New This Year

On this page, you will read about policy changes as well as upcoming construction and renovation projects that affect the application process for 2016-17.

Blackwelder Highrise Renovation Project 2017

We are planning a renovation project for Blackwelder that will take place during spring and summer 2017. This project will improve the kitchens, install a new fire sprinkler system, and replace the water heating boiler and roof.

To complete these renovations, it will be necessary for us to move students who are living on the first and second floors of Blackwelder into different housing assignments at the end of the Winter Quarter 2017 (during spring break). After we renovate the first and second floors, the students living on the third and fourth floors will move permanently into the renovated apartments. We will continue to move the next two floors down into the renovated apartments until we work our way up through the twelfth floor. We will start with the first two floors the beginning of Spring Quarter 2017 and finish the twelfth floor by the end of August 2017. Student Housing will provide you with boxes and moving assistance when your floor is scheduled to be renovated. Each set of two floors will take about five weeks to renovate.

At the end of Winter Quarter 2017, the residents of the first and second floors of Blackwelder will be offered priority for reassignment to any of the vacancies that are available in graduate housing for Spring Quarter 2017. We will send out more detailed information to those students after the start of the 2016-17 year.

New Graduate Housing Proposed for Escondido Village

The university is moving ahead with a project to construct a new 2,400-bed, four-building graduate student residential complex and has begun the formal application process to seek the necessary approvals from Santa Clara County. The anticipated site of the new complex runs along Campus Drive and Serra Street between Thoburn Ct. and Blackwelder Ct. For more information on the proposed new graduate student housing in Escondido Village, click here.

Changes to Graduate Housing Assignment Policies

Providing on-campus housing for graduate students is a vital component of graduate education at Stanford, fostering academic success and wellbeing. The university has built over 2,400 new graduate housing spaces over the last 20 years and has plans to build another 2,000 spaces on campus by 2019. Despite these efforts, the local housing market has driven the demand from new and continuing graduate students well beyond our current supply. Until this new housing is completed, the university feels it is important to adopt interim measures to address the graduate student housing shortage by revising housing assignment renewal and priority policies for graduate students living in university-subsidized housing on and off campus.

In the past, a graduate student’s ability to renew housing after the first year depended upon whether they were assigned a renewable space or non-renewable space in the Lottery.  Moving forward, a student's degree program will be the guide for housing priority and will determine whether or not a student can renew.

These interim measures give doctoral students the highest priority for on- and off-campus subsidized housing. The university recognizes that local housing market costs have significantly impacted doctoral students, given that their prolonged time of study in their respective fields average 5.7 years to completion as compared to other graduate degree programs that require fewer years for degree completion. Doctoral students also need proximity to their research labs, as many of them work late in the evening conducting research. Recognizing the difficulties of the off-campus market for master’s students as well, these students will be guaranteed housing in their first year of study at Stanford. However, beyond the first year, master's single students and couples without children will have no priority for subsidized housing (on or off campus).  They are eligible to apply for the housing lottery for one additional year beyond the first-year guarantee, but it is highly unlikely there will be available space in subsidized housing (on or off campus) until the new graduate housing opens in 2019.

Master's Students

Effective in 2016-17, master's students will be guaranteed housing for the first year in their program and will not be eligible to renew in place. However, an exception is being made for master's students who are currently living in renewable housing for the first year of their master’s program.  These students may renew in place for one additional year in this upcoming Lottery. Master’s students who are currently living in non-renewable subsidized housing (on or off campus) or those who want to change residences may enter the Lottery, but will have no priority for assignment.

In 2017-18, master's students will continue to be guaranteed housing for the first year in their program.  Beyond the first year, they have no priority for subsidized housing.  They are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery for one additional year beyond the first-year guarantee.  This would also apply to master's students who have never lived in subsidized housing (on or off campus).

Master's students in Family Housing (Students with Children) will be guaranteed housing for the first year in their degree program and will then have the option to renew in place in either on- or off-campus university-subsidized housing for one additional year.  Master's students with children are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery for one additional year beyond their second year in housing, but it is highly unlikely there will be available space in subsidized housing (on or off campus) until the new graduate housing opens in 2019.

Coterminal students applying for their first year of graduate housing will be considered continuing students and will have a limited coterminal priority.

Master's students moving into a PhD program by the Lottery deadline will receive additional years of housing priority that is commensurate with their degree program.

Doctoral Students

Beginning in 2016-17, the number of priority years that doctoral (PhD, DMA and JSD) and professional (MD and JD) students receive will depend on their degree program.

PhD, DMA, and JSD students will continue to have six years of housing priority. They will be guaranteed their first year of housing and then can renew in place for five additional years. If they do not wish to renew in place, they may participate in the Lottery to apply for a new assignment with a limited priority.

