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New Student Policies

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New Students

Academic Advising is responsible for the Approaching Stanford process, which guides incoming undergraduate students through their preparation for and transition to Stanford, from acceptance of their admission to the University until the first day of class. This process culminates with New Student Orientation, which is required for all new first-year (frosh) and transfer students and takes place the week before the academic year begins.

First-Year (Frosh) and New Transfer Student Policies

Stanford values the transition and orientation process across the first year as the foundation for students to thrive both academically and personally in our community. The following policies support this principle and apply to undergraduate first-year (frosh) and new transfer students:

  • All first-year and new transfer students are required to attend New Student Orientation (NSO) and must be checked in by the first day of NSO in September. NSO attendance is required in order to register for courses.
  • First-year and new transfer students are required to register in Autumn Quarter and may not take a leave of absence prior to their first quarter. However, new undergraduate students may request a deferment from the Office of Undergraduate Admission before the first day of Autumn Quarter. Under exceptional circumstances, new frosh and transfers may take a leave of absence during their first quarter with the permission of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (or their designee). 
  • When circumstances arise which make it advisable or necessary for a first-year or new transfer to take a leave of absence during any of their first three quarters, the student is required to wait until Autumn Quarter of the following academic year to return.
  • First-year and new transfer students are required to live on campus in University housing for three consecutive quarters in their first year (not including summer). Should behavior warrant a first-year student’s removal from the residences, that student cannot enroll in classes until they have returned to the residential community. 
  • First-year and new transfer students cannot enroll in the Summer Quarter prior to their first year unless they are selected to participate in a VPUE-sponsored program. Exceptions are very rarely granted.
  • First-year students only: First-year students (frosh) are not permitted to bring cars to campus for the duration of their first year: Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters. (New transfer students are not subject to this policy and can purchase parking permits.)

For questions or further discussion about any of these policies, please contact Approaching Stanford,

Stanford Bulletin

The Stanford Bulletin provides a central source for policies – both academic and non-academic – that are applicable to all Stanford students.