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For Visiting Student Researchers

Students and faculty in Department Courtyard


"Visiting Student Researcher" is an official University designation for graduate students enrolled in Ph.D. programs at other universities who wish to visit Stanford for a limited period of time.  Visiting students from a small set of participating schools receive the designation “Exchange Scholar”; see “Exchange Scholar” section below.  Visiting graduate students are expected to obtain their own support from their own universities, grants, or other sources. 

Normally, Visiting Researchers have completed their coursework and are engaged in dissertation research.  Visiting Student Researchers cannot register in Stanford University courses for academic credit, but they are welcome to attend department seminars.  Students interested in attending Stanford courses for academic credit must apply for non-matriculated student status, which necessitates a separate application, associated fees, and deadlines.  

Read Stanford's official policy regarding Visiting Researcher Status

Read Stanford's official policy regarding the Exchange Scholar Program

Application Procedure

All Visiting Researchers must be nominated by a sponsor on the department’s regular faculty and must then be approved by the department faculty as a whole.  It is recommended that prospective visitors contact a potential sponsor from the regular faculty before submitting a formal application.  Please be aware that faculty members in the department can sponsor no more than two visitors at once.

The prospective Visiting Researcher should then write a letter of application to the Department Chair describing their research interests and plans for research and study during their visit to Stanford.  The letter should indicate the proposed length of stay and the name of the faculty member in the department who would serve as sponsor.  The letter should also indicate other faculty members and research groups they expect to interact with.  The letter should also discuss the ways in which the visitor’s research and educational objectives will be of benefit to the department.  Please include a CV with the letter of application.

The application materials must reach the department by January 15th prior to September 1st of the academic year to be spent at Stanford.  Because the department receives more applications than it can accommodate, it is very important that applications arrive by the appropriate deadline; late applications are unlikely to be accepted.  Notification of appointment will be made in the spring.  Those who are applying for grants which require that the institution which they propose to visit be listed must obtain the department’s approval before submitting the application.  In this case, the department should receive the materials detailed above at least two months before the application due date, in order to give the department enough time to decide whether it will support the application.  The department has limited resources for visitors and is unable to accept all who submit an application.  (Please note that individuals applying for a J-1 visa will be required to submit proof of English proficiency.)

Please send applications to the Chair, currently Dan Jurafsky.

Additional Information

Application-related Fees

Stanford charges a $125 fee for preparation of the initial and transfer DS-2019 documents for J-1 Visiting Researchers and family members, and a fee of approximately $25 is charged for mailing of the documents via international courier.  These fees are payable to the Department of Linguistics upon the visitor’s arrival.

Tuition Rate and Other Fees

Prospective Visiting Researchers should be aware that in order to have a formal status, the University requires that visiting students pay the Visiting Researcher fee, which is $1,062/month in AY 2017-18.  They will also be charged for student health insurance, unless they can document that they have comparable coverage with another carrier.  The Cardinal Care fee is $1,656 per quarter for the 2017-18 academic year.  Visiting students are also required to pay a Campus Health Service Fee of $210 per quarter.  Students in this category are not permitted to enroll in classes for credit.  


Those registered as Visiting Researchers are entitled to receive a student photo identification card, which permits use of the University Library at the same level as other non-matriculated students, access to campus recreational facilities, including the golf course, and use of Vaden Student Health services.  Visiting Researchers are eligible for an email account at no charge.  These services are only available during the months when the Visiting Student Researcher fee has been paid.  The department cannot guarantee office space for Visiting Researchers.

Housing Information

Graduate student housing is available for Visiting Researchers only after all matriculated Stanford students have obtained housing.  Given that student housing is extremely tight, for planning purposes, it is best to assume that student housing will not be available.  Visitors are able to view the University Housing Office on-line listings once their names and e-mail addresses are forwarded to the University Housing Office personnel by the department.  

Learn more about Stanford area housing information

The Exchange Scholars Program

Doctoral students at universities that participate in the Exchange Scholars Program are able to spend up to a year at Stanford under the auspices of this program.  The home page for this program describes it as follows:  “The Exchange Scholar Program enables a graduate student enrolled in a doctoral program in one of the participating institutions to study at one of the other graduate schools for a limited period of time so as to take advantage of particular educational opportunities not available on the home campus.  The academic experience, including courses taken and/or research conducted with particular faculty at the visited institution, will be registered on the academic record maintained by the student’s home institution.”  Currently, participating institutions include Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University; and Stanford has separate exchange programs as well with the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco.  This program allows students to be registered and pay tuition at their home university, while visiting Stanford.

Graduate students who wish to visit Stanford under the Exchange Scholar Program should follow the regular application procedures for Visiting Researchers, but indicate that they would like to participate in this program.  Once the department has accepted their application, the official forms for the program can be filled out and processed.


Questions from graduate students about visiting Stanford can be directed to the department’s Student Services Manager, Jeanne Su