About Cardinal Compass

Graduate students Sonya Erlandson and Nicola Ulibarri rehearse with freshman Andrew Beckman in a site-specific dance entitled ''Out of Sequence'' by Diane Frank.

Cardinal Compass is designed to help you navigate through your first year at Stanford. We can assist you in building a freshman year that takes full advantage of the wealth of freshman friendly courses offered. We can also introduce you to the advisors ready to help you, and demystify some of the issues most commonly encountered in the transition to college.

How Cardinal Compass Can Help You

Cardinal Compass is divided into 3 primary subject areas. Each subject area is designed to help first year students learn what they need to know in order to make a successful transition to academic life at Stanford.

Frosh-Friendly Courses

Frosh-Friendly Courses offers an introduction to the wide variety of courses designed especially for freshmen. Explore your interests with an IntroSem, dive into an elective Thinking Matters, try a 1-unit lecture series, or take any of the dozens of courses identified by their schools as Frosh-Friendly! These classes allow students to look into a field of study or an academic discipline with minimal preparation or prerequisites.

Meet Your Advisors

Meet Your Advisors presents a primer in Stanford’s multiple mentor model. Here you can learn about the various advisors you will meet on campus, the differences between them, and how to use meetings with your advisors to your best advantage. Who is your Academic Advising Director (AAD)? How were you matched with your Pre-Major Advisor (PMA)? How might an AARC Advisor help you navigate NCAA requirements? When should you seek out advice? Who can help you make course planning decisions, assist you with academic difficulties, or introduce you to research opportunities? Start seeking answers here.

Secrets to Stanford Success

For Secrets to Stanford Success we considered the questions every student new to Stanford has. Questions like: How do I build a schedule? How do I enroll in classes? Why should I take an IntroSem? When should I talk to my advisor? What are the Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing? You can find the answers to these and many more of the most common questions asked by Frosh under this subject heading. How? What? Why? We have the answers. Know before you go.

Use this tool to:

  • Plan a successful first year
  • Learn more about freshman-oriented courses
  • Discover opportunities in fields that interest you
  • Familiarize yourself with Stanford’s advising structure
  • Find answers to common academic planning questions
  • Generate questions and ideas to discuss with your advisor

WAYS TO START

Start exploring and see where your interests lead you: