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Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Central Office: Sweet Hall, First Floor
Phone: (650) 723-2426
Appointments: Visit or call (650) 723-2426

Academic Advising upholds the mission, standards, and requirements of the University, introduces students to the full intellectual richness of undergraduate study at Stanford, supports students in their academic and intellectual pursuits, and instills within them a sense of identity within and belonging to our community of scholars at Stanford. Academic Advising is responsible for facilitating new students’ transition to Stanford, academic advising, and academic policy and progress.

Transitioning New Students

Academic Advising is responsible for the Approaching Stanford program, which guides new students through the process of coming to Stanford, from 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 and transfer students. See the Approaching Stanford website for additional information.

First-Year and Transfer Student Policies

Stanford values the transition process as the foundation for thriving both academically and personally in our community. The following policies support this principle and apply to first-year 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 early September.

  • First-year and new transfer students are required to live on campus in University housing for three consecutive quarters in their first year. 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. 

  • When circumstances arise which make it advisable for a first-year to take a leave absence at any time during the first year, they are required to wait until Autumn Quarter of the following year to return to Stanford.

  • First-year and new transfer students cannot enroll in the Summer Quarter prior to their first year unless they are participating in a VPUE-sponsored program. Exceptions are very rarely granted.


Academic Advising pairs each first-year student with a professional Undergraduate Advising Director, who is responsible for advising students broadly on their courses of study and long-term goals and can answer questions about academic requirements and policies, course selection and sequencing, investigating and choosing majors, research, and fellowships. Students' primary Undergraduate Advising Director is assigned based on the neighborhood in which they live. Other Undergraduate Advising Directors have specialized expertise in advising students pursuing pre-professional programs of study, in working with student-athletes, and in coterminal programs, or in working with Leland Scholars Program students, returning students, or transfer students.

Together with advisors at the Overseas Resource Center and the Haas Center for Public Service, Undergraduate Advising Directors help prepare students to compete for nationally competitive fellowships. Academic Advising also administers the campus nomination process for several U.S.-based fellowships. See the Fellowships website for more information on fellowship opportunities.

Academic Advising also offers workshops and individual consultations on planning for graduate or professional studies (e.g., business, education, law, and medicine) and on general application procedures, including how to write personal statements, how to solicit letters of recommendation, and how to prepare for interviews. See the Planning for Graduate and Professional School website for more information.

See the Academic Advising website for more information about academic advising, our Undergraduate Advising Directors, programming, and general support for undergraduates.

Academic Policy

Academic Advising oversees the implementation of University academic policies pertaining to undergraduates, including requests for exceptions to academic policy and monitoring academic progress. All academic advisors support students with an academic status (e.g., academic notice, academic probation, or academic suspension). For more information about academic policies that academic advisors help students navigate, see the Academic Policies section of the Academic Advising website.