Frosh Important Dates and Deadlines

Approaching Stanford 2021 will be updated by Spring 2021. You may review 2020 information on this page.

In preparation for your arrival, Stanford will send you frequent communications from May to September. Review these important dates and deadlines required for all for first-year students and complete the following items. We are closely tracking the latest public health guidance as the uncertain COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and we will continue to share updates and information with you throughout the summer. As a result, dates and deadlines below are subject to change.

This table shows communication items, dates, and actions first-year students should complete between May and September.

Communication Item


What to Do

First Approaching Stanford Email

Friday, May 8, 2020

Check your Stanford email for weekly newsletters beginning May 8. You are responsible for reading your email and completing any required actions.

Log into the Approaching Stanford Portal in Stanford Canvas to review the "Approaching Stanford Requirements Checklist" to complete this summer.

If needed, log in to Axess and update your Preferred Name and Mailing Address in the "Student" tab.

Read the Approaching Stanford Handbook.

Official Test Scores Deadline

June 1

Contact the College Board or ACT and have your official SAT or ACT scores sent to Stanford.

Approaching Stanford Forms Deadline

Friday, June 5 by noon (PDT)

Complete the required Approaching Stanford Forms online and upload your photo for your Stanford ID card. These forms collect personal information, academic course and housing preferences, and parent/guardian contact(s) for the university. First-year students apply for housing on the Approaching Stanford Forms.

Students admitted after June 5: Approaching Stanford will contact you to set a deadline for submitting your forms.

Parent and Guardian Email

June 8

The first of this monthly newsletter will be emailed to the parent(s)/guardian(s) you listed on your Approaching Stanford Forms. Review the newsletter archive online.

Final Official Transcript Deadline

July 1

Instructions on submitting your final high school transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admission are in your admission packet. Email with questions.

Summer Community Emails

Week of August 3

Sent if you opted to receive information about community programs and religious groups on your Approaching Stanford Forms. (UPDATED)

Vaden Health Requirements & Forms Deadline August 7

Complete your required Entrance Health Requirements and Forms and upload/submit an official immunization record to Vaden Health Center. Email with questions. (UPDATED)

Review the 2020-21 Student Health Matters catalog.

Stanford Survey of New Students August 10 On August 10, check your email for your unique survey link and complete this important university survey by September 1. (UPDATED)
ExploreCourses 2020-21 August 17 You may begin to browse the 2020-21 course listings on ExploreCourses, the official listing of all courses offered for the academic year. (UPDATED)

First-Year Courses, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Email

August 19

Notification from VPUE of your required first-year courses (THINK, ESF, SLE, ITALIC), PWR1 quarter preference form, and featured courses (Introductory Seminars, Frosh 101). (UPDATED)

Stanford Required Online Education Courses Emails August 19 & 24

On August 19 & 24, check your email for notification about these required online courses and complete them by September 13, before the academic year begins. (UPDATED)

Academic Advisor Email

August 24

Introduction email from your Academic Advisor (Academic Advising Director or Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes). Schedule a summer small group advising appointment with your assigned Academic Advisor to have an initial advising conversation around academic interests, course selection, opportunities, and resources.  (UPDATED)

Browse the following academic resources and make a list of questions to share with your advisor:

First-Year Housing & Move-In Day Information Email

August 25


If you have been approved to live on campus for autumn, notification of your first-year housing assignment with information from Student Housing and Residential Education. Move-In for new students living in undergraduate housing will be on September 8 and 9 - you will be required to register for a move-in appointment. (UPDATED)

Autumn 2020 Course Enrollment Opens September 1

Enrollment Update: Enrollment for all students, including new frosh and transfers, will open September 1. This change has been made to allow courses with materials time to mail you kits, if needed - for example, courses in arts practice, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc. While you are encouraged to enroll early in courses that may need to mail you materials in advance, please remember that you are not required to finalize all your courses right away and can take time to talk with your advisor and review information. You will have to September 14 to register your preliminary study list in Axess, and to October 2 to adjust your course schedule and finalize your study list for Autumn Quarter. (UPDATED)

How to Enroll in Classes

New Student Orientation

September 9 - 13

NSO will take place from September 9-13, 2020. The NSO schedule and events are listed in the Approaching Stanford Canvas CourseFull participation in NSO is required for all new students. (UPDATED)

August 13 update: Due to current health conditions, we will not be able to invite first-year and new transfers to campus for the autumn quarter, as we had hoped. We will continue to offer on-campus housing for students approved to be in residence due to a special circumstance and who continue to wish to be on campus, despite the plan for mostly remote instruction. If public health conditions allow, we plan to invite frosh and new transfer students to campus for the winter quarter.

