Planning for 2020-21

Dear undergraduates,

This is the first in a series of weekly newsletters for undergraduates, titled “Re-Approaching Stanford,” through which we will convey further updates, important timelines and action items as we prepare for the academic year 2020-2021. Students’ families will also receive these updates initially via the newsletter for parents and guardians, and will receive further updates directly from us.

We know that you have been eagerly awaiting news of which class years will be on campus for which quarters. Thank you for your patience as we sorted through and balanced the many considerations, including your responses to the ASSU survey. As the president and provost communicated earlier this month, we will be inviting about half of our undergraduates to campus for each quarter in academic year 2020-2021, and frosh will be invited back in the fall and seniors in the spring, assuming that this is allowed by health officials at the time.

Consultation and feedback

We deeply appreciate the many students, faculty, staff and family members who contributed to our thinking and the ASSU for their highly informative survey of undergraduate students on this topic. Your ideas and expressions of concern were central to our decision process. The following factors were particularly important in determining the plan below:

  • Most students asked to be on campus with students in their cohort year, rather than organized by some other rubric.
  • Ensuring that students who need to be on campus for their personal safety, academic success or other special circumstances are able to have the support the campus provides.
  • Many students also asked to be on campus with students in close proximity to their cohort year.
    Because of their proximity to graduation, seniors and many juniors have the least flexibility in course choices.
  • Summer following junior year is a critical time for internships, research, public service projects, or honors thesis work.
  • Spring graduation makes it impractical for seniors to be on campus in summer.

Class cohorts in residence for Academic Year (AY) 2020-2021

Based on these considerations, we are inviting back two class cohorts each quarter, with the following four-quarter plan:

Autumn 2020
New Transfer Students*

Winter 2021

Spring 2021

Summer 2021

*New transfer students entering as sophomores will be on campus autumn and summer. New transfer students entering as juniors will be on campus autumn and can select winter or spring as their second in-person quarter. Those transfer students and non-traditional undergraduates who are approved to live in graduate housing will be able to live on campus for all four quarters.

Read the entire letter from the vice provosts of student affairs and undergraduate education.