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SISL Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are new Ph.D. students being accepted into the lab?

A: Yes, on average between 1-3 students are admitted per year.

Q: I am interested in a postdoc. How do I apply?

A: There is a link on the main SISL webpage. Applications will be reviewed as positions open up throughout the year.

Q: Can you answer my questions about applying to the AA Department at Stanford?

A: The best bet is to email

Q: Do I have to be a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to be in SISL?

A: No. We have had plenty of Ph.D. students from other departments, e.g., Computer Science, Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

Q: Should I email the lab if I applied to the M.S. or Ph.D. program?

A: No need to. The admissions committee of the department you applied to makes admissions decisions based on your full application package. Individual faculty do not admit students. If you are admitted by the committee, you will be invited to campus to meet with faculty and students.

Q: Can I do an unpaid internship?

A: SISL cannot take on additional participants outside of established programs. However, you are welcome to contribute ideas, issues, and code to our various open source projects, such as those posted on and

Q: Do you take high school interns?

A: Yes, but only through the Stanford Robotics Center Summer Research Program. Unfortunately, this program will not be running in 2024, but it might be in 2025.

Q: Can I join SISL?

A: If you are a Stanford student, you can register your interest and submit your information for review at the form here. We get notified at the time of every submission, but feel free to follow up with a separate email without attachments. If you are not a Stanford student yet, you can find admissions information here.

Q: I would like to do a summer internship, but I am not a Stanford student.

A: We have supported external students through the SURF program in the past and will continue in the future. You send application materials to that program, not to SISL. Outside of this program, SISL does not currently have funding or capacity to support non-Stanford students. If you have a fellowship and bring your own funding, please be aware of Stanford’s fees for visiting student researchers (VSRs).

Q: Where can I find the videos of past Ph.D. defenses?

A: They are linked to from the lab webpage. You can also find links to their theses as well.

Q: I’m applying to Stanford. If I get in, can I join SISL?

A: We cannot promise a spot in the lab, but you are welcome to attend and participate in lab meetings to see whether the lab is a good fit for you. It is also recommend to take AA228 offered in the fall quarter.