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Winter 2021 FAQs for undergraduate students

View key dates and summary information for all students here

Who is permitted on campus

Can I come to campus if I live off campus? 

Undergraduate students must live on campus in student housing in order to attend on-campus classes or participate in any on-campus activities. In accordance with county guidelines, student athletes approved for contact activities but living off campus may participate in on-campus activities in the Athletics Zone and may access dining at a designated location in the Campus Zone. 


COVID testing

What are the post-arrival COVID testing and quarantine requirements?

You will be required  to get tested twice, within a day or two of your arrival and approximately five days later. While you are waiting for both of your test results, you should restrict your exposure to others and engage in essential activities only. Winter break COVID testing and travel guidance for students living on campus this fall is posted here.

When and how do I register for COVID testing on campus?

New arrivals will receive an email from Vaden Health Services when it’s time to register. Students living on campus this fall will not need to re-register. Current information is posted here.

What happens if I test positive upon arrival?
Students who are ill with COVID-19 will be housed in an isolated location on campus, meals will be delivered, and Vaden will provide medical care management.

Housing assignment and move-in dates

When will housing assignments be available?

R&DE Student Housing Assignments is currently processing winter quarter housing assignments and anticipates notifying students of their assignments in mid to late November. Students with registered disabilities who need assistance with housing assignments should contact the Office of Accessible Education.

When will students move in?

We expect student staff to move in beginning Jan. 2 and all other undergraduates to move in throughout the week of Jan. 4. Move-in will be staggered to ensure adequate social distancing. Students will be required to sign up for a specific move-in date and time. More information about this process is forthcoming.

Will students be sharing rooms?

In order to support physical distancing, our undergraduate housing will provide each student a private sleeping space in a single room, a two-room double, or an apartment-style unit.


Moving in

Can families help students move in? If not, are there exceptions?

We know families look forward to helping their students move in, and we deeply regret that this will not be possible this quarter as a health safeguard. We ask undergrads to pack lightly (two suitcases and a backpack) and not be accompanied by others into our residences and dining facilities. Families in vehicles will be allowed at drop-off sites. Exceptions will be made for students with registered accommodations. Details are coming soon.

Who will help students get their belongings from the curb to their rooms? 

Professional and student residence hall staff will be on hand to help, but you should only bring what you can carry yourself. EVGR-A has elevators. Dollies and carts will be available to check out. Again, we urge packing light, up to two suitcases and a backpack.

What should students bring? 

Again, we recommend packing light. Up to two suitcases and a backpack will make it easier to move in and move out at the end of the quarter for most frosh, sophomores and first-year transfers, or the end of the academic year for students with special circumstances. Mini-refrigerators will be provided by Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE). Skip the large furniture.

Will there be anything special for frosh?

Expect class t-shirts, lanyards, pins, lookbooks and our annual class-wide Frosh Winter Warm-Up on Jan. 15. This will be a virtual event so everyone can attend, co-hosted by the Approaching Stanford team and the BEAM Stanford Career Education office. More information is coming soon.

Will the university provide face coverings and cleaning supplies?

Starter kits will be available at no cost to all students, and will contain face coverings, hand sanitizer, wipes and more. A complete rundown is here.  

I would like to drive myself to campus. How do I get a parking permit?

Unfortunately, frosh are not permitted to bring cars to campus for the duration of their frosh year. There’s lots more information here on alternative transportation, and here on parking permits for upper-class students.  


Will plans change?

Under what conditions would Stanford reverse course and not allow frosh, sophomores and first-year transfers to reside on campus?

The indications currently are that we will be able to proceed with this plan. The principal factors that could lead to a change would be significant changes in prevalence rates here on campus and in our surrounding community, and significant changes in the state and local public health requirements that apply to Stanford. If these necessitate a change in our approach, we plan to notify you before Stanford’s Winter Close begins on Dec. 14. We encourage students to make refundable travel plans, just in case. In all scenarios we plan to continue accommodating students approved with special circumstances on campus.

Will Stanford send undergraduates home mid-quarter if COVID conditions worsen?

A winter COVID-19 surge remains possible, and we have been planning for such a contingency. Students planning to live on campus should know that it is possible that we may need to return to all-remote instruction for some period of time, or to tighten policies around gatherings and other aspects of campus life, if we see a significant surge in cases. In all scenarios we plan to continue accommodating students approved with special circumstances on campus.



Who can help me now?

You can reach us here with your general suggestions, comments and concerns about this unique year. If you have a personal question, please submit a ServiceNow ticket. For academic planning discussions and related questions, please make an appointment with your academic advisor.

Who can help me during Winter Closure?
During the university’s Winter Closure from Dec. 14 to Jan. 3, our Residence Deans will be available. Here’s how to contact our RD on call.