PWR Online 2020-21

Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and the risks the spread poses to the Stanford community, PWR classes will be offered exclusively online for the 2020-21 academic year.  Whether you’re on campus or off, you’ll be taking PWR in an online format.  Read on to learn how this affects the PWR selection and enrollment process.

Your Quarter Preferences

Since you’ll be taking PWR online, you can take PWR any quarter that you’re taking classes (as long as there is room in that quarter), whether you’re on campus or not. However, given that classes are being offered over all four quarters, we realize that you may want to change either the quarter preferences that you submitted through Approaching Stanford (first-year students) or your assigned PWR 2 quarter (second-year students).

First-Year Students: On Tuesday, August 11 all students assigned to take PWR 1 in the upcoming academic year will receive a new Quarter Preference form, asking them to rank their preferences for their PWR quarter. While we cannot guarantee that all will receive their first choice, we will make sure that you’re assigned your PWR during a quarter when you’re taking classes.  The deadline for submitting the new quarter preferences will be Wednesday, August 19; we hope to notify all students of their quarter assignment on Friday, August 21.

Second-Year Students: Go to to confirm the quarter in which you’re assigned to take PWR 2.  If you have a significant scheduling conflict with that quarter, you can petition to change your quarter through that link. Be sure to provide a detailed explanation of why you need this change.  We will do our best to accommodate your request. Please note that the primary reason we would be unable to accommodate a request would be lack of room in a given quarter. 


Your section preferences

We’ve adjusted our section preference cycle for fall quarter PWR 1 and PWR 2 to accommodate the Registrar’s new schedule.  Below are the new relevant dates for fall students to submit their section preferences:

  • Monday, August 17: PWR catalog of fall PWR 1 and PWR 2 courses goes live at
  • Wednesday, August 26: Fall PWR 1 and PWR 2 students receive an email from inviting them to rank their top seven preferences from among the PWR sections
  • Thursday, September 3, 5:00 PM PDT: Deadline for submitting preferences for fall PWR 1 and PWR 2 closes
  • Friday, September 4: Fall PWR 1 and PWR 2 students receive an email from with their section assignments


For Further Information

Want to learn more about the PWR online experience? Read the recent Stanford Report article that spotlights four of our PWR lecturers and their work with their students in Spring 2020. 

For more enrollment information, see Enrollment Dates and Deadlines page, View or Petition to Change Quarter, Submit PWR Section Preferences.

If you have further questions, please reach out to us at