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Sophomore College 2004

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From the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

To the Class of 2007:

In 2004 Sophomore College celebrates its 10th year. Since 1995, the program has offered sophomores the opportunity to study intensively in small groups with Stanford faculty for several weeks before the beginning of fall quarter. More than 50 faculty and over 2,000 students have participated in the program over the past decade. Many Sophomore College alumni continue to sustain the rich relationships formed with faculty and with peers in their courses. They find that the critical habits of mind taught in the seminars, the exposure to a field of interest and to Stanford’s resources, and the intellectual friendships they make in the program support them in becoming more engaged and entrepreneurial learners through the rest of their careers at Stanford and beyond.

Sophomore College is a chance to immerse yourself in your subject and collaborate with your peers, upperclass Sophomore College Assistants, and faculty in constructing a community of scholars. We also encourage you to explore the full range of Stanford’s academic resources in workshops and individually. At its best, Sophomore College is characterized by an atmosphere of intense academic exploration. Having directed the program for the past five years, I can attest to the strong relationships formed in these classes, the high level of dedication that faculty expect and that students bring to the work, and the impressive academic achievements that arise from this partnership.
If you seek this kind of intellectual immersion, I encourage you to consider which of the courses described in this catalogue you would like to explore and to which you could contribute the best of your enthusiasm and experience.


Sharon Palmer
Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Director of Freshman and Sophomore Programs


How Will Sophomore College Work?

Each Sophomore College course enrolls 12 to 14 students, who receive two units of credit for the academic work done in the course. In addition to faculty instructors, two upperclass Sophomore College Assistants in each class work with the faculty and serve as peer advisors to the participants. (In some cases, one Sophomore College Assistant may be a graduate student.) Students and staff live together in a Stanford residence and participate in morning classes, required field trips, and other course activities. Students will also attend workshops given by a number of University offices (e.g., Undergraduate Research Programs). Faculty may schedule special events such as field trips or film screenings, which students are required to attend, in the evenings and on weekends. Some courses will focus on developing speaking, writing, and other presentation skills. All courses will engage students in the materials and methods of inquiry of a particular academic field.

Who Are the Participating Faculty? What Classes Will Be Offered?

View list of participating faculty and their course descriptions at

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What are the dates for Sophomore College?

Participating students must arrive back on campus between noon and 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7, 2004. An opening convocation will be held that evening, and classes will start the next day. Sophomore College will remain in session until Wednesday, September 22. Students are required to attend additional class events scheduled after this date such as class presentations or field trips on September 23–24.

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What Will Sophomore College Cost?

  • Tuition, room, books, and class-required travel are covered by Sophomore College. Each student will pay a $500 fee toward the cost of board; this fee will be included in the autumn quarter University bill. Students are also responsible for travel to campus (or off-campus site for Shakespeare seminar), phone, network activation one-time fee, and other personal expenses.
  • Financial aid is available to help defray the $500 fee; students should indicate interest in aid on the application form. The Financial Aid Office will determine the eligibility for any assistance. Financial need will have no bearing on course applications. As part of the student application process, students have the option to complete a Sophomore College Financial Aid Application to request consideration for financial aid. This must be submitted via the Sophomore College website by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2004. The Financial Aid Office will determine the eligibility for any assistance.
  • The Financial Aid office hopes to make decisions regarding the $500 fee by May 20th. Even if you have not yet heard about aid, you should go ahead and submit the on-line commitment form by Tuesday, May 18th at 5 pm. If you do not receive aid and therefore decide not to participate, you may still withdraw without penalty by June 1st.
  • Seminar instructors will not see your financial aid request, therefore, you can be assured that none of this information will be used in reviewing applications.
  • For students on financial aid, the Financial Aid Office has also agreed to replace the portion of expected earnings lost due to participation in Sophomore College with either grants or loans depending on the family financial situation. If you are accepted to a class, contact the Financial Aid Office at when you return to campus in the fall. They will work with you to determine how loans or grants from them may be used to offset your lost earnings.

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Will I Get Credit for Attending Sophomore College?

Yes. Students who attend sophomore college will enroll in 2 units of credit for academic work in the course. Students will automatically be enrolled in their sophomore college course, with the enrollment transaction taking place as a batch process in mid-November so as not to affect the 20-unit limit for autumn quarter registration. There is no action required on a student's part.

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What are the Eligibility Requirements for Sophomore College?

Eligible students will have been enrolled for no more than three academic quarters; be sophomores in the fall of 2004; be in good academic standing; and have completed at least 36 units of academic work by the end of spring quarter. Students must also have an on-campus housing assignment for 2004–2005. Transfer students are not eligible. Admitted students who are found to have academic standing problems after the completion of spring quarter may have their admission revoked.

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As a Sophomore College participant, what are my obligations and commitments to the program?

  • Students are expected to be fully committed to Sophomore College. This means attending all class sessions, class field trips, and mandatory college-wide activities. Sophomore College participants should not plan to work a full- or part-time job or travel outside of required class activities during the program. Because of conflicts with required training schedules, RA, HPAC, and RCC roles all preclude participation in Sophomore College, and participants may not serve as Peer Advising Associates or Orientation Volunteers.
  • All absences from Sophomore College, including weekends, must be approved by the faculty instructor. Students cannot be absent for more than two days between September 7 and 24 and may not arrive late to the program if it will cause them to miss a class meeting.
  • As during the regular academic year, student conduct is guided by the Fundamental Standard. 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.
  • Students who commit to attend and then withdraw will be charged a $500 drop fee.

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How Can I Apply?

(Note: There can be up to three parts of the application process.)

  • Student applications for each course are reviewed and selected by the faculty instructors. Faculty look for a variety of backgrounds; therefore, students should provide thoughtful, thorough answers to the questions on the application. Applications must be submitted via the web at by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2004. (A sample application form is included in this brochure.) You may apply to up to three classes, but a separate application is required for each.
  • Academic Advisor Form. Students must also meet with their academic advisor or other appropriate recommender to discuss their application to the program. Advisors will then be asked to fill out a brief web form to accompany the student application(s). This form is due on April 26.
  • Sophomore College Financial Aid Application. Financial aid is available to help defray the $500 fee. As part of the student application process, students have the option to complete a Sophomore College Financial Aid Application to request consideration for financial aid. This must be submitted via the Sophomore College website by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2003. The Financial Aid Office will then determine the eligibility for any assistance.

Application Status. Students may view their application status on the web on approximately May 12, 2004. Those selected to participate will be asked to sign a registration commitment form by May 18, 2004.

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What is the difference between the Sophomore College and the Freshman-Sophomore College at Sterling Quad?

Sophomore College takes place for 2-1/2 weeks prior to the start of fall quarter, and enrolls incoming sophomores in a special seminar-style class. Freshman/Sophomore College is an academic year residence for both freshman and sophomores, and has no required class component. Please click on this FroSoCo website for more information.

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For more information, contact
Freshman and Sophomore Programs Office
Fourth Floor, Sweet Hall
590 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3091


Phone: 723-4338
Fax: 736-2797

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2003 Freshman and Sophomore Programs/This page last updated on 03/30/2004 11:20 . Please contact or for assistance with this page.