The First-Year Experience

As a new Stanford student, there are many possible directions to take your undergraduate experience. Here are a few of the hallmark resources designed to help you navigate your first year at Stanford.

Undergraduate Advising Resources

At Stanford you will have access to a variety of on-campus advisors. First year students are assigned a Stanford Newcomer Guide (SNG) who will engage in an ongoing conversation with you about your transition to college.

Academic Advising provides comprehensive academic advising and research opportunities that together enable you to chart your own educational journey and make the most of your experience at Stanford. As a freshman you will be able to make appointments with your Academic Advising Director (AAD), a residentially-based advisor assigned to all students living in your residence, to talk about which classes and interests you would like to pursue.

Freshman Academic Opportunities

As a new student, you will be encouraged to explore a variety of academic avenues. You will have the opportunity to take Introductory Seminars , small classes capped at 16 students, which are intended specifically for first-year students and taught by faculty from every school at Stanford. Students are also encouraged to consider Frosh 101 , a discussion-style course designed to support you as you transition to Stanford’s dynamic campus.

Many students will also choose to take a Thinking Matters course during their first year, which focus on the development of critical thinking. Recent Thinking Matters course titles include:

  • What is Love?—Is love a spiritual or a bodily phenomenon? 
  • Justice and the University - How do the fundamental purpose of the university, the pursuit of knowledge, and the pursuit of justice coincide?
  • Rules of War—When, if ever, is war justified?

First-Year Housing Preferences

First-year students are welcome to explore a variety of residential options. These include Integrated Learning Environments (ILEs), Frosh-Sophomore Theme Housing, Cross-Cultural Theme Houses, Four-Class Residential Halls, and All-Frosh Residential Halls. Please visit our Housing & Dining page for more detailed information.

Updated on October 15, 2019 8:20 AM