Preliminary Study List Deadline Monday, September 14 by 5:00 p.m.

Register your Autumn Quarter courses in Axess by the Preliminary Study List Deadline, 5:00 p.m. on September 14, the first day of of the quarter. (UPDATED)

You can make adjustments to your study list until the Final Study List Deadline on October 2.

Cardinal Care Health Insurance Acknowledgement Deadline September 15

Beginning September 1, acknowledge or waive enrollment in Cardinal Care Health Insurance online in Axess by September 15. (UPDATED)

International Students must also submit the International Student Coverage Certification Form by September 15 to waive Cardinal Care.

University Bill Payment Deadline October 15 Beginning September 18, view your first University bill online in Axess and pay your bill. Set up Direct Deposit and ePay in Axess. Your first University Bill is due October 15. (UPDATED)

International Students Only 

In addition to the above items, all international students (non-US citizens/permanent residents) must complete the following:

  • Initiating the Visa Document Process - You must complete the Initiate I-20 or DS-2019 Request form on Axess. Instructions for how to complete this form were sent to you by the Office of Undergraduate Admission upon your acceptance. You can also review Bechtel's form instruction guide. Email Bechtel International Center with any questions. 
  • Cardinal Care Health Insurance Acknowledgement/Waiver - Submit the International Student Insurance Coverage Certification Form by September 15 if you do not wish to enroll in Cardinal Care Health Insurance. If you are enrolled remotedly for Autumn 2020, you can waive Cardinal Care if you have home health insurance. For your first quarter on campus, you can elect to enroll in Cardinal Care or continue to waive it IF your insurance provides comparable care (see form). Once you enroll in Cardinal Care, you must be enrolled for the remainder of the year (to August 31). You cannot cancel Cardinal Care early. More information can be found in the 2020-21 Student Health Matters catalog.
  • International Student Orientation - Confirm you will attend International Student Orientation (September 1-4) on your Approaching Stanford Forms. ISO is required for all international students for whom Bechtel issues immigration documents. ISO is not intended for U.S. citizens living abroad, permanent residents, or students for whom Bechtel does not issue immigration documents. If you are a US citizen living abroad, you may submit a request to attend ISO on your Approaching Stanford Forms.

Additional To-Do Items

Complete the following items if applicable to you:

  • Review Placement Tests and Diagnostics for New Students.
  • Take an online Language Placement Test: June 1 - July 15. Students unable to complete the written portion by July 15 can continue to take the placement test between July 15-August. But please be sure to have signed up for an oral interview appointment by July 15.
  • ​Contact and register with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to request academic and/or housing accommodations for a documented disability or medical condition. Deadline to request a disability-related housing accommodation is June 26.
  • Enroll in the Installment Payment Plan in Axess by August 1 if you want to spread payment of large University fees over three monthly installments per quarter. To enroll, log in to Axess > click on "Student" > scroll down to the "Finances" section > select "Other Financial" on the drop-down menu > select "Enroll in Installment Payment Plan".
  • Report any outside scholarship awards to the Financial Aid Office in Axess.
  • Browse Introductory Seminars available in August and sign up for Autumn IntroSems by the late August deadline.
  • Take an online placement diagnostic for Physics (July-August, more info in summer).
  • Take an online placement test for Chemistry (August, more info in summer).
  • Take an online placement diagnostic for Math (August, more info in summer).
  • Contact the College Board and request to have your AP scores sent to Stanford. Please be sure the name and address submitted to the College Board matches your name and address on your Stanford record. If this information is not an exact match, there may be a delay in posting your scores to your Stanford transcript.
  • Contact the International Baccalaureate Organization and request to have your IB scores sent to Stanford.
  • Review Transfer Credit request guidelines and determine whether to submit a request for transfer credit to the Office of the University Registrar.
  • Register your bike online for free if you will have a bike on campus. Or consider renting a bike for the quarter from the Campus Bike Shop.
  • Tentative: Varsity student-athletes: RSVP to Stanford Athletics by early September to attend the New Student-Athlete & Family Welcome, which will be held during NSO.