The LSP Story

About the Leland Scholars Program

Leland Scholars participate in a four-week residential program in the summer prior to arrival on campus. This fully-funded program has a carefully crafted schedule of activities, coursework, seminars, and trips designed to facilitate the transition to Stanford. During the academic year, Leland Scholars will have access to additional advising and first-year seminars that sustain the community and reinforce the skills and strategies acquired during the program.

Who can apply

  • Any incoming Stanford student who will be enrolling in their first quarter in the Fall (including international students!)
  • First-generation and/or low-income students, and those from under-resourced high schools are encouraged to apply, however these are not requirements to participate in LSP
    • First-generation: a student whose parent/guardian has not attained a U.S. bachelor's degree 
    • Low-income: students eligible for full or substantial financial aid, as defined by Financial Aid Office
    • Under-resourced high school: schools with limited advanced currciular options (e.g. Advanced Placement, IB, etc)

How it works

  • Leland Scholars live on the Stanford campus during the summer and enroll in a three-credit LSP course that includes analytical writing, research, and either chemistry-based problem solving or mathematical mindset curriculum that will prepare them for the fall quarter—especially for the introductory science and writing courses first-year students typically register.
  • Hands-on, small group-oriented courses focus on enhancing students’ critical thinking and sharpening their problem-solving abilities.
  • Students also participate in a host of seminars, presentations, and activities that will introduce students to Stanford, acquaint them with faculty and peers, and familiarize them with campus resources and the larger San Francisco Bay Area.


In 2008, Stanford proposed the creation of a new summer transitional program for incoming freshmen, though due to economic challenges, the final implementation was delayed until 2011. The President’s Office approved funding for the Leland Scholars Program as an official Stanford Introductory Studies pilot initiative within the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.


LSP Founder/Director: Warren Chiang hired to create and implement LSP program. 

Warren Chiang, Associate Dean and Senior Director of First Year Programs

Learn more about Warren Chiang here



LSP I- inaugural LSP class in 2012; 33 students

LSP II- Second cohort enters in summer 2013; 40 students

LSP III- Third cohort enters in summer of 2014; 42 students

LSP IV- Fourth cohort enters in summer of 2015; 45 students. Lourdes Andrade assumes director position after Warren is promoted to Director of Residential Programs

LSP V - Fifth cohort enters in summer of 2016; 60 students

LSP VI- Sixth cohort begins with 60 students in summer 2017; additional 37 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (97 students)

LSP VII- Seventh cohort begins with 60 students in summer 2018; additional 42 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (102 students). Brandi Pretlow assumes director position after Lourdes joins School of Engineering as new Director of Diversity and Inclusion.