Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Estimated Cost of Living in the Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is an expensive region.  Stanford is equidistant from the two main cities in Northern California, San Jose, and San Francisco.  Many postdocs choose to live in neighboring Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City or in San Francisco.  Postdocs who are considering offers of appointment at Stanford are encouraged to consider the cost of living in this area in light of their lifestyle, needs, and where applicable, financial obligations towards spouses or family.

The minimum funding levels for postdoctoral scholars at Stanford are perhaps the highest in the country for trainees, and they are designed to support a stipend-level income for a single trainee.  There is no University-set upper limit on the funding level that a postdoc may receive. 

The following information is provided for informational purposes only; postdocs should consider their one-time costs and ongoing needs, such as the cost of relocation, childcare, etc., when evaluating their offers.  This is advisable for foreign scholars, particularly those with families.

Cost of Living Calculators for Silicon Valley (San Jose) and San Francisco:

CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator:
Economic Policy Institute's "Family Budget" Calculator:

Note: These calculators may not factor in the cost of the items listed below.

Taxes: Please note that cost of living calculators often do not include taxes.

GoPass: Starting September 1, 2014, postdocs can purchase a GoPass to commute to campus. After September 2017, GoPasses will be free to postdocs.

Rent: Please check the Stanford Student Housing Office for information about local listings and for information about applying to campus housing (availability to postdocs is very limited depending on the time of year and on-campus rental rates are not always less expensive than off campus).  The cost of rent varies greatly by city, and many postdocs who are single share a two or three bedroom house with other postdocs or young professionals.

Medical Insurance Priemiums:  Please check the Postdoc Benefits website for the current premium rates.

Childcare: information for on- and off-campus options is available through Stanford's WorkLife Office.


Stanford Medicine Resources:

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