NSO Events for Parents & Families

*2020 New Student Orientation content will be updated in the spring/summer. You may review 2019 content on this page.*


New Student Orientation (NSO) runs from Wednesday, September 18 through Sunday, September 22, 2019 and is required for all new students. We expect your student to participate fully in NSO activities which will take place from morning to evening each day.

We invite parents and families to join us on the first day of NSO - we know that this day marks an important and exciting transition in your student’s life and in your life as well! The events we schedule for parents and families are intended to provide an appreciation for the University’s challenging intellectual life, resources, rich community, and lasting traditions. We hope that you will ask questions, meet new families and friends, and enjoy your day on campus.

Please note that your student will be engaged in NSO programs for the remainder of the week. While you are welcome to continue your visit on our campus, you should not make plans to meet with your student during NSO week or to take them off campus.

Click here for the 2019 Stanford NSO Parents & Families Program booklet.

NSO EVENTS FOR PARENTS & FAMILIES: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Orientation events for parents and families will take place on the first day of NSO, September 18, 2019, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. 


Begin your day at the residences where new students check in for NSO and move in. Printed NSO Parent & Family Calendars will be distributed. After unloading, move your car to free all-day parking at the Galvez Parking Lot, which is near the venue for the Dinner with the Provost, and ride the free Marguerite Shuttle back to the residences.

Family Welcome Center

During the day, parents and family members can visit the Family Welcome Center on the Stanford Bookstore patio to meet one another and have questions answered by representatives from campus departments and programs. Come pick up your free "Stanford Parent" pin.


Lunch in the residence dining halls is complimentary on this day for parents and families accompanying their new student.

Parent-to-Parent Advice for Frosh Parents

1:00 - 2:15 p.m., Campbell Recital Hall in Braun Music Center. With Academic Advising, Dr. Denise Pope, and members of the Stanford Parents' Club.

Community Welcome Programs

In the afternoon, we invite you attend community welcome programs to learn more about the University and meet faculty and staff:

Asian American Community Welcome: Asian American Activities Center

Black Community Welcome: Black Community Services Center

"No Es Un Adiόs" Parent Panel: El Centro Chicano y Latino

Chicanx/Latinx New Student & Family Welcome: Old Union Courtyard

Diversity and First-Gen Welcome Lunch for Students & Families: Tresidder Oak Lounge

Jewish Community Welcome: Hillel Center

The Markaz Resouce Center Welcome

Native American Cultural Center Welcome

Queer Community Welcome: QSPOT, Firetruck House 2nd Floor

Office for Religious Life Welcome: CIRCLE, Old Union 3rd Floor

Women's Community Center Welcome

Should you wish to visit academic departments or offices on campus, they are generally open 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Opening Convocation

In the late afternoon, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will host the 129th Opening Convocation in the Main Quad Courtyard at 4:00 p.m., a ceremony that students and their families will not want to miss. Dress casually and bring a hat, as it may be sunny. Convocation will be broadcast live on Stanford University's FM radio station, KZSU 90.1 FM.


Residence Welcomes

Following Convocation, meet your student's residential staff, housemates, and their families. This is the traditional time for you to say goodbye to your student.

Dinner with the Provost

End your day at the Dinner with the Provost for dinner, entertainment, and conversation with other parents and families. You are encouraged to walk from the residences to the Dinner at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation.

Family members on West Campus may consider taking the NSO Shuttle which will make a final loop from the Galvez Parking Lot to all of the residences at 7:00 p.m. - seats will be very limited on this final shuttle. You may also prefer to park in a nearby parking lot for the day, such as the Roble Field Garage, and then drive to the dinner venue and park at the Galvez Parking Lot.

Dinner with the Provost: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Parents and families of new undergraduate students are invited to join Provost Persis Drell, Stanford's chief academic officer, for a casual dinner, dessert, entertainment, and conversation with other parents and families from 6:45 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation. The Provost will give the dinner address and Stanford Parents' Club hosts will be on hand to welcome you and answer questions. Note: Your student will be having dinner in the residence and cannot attend this event.

Tickets are $18 per guest. Limited financial assistance is available  please contact approaching@stanford.edu by August 16. Please include the name of your student in your inquiry.

Online ticket sales are now closed as of August 16, 2019. We have plenty of tickets remaining. Please purchase your tickets in-person on Wednesday, September 18 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Stanford Ticket Office (Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd floor), and from 5:45 - 7:00 p.m. outside the dinner venue (ACSR).

Getting Around Campus

On August 30, all new students weree sent the Move-In Day Approaching Stanford Newsletter by email with information about traveling to Stanford and parking on campus, as well as links to a printable map and parking pass. Click here for the 2019 Stanford Move-In Day Information Packet.

Free Campus Parking & Shuttles on Move-In Day

After unloading at the residences, parents/families should move their cars to the Galvez Parking Lot for free all-day parking. Free NSO Marguerite shuttles will return you to the residences and will run approximately every 15-30 minutes throughout the day (click here for the NSO Shuttle Map). The NSO Shuttle will make a final loop from the Galvez Parking Lot to all of the residences at 7:00 p.m. You may also park in any campus parking lot with the NSO Arrival Day Parking Pass on this day only.

Note: First-Year Students are not allowed to bring cars to campus for their first year. For more information, see Parking and Transportation's Frosh Parking Policy. New Transfer Students may bring cars to campus and purchase a parking permit for the year.

Accessibilty & Disability-Related Accommodation Requests

NSO volunteers will be available from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, to provide limited golf cart transportation for people who may require additional assistance traveling between major NSO events, including Opening Convocation and the Dinner with the Provost. To request assistance, please call (650) 723-7674 on September 18 at least 30 minutes prior to an event.

All locations are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted on the map in the printed Parent & Family Calendar. For disability-related accommodation requests or wheelchair access information during NSO for students and family members, please contact the Diversity and Access Office:

Diversity & Access Office
(650) 725-0326

Planning Your Visit

For families accompanying their student to NSO, information about traveling to Stanford and a local lodging guide is available on our Visitor Information website. You may wish to stay in a local hotel the night before Move-In Day. Please note that your student will be busy participating in New Student Orientation programs beginning with dinner on Move-In Day. While you are welcome to continue your visit on our campus, you should not make plans to meet with your student during NSO week.

Approaching Stanford Parent and Guardian Newsletter

Monthly newsletters will be sent this summer to the parents/guardians of incoming frosh and new transfers during the summer (as identified by students in their Approaching Stanford Forms). These newsletters will contain helpful information and resources for our families. Visit the Approaching Stanford for Parents and Guardians page to view this information.

Contact Us

Approaching Stanford/NSO Team
(650) 723-7674