MD students will have four years of housing priority. They are guaranteed their first year of housing and then can renew in place for three additional years. If they do not wish to renew in place, they may participate in the Lottery with a limited priority.

JD students have three years of housing priority. They are guaranteed their first year of housing and then can renew in place for two additional years. If they do not wish to renew in place, they may participate in the Lottery with a limited priority.

Doctoral students may leave the housing system for the express purpose of conducting research that requires relocation to a distant region for an extended period of time (two quarters or more).  Students are required to adhere to housing eligibility guidelines and provide formal notice from their respective school prior to leaving to begin the research. These students may apply in the Lottery to return to housing and will be assigned with priority after new students. Students conducting research for just the summer should renew their contracts to have an option to sublicense their space if they live on-campus.

Doctoral, MD and JD students are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery for one additional year beyond the priority years that are commensurate with their degree program, but it is highly unlikely there will be available space in subsidized housing (on or off campus) until the new graduate housing opens in 2019.

Dual and second degree programs

Students returning to Stanford to begin a new graduate degree program after previously receiving a Stanford graduate degree are considered continuing graduate students.

The number of priority years is based on your highest level degree at the time your application is processed  (i.e., JD/MD students receive 4 years of priority, JD/MBA students receive 3 years of priority, etc.). The maximum number of priority years is six.

Location-specific renewal information for Doctoral (PhD, DMA and JSD) and Professional (MD and JD) students

  • Students living in traditionally renewable housing will be able to renew in place.Students in off-campus subsidized housing may renew in place. The ability to renew in place for future years will depend upon Stanford's continued lease with the property owners.
  • Students in off-campus subsidized housing who choose to renew are also able to submit an additional application for reassignment (in a separate process) to on-campus housing if they are interested. Please note that students in off-campus subsidized housing may not participate in the sublicensing program.
  • Students in Rains 201 and 202 or in EV Studio 2 can renew into the equivalent of their current type of housing. They will need to move at the end of Spring Quarter 2016 into their new apartment and that new apartment contract will run through the next year.
  • Students in Munger academic-year buildings (Building 4 and Jacobson-Sorensen Hall) cannot renew into Munger specifically, but will need to enter the Lottery where they will be granted a special housing priority. These students will be guaranteed a housing assignment as long as they are willing to accept any other housing assignment and are willing to take a summer contract. It is possible that the summer and autumn contracts will be in two different locations.

Unauthorized Sublicensing

Students are generally only able to sublicense (sublet) their apartments during the summer to verified Stanford affiliates who have been approved by Housing Assignments. Over the last year, numerous students and University administrators have brought to our attention that some graduate students are abusing the privilege of living in graduate housing by inappropriately sublicensing their housing space to others. We know that most graduate students appreciate living on campus and abide by the policies that are designed to create a supportive and safe community. Unfortunately, others have chosen an inappropriate approach for their own personal gain by sublicensing to unauthorized individuals not associated with the University or sublicensing to students who want to circumvent the Waiting List. Some are also doing this for financial profit by charging more than the rent that they pay for the unit. Students unable to be assigned to campus housing are particularly upset, given that these spaces could have potentially been assigned to them through the regular assignment process.

We are asking the entire graduate community to assist us in stopping this practice. Students who have chosen to disregard established sublicensing policies for their own personal gain are retaining housing space they do not need at the expense of others who want to live on campus. Please contact Housing Assignments if you know of a suspicious sublet or unauthorized occupant.

If students choose to engage in an unauthorized sublicense agreement, they should be aware that they may not only be violating the R&DE Student Housing Residence Agreement, but also the University’s Fundamental Standard. Students engaged in unauthorized sublicensing activities (contract holders and any unauthorized student sublicensees) will be charged an unauthorized sublicense fee, be required to move out of housing immediately, and permanently lose their on-campus housing privileges. If applicable, their case will be turned over to the Office of Community Standards. In some cases, students may be required to pay back any financial gain that they have received by sublicensing their apartment.

We understand the benefits of having a short-term sublicensing program for students who need to study away for a short period of time, and so we are planning to keep our current sublicensing program. However, we do need to enforce sublicensing policies so we are better able to meet housing demand from students enrolled and studying at the home campus. If you are interested in creating an authorized sublicense agreement, please refer to the sublicensing website.

Subsidized Off-campus Housing

Stanford has secured off-campus leases at 22 apartment complexes in Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City to help meet the demand for housing this year. These subsidized off-campus apartments will be offered along with the on-campus options in the first round housing Lottery. You may add them to your list of preferences in Axess. These units will be furnished and your subsidized housing charges will include utilities. A chart of information about the complexes and detailed descriptions, prices and pictures of the individual complexes are available under the Housing Options section of this website.