freshman dorm

Frosh and Transfer Students

Because undergraduate life is based in university residences, Stanford encourages new and first-year transfer students to live on campus where they can more easily become part of the community.

First-year students who accept their offer of admission receive information and preference forms for housing, academics and student services through Approaching Stanford. Approaching Stanford is updated each May. Preference forms for housing, meal plan, required classes and advising are due in June.

Students who require special housing accommodations due to a documented disability or medical issue must register with and submit documentation to the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) as soon as possible, and definitely by the Approaching Stanford application deadline.

Non-traditional frosh and transfer students who need to be located in graduate housing (students 25 or over, students requiring couples' housing or students with children) need to apply for housing by turning in a paper/PDF application to the Housing Assignments office in addition to filling out the Approaching Stanford forms. Please note the deadline to turn in a graduate housing application is in early July. Non-traditional frosh will be provided an affiliation with a frosh house.

Student Housing makes frosh and transfer housing assignments in random order – not on a first-come, first-served basis – after the deadline for returning forms has passed.

Housing Assignments generally announces building assignments in early August. Though Stanford cannot guarantee a particular housing assignment, about 60 percent of freshmen are assigned to their first-choice housing type. New students receive their roommate information when they arrive on campus.

Living on Campus

Stanford University has been a residential teaching and research university since the beginning, and its residence system is among the largest and most diverse in the nation.

Stanford’s vibrant residence communities give students the opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom, make lifelong friends, and develop a deeper understanding of the world beyond the university.

All frosh are guaranteed four complete or partial years of campus housing, and transfer students are guaranteed three complete or partial years of campus housing.

Stanford’s Residential Education Program

The Residential Education (Res Ed) program is based on Stanford’s belief that formal teaching, informal learning and personal support in residences are fundamental components of a Stanford education – essential for preparing students for a life of leadership, intellectual engagement, citizenship, and service.

Res Ed programs complement the academic curriculum with activities and experiences that build strong, pluralistic communities. They give students opportunities to learn from each other, from faculty and staff members, and from visiting diplomats, artists, and scholars.

Residential Education begins with the Resident Fellows, faculty or senior staff members who live in residence halls with their families and help provide a warm and intellectually stimulating environment.

Residence staff also includes Stanford sophomores, juniors and seniors who offer personal and academic counseling. 

Much of the education in the residences is informal and occurs as naturally as conversations at home over the dinner table or in front of the TV. The difference in living at Stanford is that students with widely-ranging interests, backgrounds, talents, and perspectives are living together, making varied activities and conversations possible. 

Residential education in all its forms is one of the reasons that, despite the university’s size and breadth of resources, Stanford remains an intimate community.

Frosh and Transfer Residences

Undergraduate residences vary greatly in program, size (from 17 to 274 students), age, style of architecture and layout of rooms and common areas. All, however, are located around the campus within a ten-minute walking distance of classrooms.

Frosh

All frosh live in mixed-gender residence halls or houses. For autumn 2020, most frosh will be in single rooms. Shared rooms will be 2-room doubles and will be All Men or All Women for any students who identify as men or women respectively.

Frosh may indicate a preference for:

  • An all-frosh house or a four-class house (housing frosh, sophomores, juniors and seniors)
  • A house with men and women living on the same floor or a house with men and women living on separate floors (this includes parts of Okada and Ujamaa)  
  • A cross-cultural theme house:   Muwekma-tah-ruk (Native American), Okada (Asian American), Ujamaa (African American) or Casa Zapata (Chicanx/Latinx). Cross-cultural theme houses are open to all students, and provide educational and social activities that explore the history and culture of a particular ethnic group.
  • ILE's (Integrated Learning Environments): SLE (Structured Liberal Education), Italic (Arts focus). See the Approaching Stanford Handbook for more information about these programs.

Freshmen may not express a preference for a specific hall (such as Wilbur or Roble).

Transfer Students

To facilitate a sense of community, Stanford assigns all (traditional age) transfer students to the same residence hall.

Transfer students are assigned to an upper-class house (housing sophomores, juniors and seniors) with coed floors unless they are non-traditional students (students 25 or over, students requiring couples housing or students with children) in which case they are assigned to Graduate Housing.

After the First Year

After the first year living at Stanford, students can choose from Stanford’s 78 undergraduate buildings, which include a wide variety of themes and focuses.

Information about the upperclass housing assignment process is released each spring.