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Pre-Orientation Programs

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2024 information will be posted in May 2024. You may review 2023 information at this time.

Stanford offers the following pre-orientation programs for first-year and new transfer students. In order to attend any of these programs, students must register in advance. All programs will conclude before the first day of New Student Orientation (NSO) so that you can participate fully in the programs and activities of NSO. More information with registration instructions, application deadlines, and program details will be shared during the summer.

2023 Stanford Pre-Orientation Programs

Note: New students are welcome to apply to more than one pre-orientation program. However, if selected, you can only participate in one program and must choose which program to attend.


Run by the Haas Center for Public Service, the Ignite Cardinal Service Pre-Orientation Experience features visits to local nonprofits and community organizations, along with activities designed to help you reflect on the kind of service, community partner, and/or issue you might want to pursue.

  • Registration: Register online for Ignite between June 5 to June 21 (11:59 PM PDT). If sign-ups exceed space available, participants will be selected by lottery on June 22.
  • Program Dates: September 15-18, 2023
  • On-Campus: Move into dorm room on September 15
  • Participants: Frosh only
  • Cost: $500 participation fee. Financial aid available according to need.

International Student Orientation (ISO)

All new international students who are not US citizens/permanent residents and who must attend the mandatory immigration session with the Bechtel International Center are required to attend ISO as part of their transition to Stanford.

Overseen by the Bechtel International Center, ISO supports your transition to living in the U.S. through presentations, panel discussions, and social activities. U.S. citizens living abroad and permanent residents do not attend ISO, though you may request to attend if you have not previously lived in the U.S.

  • Registration: Acknowledge your participation (international students) or request to attend (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) in the Approaching Stanford Forms, due June 7 for frosh, and June 30 for transfers.
  • Program Dates: September 16-19, 2023 
  • On-Campus: Move into dorm room on September 16
  • Participants: Frosh and Transfers
  • Cost: There is no additional cost to attend.

Stanford Native Immersion Program (SNIP)

Through the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai'ian Program/Native American Cultural Center (AIANNHP/NACC), the Stanford Native Immersion Program is a six-day, fun-filled experience designed to welcome incoming new students to The Farm. For the duration of the program, participants will stay at Hidden Villa—in nearby Los Altos— and be led by current students and staff who direct them in activities, explore Native issues and advise them on academic and student life at Stanford. Students will have time to learn important information about Stanford while making friends and meeting people who will be supportive during their first year on campus.

  • Registration: Registration forms and materials will be sent to eligible students in early June. Priority registration deadline: June 30.
  • Program Dates: September 14-19, 2023
  • Off-Campus: Move into dorm room on September 19 in the morning
  • Participants: Frosh and Transfers
  • Cost: There is no additional cost to attend.

Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips (SPOT)

Coordinated by Stanford Recreation and Wellness, Stanford Pre-Orientation Trips (SPOT) provides immersive outdoor experiences the week before NSO. These trips are designed to foster Stanford identity, community, and personal growth through activity, self-reflection, and mentorship.

  • Registration: Register online for the SPOT lottery between June 5 to June 19 (5PM PDT). Selection will be by lottery for all those who register by the deadline. Participants will be notified by June 20.
  • Program Dates: September 13-19, 2023
  • Off-Campus: Move into dorm room on September 19 in the morning
  • Participants: Frosh and Transfers
  • Cost: $525 participation fee. Financial aid available according to need. The participation fee will be on your fall quarter invoice.

Thrive Transition Program

Coordinated by the FLI Student Success Center, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and the School of Engineering, the Thrive Transition Program is a new pre-orientation program designed to facilitate the transition of incoming first generation and low-income college students and help begin their academic journey with a stronger sense of belonging and ownership of Stanford. We provide a supportive, nurturing environment that allows students to develop a collaborative community of peers and learn about the resources and services available on campus. This will be a week long residential on campus program with special focus on the unique challenges first generation and/or low-income (FLI) students face such as: understanding your financial aid, academic advising, faculty and staff engagement, community building with the FLI community and beyond, financial literacy, and accessing resources specifically designed to support FLI students at Stanford.

  • Application: Apply online for Thrive between June 5 to June 23 (11:59 PM PDT).
  • Program Dates: September 12-18, 2023
  • On-Campus: Move to campus on September 12; move into dorm room on September 14
  • Participants: Frosh and Transfers
  • Cost: There is no additional cost to participate.