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Eligibility and Commitment

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Eligible students typically apply as frosh or first-year transfers and will be enrolled sophomores or second-year transfers in the autumn quarter immediately following Sophomore College. They will also meet the following requirements:

  • SoCo enrollment sits in summer quarter. Thus, you must not be on leave or otherwise inactive the summer before SoCo. You must be eligible to enroll in summer quarter. NOTE: As SoCo is a special program, SoCo enrollment in summer does NOT count as a quarter of aid or a quarter of housing; it will not impact the usual arrangements.
  • You must enroll in autumn quarter after SoCo; and either have an on-campus housing assignment for the fall or accept responsibility for making your own living arrangements for the second half of SoCo. (Students will move from program housing to their academic year housing in the middle of Sophomore College and must have local housing to go to; staying with a friend on campus is no longer permitted.)
  • Have completed the 3-quarter freshman year residency requirement before participating (including being enrolled in spring quarter), or be a first-year transfer who will begin their second year at Stanford in the fall.
  • Current frosh and first-year transfers who are on probation or provisional registration are fully eligible for SoCo, as long as you plan to enroll the next autumn and are not actually suspended.

Standard eligibility exceptions for less common situations:

If you are in one of the situations below, please go right ahead and apply! If you are not certain whether you are eligible, just email to inquire. 

  • If you took a leave before finishing all 3 quarters of your first year you are not immediately eligible for SoCo, but you are welcome to apply to participate the next year (even though you may have completed up to 5 quarters at that time)
  • Students who are spending time away from Stanford between their first and second years are welcome to participate in Sophomore College at the beginning of their second year, even if they are not enrolled in classes at the time of application. If on active leave of absence, students may apply as usual in early April; students whose SUNet is on hiatus may need to work with the program to submit an application in early April. Students may need to complete Returning to Stanford paperwork in order to enroll in summer quarter—your Undergraduate Advising Director can help you determine whether this is necessary and guide you through the process.

Faculty assemble a class based on student responses to the application questions, not transcripts, recommendations, or resumes. To ensure that Sophomore College constitutes a strong community, and to ensure that the program is prepared to support the success of each individual student, the following offices may be consulted:

  • Dean of Students (Office of Residential Education and Office of Community Standards)
  • Office of Accessible Education
  • Office of Academic Advising
  • Office of Alcohol Policy and Education
  • Title IX
  • Vaden Health Center/Counseling and Psychological Services

Note: Vaden will not share confidential health information with the program, but may identify a concern with an applicant's readiness to participate, to be further addressed directly with the applicant.

Sophomore College reserves the right to revoke admission at any point prior to the program should there be any changes to a student's qualifications, standing at the University, and readiness to participate in the program. Sophomore College will notify the student should there be any concerns, or if the student is no longer eligible to participate in the program.

Student Commitment

After acceptance, you commit to fully participate. SoCo is an immersive commitment—our tagline is more than a class because it isn’t like a regular class during the academic year. While classes meet for at least two hours each weekday, many faculty add additional class meetings, and class events may happen at any time, including evenings and weekends.

What does this mean?

  • Attend a mandatory meeting in the spring with the instructor to receive course materials and hear expectations for summer reading assignments and possible written or on-line discussion assignments.
  • Arrive on campus (or at your seminar location) during scheduled check-in times.
  • Attend all class sessions, class field trips, and mandatory college-wide activities. Please note that one of the advantages of an immersive experience is that faculty can adapt based on student interests or unexpected opportunities—class activities are likely to be added at short notice even if they were not on the syllabus on the first day, and these will be still be mandatory for you to attend.
  • Hold no job, full or part-time, and not travel outside of required class activities during the program. You cannot be an RA. You cannot hold any positions related to New Student Orientation, unless work begins after the last day of Sophomore College.
  • Obtain instructor and program approval for any absence from the program, including weekends.
  • Follow the Fundamental Standard and Honor Code.

For full details, read the Commitment Form linked from the application instructions. Admission to the program may be revoked at any point if a student is found to be ineligible or in violation of the Fundamental Standard or Honor Code.

Religious Holidays

You should check with your course faculty and the program director Dayo Mitchell regarding any religious holiday observances that will occur during the program in order to work through any conflicts with travel or other class activities. If you observe religious holidays, you should communicate with faculty about your availability for classes, program events, and travel prior to confirming acceptance for participating.