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Grad Updates will sunset on June 13

The Grad Updates site will sunset on June 13. We encourage you to visit and change your bookmark to the COVID-19 Guidance for Students page from Student Affairs.

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Welcome to Stanford!

A note to incoming graduate students from Vice Provosts Stacey F. Bent and Susie Brubaker-Cole.

Check out Grad Updates -- -- a new website aggregating important information for the 2020-21 academic year.

Dear Student,

Congratulations and welcome to graduate studies at Stanford! We’re so glad you’ve chosen Stanford to pursue your graduate or professional degree, and are eager to support you on this part of your journey.

We recognize that this is a very challenging time to begin graduate school. Yet it is also a time when the world urgently needs people with your aspirations and dedication. You are part of a cohort of 2,400 new graduate and professional degree students, joining a vibrant and diverse community of over 9,400 students across all seven Schools at Stanford.

Our offices are dedicated to your success and flourishing during your studies, in close collaboration with your school, department, and program:

University Response to the Pandemic

To meet the particular challenges posed by the pandemic, we and other Stanford leaders are making plans with the guidance of health experts on our faculty and in coordination with state and local health officials. At the forefront of our decision-making are the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and our local communities. Current university health and safety guidelines can be found on Health Alerts. We launched a new website last week, Grad Updates to aggregate academic, health, and campus safety information specifically for graduate students. Please bookmark and check this site frequently.

We also ask you to read carefully the messages you receive from your school, department, or program, as they will provide details about start dates; course schedules and instruction mode; expectations about orientation and advising; and other information specific to your degree. Please also carefully follow the campus arrival information you receive from your program. Campus arrival procedures must be adjusted in response to public health guidelines and may vary depending on when you arrive (graduate and professional programs start at different times).

If you are living in on or off campus subsidized housing, you may also have heard from Residential & Dining Enterprises with your housing assignment and move-in information (see Housing FAQs), Please send your questions directly to Housing via a Service Now ticket.

Vaden Health Services provides health and wellness services to Stanford students. All new graduate students, regardless of where you will be studying, must complete the university’s entrance health requirements by August 15. Please submit questions not answered by Vaden’s FAQs to

Arriving on Campus

In order to keep all members of the Stanford and surrounding community safe and healthy, the university is closely following public health guidelines, which are updated frequently in response to the pandemic.

If you are living in on or off campus subsidized housing, you will be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 on day 0-2 and day 5-7 of your arrival (MD and MSPA students arriving this week will follow a different protocol, as communicated by the School of Medicine last week). More details will be provided in a separate message. 

All students who will be coming onto the Stanford campus will be required to sign a compact confirming that they will abide by the health and safety standards of the university. More information on this campus compact will be available soon. 

Immigration & Visa Issues

We know many of you are deeply affected by uncertainties about obtaining visas and traveling to the US due to the pandemic. The Bechtel International Center is providing Town Halls, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and individual appointments with students to resolve issues as soon as possible. You can also find the latest university communications on the Immigration Issues and Resources webpage.

Grad Connect Virtual Orientation

Many of you have been invited to Grad Connect, a self-paced, virtual orientation on Canvas, Stanford’s learning management system (some Business, Medicine, and Law programs have their own virtual orientation). Grad Connect includes the New Graduate Student Orientation schedule (see below) and a checklist for you to complete on your own time before enrolling in classes. (if you did not receive an invitation, you can self-enroll here via your SuNet ID.)

New Graduate Student Orientation (NGSO 2020)

The Graduate Life Office will host virtual NGSO events between August 31 and September 11; NGSO events are open to any new graduate student and complement orientations offered by your school, department, or program. NGSO provides programs to ease the transition to Stanford and inform students about campus life and supportive resources. A schedule of events will be available here and in Grad Connect on August 7th. We hope you can join us for the President’s and Vice Provost’s Welcome for New Graduate Students on Thursday, September 10. Please continue to check the schedule as more events will be added. 

Looking Ahead

Together with university leaders, faculty and staff in your schools, departments, and programs, we are thrilled to welcome you to graduate and professional studies at Stanford. We are here to support you and enrich your time at Stanford, and look forward to meeting you soon.

Finally, we welcome your comments and questions here. Your feedback will help us keep Grad Updates current and communicate better with all students.

With best wishes for a healthy summer,

Stacey F. Bent
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs
Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering

Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs