John Hennessy
- Provost John Etchemendy
- Earth Sciences
- Humanities and Sciences
- $22.2 billion (as of Aug. 31, 2015)