Academic Advising for New Students

*2020 Approaching Stanford content will be updated in the spring. You may review 2019 content on this page.*

Academic Advising (formerly Undergraduate Advising and Research)

The Office of Academic Advising provides comprehensive academic advising and research opportunities that together enable you to chart your own educational journey and make the most of your undergraduate experience at Stanford. Every incoming undergraduate student will be assigned a professional Academic Advisor who will contact you this summer to begin the advising conversation.

Overview of Academic Advisors

Academic Advising Directors (AAD)

First-year students, who are not student-athletes, will work most closely with Academic Advising Directors, Ph.D.-level academic advisors assigned to residences. AADs advise all undergraduate students and can assist with both routine and complex matters pertaining to academic requirements and policies, course selection and sequencing, investigating majors, research, fellowships, and post-graduate study.

Academic Advisors for Student-Athletes

Varsity athletes will work most closely with Academic Advisors for Student-Athletes, academic advisors located in the Athletic Academic Resource Center (AARC). In addition to advising students on academic requirements and policies, course selection and sequencing, and investigating majors, the AARC Advisors are uniquely qualified and trained to evaluate student-athletes’ academic eligibility requirements as well as to help you balance your time commitments so that you can meet both your academic and athletic goals.

Specialized Academic Advisors in Sweet Hall

Specialized academic advisors, including the Transfer Advising Coordinator, are located in Sweet Hall and are available during drop-in hours or by appointment. In addition to general academic advising, these advisors provide specialized advice from the first-year experience to coterminal and pre-professional interests (e.g., pre-law, pre-health, and pre-business).

First Advising Conversation

In August, your Academic Advisor will contact you by email to begin the advising conversation. This initial conversation will provide space for exploring academic interests, course selection, opportunities, and resources. Over the summer, in preparation for this first advising appointment, complete the 2019 Academic Planning Worksheet.

We encourage you to use resources such as:

ExploreCourses - Stanford's course catalog which will be published on August 1 for the 2019-20 academic year

Cardinal Compass - online academic planning guide 

Carta - course exploration online tool

Introductory Seminars catalog

Thinking Matters catalog (Frosh only)

Frosh/Transfer 101 course

Departmental websites to identify the types of classes and the specific courses in which you may be interested.

2019 Academic Planning Worksheet for the First Advising Conversation

"New Student Advisement" Enrollment Hold

This inital advising conversation with your Academic Advisor is required for all new undergraduates in order to enroll in Autumn Quarter classes. Incoming students will see a "New Student Advisement" Enrollment Hold on your accounts in Axess. There is no action you need to take at this time.


This hold will remain in place through the summer and will be automatically lifted during New Student Orientation (NSO) after you have:

Completed an initial advising conversation with your Academic Advisor (Academic Advising Director, AARC Advisor); and

Checked in for NSO by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 18, and are participating fully in NSO. NSO is required for all new students.


Beginning August 1, this hold will be lifted after you have completed an initial summer advising conversation with the Transfer Advising Coordinator.

You will be able to log into Axess and begin enrolling in your Autumn Quarter courses.

Note that your course enrollment is conditional upon completion of New Student Orientation, September 18-22, which is required for all new students. You must be checked in for NSO by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 18, and participate fully in NSO.

Autumn Course Enrollment

Before NSO, when you have identified possible courses for Autumn Quarter, log in to Simple Enroll in Axess and enter these courses as “Planned” Courses. Your Academic Advisor will be able to view your “planned” courses. You can make changes to your "planned" courses as frequently as you like. Note: A “planned” course indicates interest only – it does not reserve a space for you in a course, nor does it commit you to enrolling in it.

After your "New Student Advisement" Enrollment Hold has been released, you will be able to log in to Simple Enroll in Axess and click "Enroll"  on your "planned" courses.

You can also enroll in a course directly through Axess without using Simple Enroll. Click here for instructions on Course Enrollment through Axess.