Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation


Main content start

Required Materials

Please note that no application materials can be returned to the applicant once submitted to E-IPER.

1. Electronic Stanford Graduate Application

Read through the instructions and begin your electronic application on the Stanford Graduate Admissions web site. When prompted to select the program to which you are applying, select "Environment and Resources PhD".   

2. Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose should be uploaded as a Word or PDF file in the electronic application (statement should be 2 single spaced pages maximum). In your statement, describe your academic and professional preparation for E-IPER, why you are seeking an interdisciplinary graduate program, your research interests and how they will integrate traditional disciplines, and which faculty members might be best suited to advise you. We are not looking for a detailed research proposal; rather, a bigger picture of your interests, how they fit in E-IPER, and what you ultimately hope to do upon completing your PhD.

3. Supplemental Questions (4)

E-IPER asks you to answer the following 4 questions as part of our application materials:

1. Tell us about the research question that you want to address during your time at Stanford. Explain why this question requires an interdisciplinary approach. Describe the two disciplines or subdisciplines in which you would need expertise in order to address this question. (Or, to use the language found on the E-IPER website, in what fields of inquiry would you specialize?)

2. Tell us about the most useful criticism that you have received regarding your scientific/research ideas. How did you act on this information? How did it change your scientific work or thinking?

3. Describe how your experiences in the time since you earned your undergraduate degree influenced the way you think about the environmental issues/research of interest to you. How have you evolved as a researcher?

4. Select up to four faculty members whose research interests best align with yours and who could serve as potential research advisors, in order of preference. Your selections are non-binding and will help us route your application to relevant faculty during the review process. For each faculty member you select, how might the faculty member’s work be helpful in your own research? Please cite one or two of their publications in your discussion.

Note: All E-IPER PhD students have TWO Lead Advisors, one to provide expertise on each Field of Inquiry. We ask for four faculty names because research interests are expected to be somewhat broad at the time of application. In preparation for this section of the application, we recommend that you contact faculty members ahead of time to assess whether or not your research interests are a good match for their expertise. Note that the faculty you include in this portion of the application will be asked to review your application.

4. GRE and TOEFL Scores

GRE & GRE Subject Tests

Neither GRE nor GRE Subject Tests will be required in the Admissions Cycle 2023-2024.


If your first language is not English, you are required to submit an official TOEFL score. Certain applicants may be exempt from taking the TOEFL, or may request a waiver in the online application; for more details, visit Grad Admissions Test Scores

If TOEFL scores are required for your application, you must report your official scores directly to Stanford from ETS. Stanford’s ETS institutional code is 4704. Individual department code numbers are not necessary. As long as you select the institutional code of 4704, the score is electronically delivered to Stanford.

TOEFL scores expire after two years and will not be available from ETS. Students are strongly advised to take the TOEFL no later than mid-October to ensure scores are transmitted by the application deadline. 

5. Letters of Recommendation

Following the instructions in the electronic application system, request that your three letters of recommendation be submitted electronically by the deadline.  It is required by the University that at least one of the recommenders be a faculty member at the last school you attended as a full-time student unless you have been out of school for more than five years. Substitutions for faculty recommendations may include work associates or others who can comment on your potential for graduate work. It is advised by E-IPER that at least two letters of recommendation come from academic sources. All letters of recommendation must be received by the application deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure your references know that this deadline is final.

6. Transcripts

Upload unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you attended for one year or more in the electronic application by the stated application deadline. You do not need to send the official transcripts until after you receive the Offer of Admissions.  You may send them in one of two ways:

  1. If your institution provides electronic official transcripts, have it sent to our Assistant Director of Student Services, Ai Tran (, or
  2. Have your transcript mailed directly from your institution to E-IPER at the address below:

Mailing address for transcripts:
E-IPER PhD Admissions, c/o Ai Tran
473 Via Ortega Rd, Y2E2 Building, Suite 226
Stanford, CA 94305

Application Fees & Waivers

The E-IPER community values global diversity and particularly encourages prospective international students from developing countries to apply. Recognizing that Stanford's $125 application fee may deter some candidates with limited financial means from applying, E-IPER offers a limited number of fee waivers for international students who face a financial hardships that would prevent them from applying to E-IPER.

Note: There is a University-wide fee waiver application process for qualified US citizens/Permanent Residents. 

Notice of a decision will be received by email within two weeks of submission from the applicant. Please note that granting of a waiver does not indicate that an applicant will be or is likely to be accepted for the PhD; nor does denial of a waiver request indicate that an applicant is unlikely to be admitted to the E-IPER program. Applicants whose waiver requests are denied may still submit an application for E-IPER. All requests for fee waivers, whether approved or denied, will be kept confidential and will not influence the application review or selection process.