What is SoCo?

Sophomore College (SoCo) is an immersive learning experience. Class meetings are held every morning, and most afternoons include class activities, explorations of Stanford or field trips, with evenings and weekends often filled with movies and informal dorm events.  Special events punctuate the three weeks in September, with an Opening Dinner, SoCo Picnic, and Symposium, plus a Faculty Panel sharing "When I Was a Sophomore..."

Courses & Information Sessions for 2020

Check out the 2020 course list and come to an information session (RSVP 24 hours in advance to make sure there's enough food):

  • Wednesday, February 12: FLI Office, 5pm-6pm. RSVP online.
  • Wednesday, March 4: Roble Hall Theater, Lunchtime.
  • Wednesday, March 4: Wilbur--Cedro Lounge, 4:30pm-5:30pm
  • Thursday, March 5: Stern--TBD, 4:15pm-5:15pm
  • Friday, March 6: FloMo Main Lounge, 12noon-1pm. RSVP between 3/2 and 3/5.

Fast Facts for 2020

Considering SoCo? Choose up to 3 classes, or add more in second-round applications. Don't limit yourself--faculty want to mix potential majors with novices excited about exploring a new field.

SoCo is a commitment. Creating experiential learning means faculty need the freedom to use evenings and weekends, sometimes at short notice. Learn more about who is eligible and the commitment Sophomore College will require

Apply by Tuesday, April 7 (deadline 11:59pm). Want some tips on the application process? Learn the results by Friday, May 1, and commit or decline by Tuesday, May 5. Enroll in mid-May for 2 units of credit. More information if you are accepted.

The all-inclusive program fee is $750, which covers housing, dining, books, and trips and excursions that are part of the course. All classes are heavily subsidized for all students and over one-third of participants receive assistance with the program fee, based on need. No application required--we review all applicants automatically with Financial Aid.

Arrive on campus or at the seminar's point of origin by Sunday 30 August, and take classes from Monday 31 August through Friday 18 September (with some travel courses continuing into the weekend). Want a peek inside the classes? Check out the September Calendar and photos from some of the SoCo class activities, or our Instagram feed.

The class is a community. Each class has 10-15 students, plus two SCAs who often become your mentors. Students live in Wilbur or Stern Hall, usually in doubles with a classmate. Classes eat together in Arrillaga Dining, sometimes with your faculty. More information about living on campus in September.

After SoCo, friendships remain. Classes often hold reunions (funded by SoCo) and students may choose to continue working with their SoCo faculty on related projects.

What Students Say about Sophomore College

Carta has comments for the 2018 and 2019 Sophomore College courses, many of which return, or which may give you a sense of the overall experience. Click here to see SoCo in Carta.

explore new ways of thinking
“My SoCo experience introduced me to a different intellectual community than my own. I am not a premed and almost everyone in my class was, but I loved being exposed to this way of thinking and solving problems.”

Connect with Faculty and Like-Minded Peers
"My Sophomore College was an incredible way to explore a field I was interested in. It was a way to engage with a faculty member who is an absolute expert and I felt that all of my peers were as fascinated and engaged in the subject as I was."

“After not exploring my major interest as a freshman, connecting with a group of people who share my passion was fantastic. Not only was I reminded of why I'm pursuing what I'm pursuing, but now I know people who will be in many of my classes for the next three years.”

Integrate Academic and Social Connections
“Living with my classmates was also a huge part of the experience, because our conversations about the class topics carried on into our mealtime conversations, and we could discuss the assignments together as we were doing them.”

Explore a Single Topic in-depth
“It was incredible to really go in-depth in the field that I am interested in.  Talking with other interested students, faculty, and professionals reaffirmed my passion for the subject. This has been one of my favorite experiences at Stanford.”

"It's intense, it's immersive, and it's intellectual. If you're prepared for the intensity, absolutely go for it."

apply classroom concepts to the world outside of stanford
"For me the most amazing part of SoCo was seeing course concepts applied to a real world context."

Network and Develop Research Projects
"My professor referred  me to another student that is doing research in what I am interested in. We have connected and are developing a research project. It is fantastic!"

Discover an Intellectual Community
“My SoCo was like one long phenomenal conversation. Because we lived together, our discussions didn’t stop when class stopped but continued throughout the day. I felt that I was truly a part of an intellectual community at Stanford.”

"Each day after class we would continue the discussion from class into lunch and other events throughout the day. We continued to engage in the intellectual aspects of SoCo even outside the classroom.  We joked that it was a bit of a boot camp, but we all still loved the intensity of the course."