SoCo 2021 COVID FAQs

Is SoCo 2021 happening?

Yes, SoCo is happening! We are planning for a fully in-person Sophomore College. Should COVID surge instead of the current trajectory of decline, we will be prepared to pivot to virtual. It will run from Sunday, 29 August through Friday, 17 September, fitting exactly in the gap between summer quarter and autumn quarter. 

What classes will be offered?

We have 8 awesome classes for you. All classes will be on-campus due to COVID, but we are confident there will be the usual hands-on projects and field trips that make SoCo special, as well as residential community by living with classmates (and making friends). 

Who is eligible?

Great question. 2021 is different from the usual rules.

  • All current frosh and current sophomores are welcome to apply to all classes, but faculty will give preference to current frosh. (This is a one-year only change to eligibility in recognition of the cancellation of SoCo 2020.) Students in the Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 are both eligible. We will measure students by their cohort year, same as ResEd will for housing, so a leave quarter here or there should not make a difference.
  • New (2021 only): transfers at the end of their first year at Stanford are eligible and welcome to apply as well.
  • SoCo Students must be either enrolled in the summer quarter or on Flex Term in summer. UPDATE 5/25/2021: We have confirmed that SoCo and AI students will be able to enroll in 5 summer units AND take 2 units of SoCo or AI in addition, as our request to treat SoCo and AI separately from the main summer quarter was approved.
  • SoCo students cannot be on Leave of Absence in the summer because SoCo is officially part of summer quarter; the classes carry 2 summer units and students on LOA cannot enroll in units. (Students who have been on LOA all year should be able to work with their AAD to return early and be activated for summer quarter.)
  • All SoCo students must plan to be enrolled and resident on-campus in the Autumn following SoCo

When are applications due?

SoCo applications will be due by May 17. We will release results on 4 June and ask you to confirm participation by June 7. 

What about COVID?

We are confident that even with taking COVID precautions, we can achieve the residential community, hands-on learning, and experiential field trips that are a key part of SoCo. Sophomore College will follow the university regulations to ensure COVID-safe practices and interaction. As enrolled students at Stanford, SoCo participants will engage in the same masking and distancing expectations, same testing regime, same commitment to safe behavior, same contact tracing expectations, as set forth by VPSA in their guidance to on-campus students. As these change for September, Sophomore College will similarly adjust. We are investigating whether the provost’s recent decision to require vaccination applies to SoCo, which sits between summer and autumn quarters. SoCo will also require the usual SoCo Commitment--in brief: substance-free, no job or travel during the program, no conflicting commitments (except religious holidays).

Is cancellation a possibility?

In the time of COVID, cancellation is always a possibility. If we are not confident that we can host a fully in-person SoCo with community interaction and out-of the classroom field trips, we will pivot to virtual SoCo during the summer. Some classes would convert to virtual, and some would be cancelled entirely. Each course description has a note about what will happen. The SoCo program fee will only be charged to defray costs of room & board on campus, so students will receive a full refund of the program fee if the courses are cancelled or converted to virtual.

  • Travel regulations will be the most important item. If students must quarantine in isolation for 10 days after arriving on-campus, we will lose most of the value of Sophomore College. We are optimistic that this regulation will be adapted early enough in the summer for us to feel confident about September well in advance. 


We are getting a lot of questions about Housing. If doing SoCo, we handle housing for the three weeks of the program, so students do not need do anything extra or apply for housing. You live in program housing for two weeks and we work with RD&E to enable you to move into your autumn housing for the third week (pack light, you have to carry everything yourself). Students on campus already will need to move into program housing, and we can typically work with RD&E to make sure there is no gap.

Housing is included in the program fee, there is no additional cost. See more about Living on Campus in September.

What if I want to be a Sophomore College Assistant?

Wonderful! You can see all the information about what that means here. We have just opened applications, they will be due on Wednesday, May 19Feel free to put your name on the Interest Form so we can send you a deadline reminder. Some key notes particular to this year:

  • Rising juniors and transfers are welcome to apply as both staff and students, and see what happens. 
  • If we have to pivot to virtual, SCAs will be expected to work virtually if the class is offered.
  • SCAs will be expected to model and guide others in COVID-safe behavior, with the support of the program staff. This is clearly a moving target; we'll work closely with ResEd and make sure that expectations are clear by the time the program begins.

More Questions?

Please email As it seems warranted, we will update this page.