Academic Advising at Stanford
The Office of Academic Advising is dedicated to welcoming our new students to Stanford and helping them feel at home here; encouraging them to explore the full intellectual richness that Stanford offers; helping them reflect on their choices and determine how to make the most of their Stanford experience; and supporting them in pursuing their goals, both personal and academic. A Stanford education is designed to prepare students for lifelong learning, to gain the intellectual skills they will need in any career they may ultimately pursue, and to develop the ability to engage meaningfully in addressing the needs of our increasingly complex world.
This is not simply our work; we regard it as our privilege. It is an honor to be among the first people on campus to help launch these extraordinary students on their Stanford journeys.
Although we know that all our students come to Stanford academically well-prepared, we also work with your students to manage the transition Stanford. We know from experience that this process unfolds gradually as students encounter Stanford for the first time. Most of these “firsts” are exciting, but some can be challenging and may shake a student’s self-confidence. We know, and we want you to know, that it is entirely normal for students to experience some setbacks and disappointments along with their joyous moments. We encourage students--and we hope you will encourage them, too--to seek advice, cultivate resilience, and remain open to changing course if their initial goals have taken them down a path that is proving to be problematic or unfulfilling. We encourage them to use their first year or more to explore the amazingly diverse curriculum of the University, and refrain from committing to a single path until they are clear that it is the right one for them.
All students are assigned to a professional Academic Advisor, an "Undergraduate Advising Director" (UAD). Transfer students will work most frequently with the Undergraduate Advising Director for Transfers who will serve as their primary advisor through their time at Stanford. In addition to the Transfer advisor, students will also have the opportunity to meet with other Undergraduate Advising Directors. UADs in the residences offer general academic advising as well as advising for undergraduate research opportunities. Specialized UADs can address coterminal opportunities and pre-professional interests, such as pre-law, pre-health, pre-business, and pre-education.
Our philosophy of advising
Because academic decisions are ultimately a student’s own, advisors will rarely tell students what to do, but together they will provide students with the information, perspectives, and guidance they need to make well-informed and well-reasoned decisions. We will sometimes counsel students toward or away from certain choices, but we ultimately respect their autonomy and recognize that they need to “own” their own educational, as well as personal, decisions.