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This archived information is dated to the 2010-11 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Introductory Seminars

Participating Faculty: Over 200 faculty from more than 60 departments teach an SIS Introductory Seminar. See faculty listings in each department's section of this bulletin for pertinent information.

Offices: Sweet Hall, Third Floor

Mail Code: 3069

Phone: (650) 724-2405


Web Site:

Introductory Seminars provide opportunities for first- and second-year students to work closely with faculty in an intimate and focused setting. These courses aim to intensify the intellectual experience of the freshman and sophomore years by allowing students to work with faculty members in a small group setting; introducing students to the variety and richness of academic topics, methods, and issues which lie at the core of particular disciplines; and fostering a spirit of mentorship between faculty and students. Over 200 faculty from more than 60 departments take part in the program. The courses provide department credit and most count towards an eventual major as well as fulfill General Education Requirements (GERs).

Some faculty who have taught Freshman Seminars volunteer to continue working with their students through a formal advising relationship during the students' sophomore year.

Freshman Seminars and Sophomore Seminars and Dialogues are offered in many disciplines throughout the academic year. Freshman preference seminars are typically given for 3-4 units to a maximum of 16 students, and generally meet twice weekly. Although preference for enrollment is given to freshmen, sophomores and first-year transfer students may participate on a space-available basis and with the consent of the instructor. Sophomore preference seminars and dialogues give preference to sophomores and first-year transfer students, but freshmen may participate on a space-available basis and with the consent of the instructor. Sophomore preference seminars are given for 3-5 units to a maximum of 14 students, while sophomore preference dialogues take the form of a directed reading, and are given for 1-2 units to a maximum of 5 students.

For a list of introductory seminars offered in 2010-11, as well as information for applying, see the Introductory Seminars online catalog.

All seminars require a brief application. See Explore Courses, the Stanford Introductory Seminars Course Catalogue published each August, or the course webpage Due dates for 2010-11 applications for both freshman and sophomore preference courses are at 5pm on the following dates: Autumn Quarter - September 6, 2010; Winter Quarter - November 29, 2010; Spring Quarter - February 28, 2011.

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