Stanford Academic Calendar

October 26, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Stanford Academic Calendar

Does Stanford Use Semesters Or Quarters?

Does Stanford use semesters or quarters? The Stanford academic calendar is divided using a quarter system for scheduling. Students normally enroll in classes for three quarters: fall, winter, and spring. Each quarter lasts for ten weeks. The quarter system, which offers three sets of classes each year, enables college students to enroll in up to 50% more courses than they could under the semester system.

Two students studying in a table.

The breakdown of the Stanford academic calendar this year is as follows:

Autumn 2022 Quarter

September 20th – Arrival of freshmen are admitted. New student housing for undergraduates becomes available.

September 21st – Beginning of New Student Orientation

September 22nd – Undergraduate housing for returning students opens.

September 26th – First day of the quarter; Classes start; Preliminary Study List deadline; Submission deadline for a leave of absence with a full refund

September 29th – Conferral of degrees (Summer Quarter 2020–21)

October 14th – Final Study List due date is Friday excluding GSB. The final day to enroll in a class, drop a class, or change the units in a variable-unit course. The final day to reevaluate tuition for courses or units dropped.

November 7th – Deadline for term withdrawal; last day to submit a leave of absence to withdraw from the university and receive a partial refund.

November 8th – Democracy Day holiday

November 18th – Deadline for changing the grading basis, excluding GSB; Course withdrawal date, excluding GSB, Law, and M.D; The application deadline for awarding degrees for the Autumn Quarter.

November 21st – Grade rosters for the current quarter are open.

November 21st to 25th – Thanksgiving break (no classes)

December 5th to 11th – End of Autumn Quarter period

December 9th – Last day of classes, excluding Law; Deadline for Autumn Quarter degree conferral; Last day to arrange ‘Incomplete’ in a course.

December 12th to 16th – Final exams

December 17th – Undergraduate housing closes

December 20th – Grades are due

December 21st to January 3rd – Winter break; University is closed

January 5th – Final Recommending Lists deadline

January 12th – Conferral of degrees (Autumn Quarter)

Winter 2023 Quarter

December 30th – Deadline for at-status enrollment to earn a stipend or financial assistance refund during the first week of classes.

January 7th – Undergraduate housing for Winter Quarter opens.

January 9th – First day of the quarter; Classes will start except M.B.A. and MSx courses; Deadline for Preliminary Study List; Submission deadline for a leave of absence with a full refund.

January 16th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday

January 27th – Final Study List due date is Friday excluding GSB; The final day to enroll in a class, drop a class, or change the units in a variable-unit course; Last day to reevaluate tuition for courses or units dropped.

February 20th – Presidents’ Day holiday

February 22nd – Last day to request a Leave of Absence to withdraw from the University and receive a prorated refund.

March 3rd – Application deadline for awarding degrees for the Winter Quarter.; Change of grading basis deadline, excluding GSB; Course withdrawal deadline except for GSB, Law, and M.D.

March 6th – Grade rosters for the current quarter are open.

March 13th to 19th – End of Winter Quarter period

March 17th – Last day of school, excluding Law; Deadline for late application for Winter Quarter degree conferral; Last day to arrange ‘Incomplete’ in a course.

March 20th to 24th – Final exams

March 25th – Undergraduate housing move-out on Saturday.

March 28th – Grades are due

March 30th – Final Recommending Lists deadline

April 6th – Conferral of degrees (Winter Quarter)

Spring 2023 Quarter

March 24th – Deadline for at-status enrollment to earn a stipend or financial assistance refund during the first week of classes.

April 1st – Undergraduate housing move-in date.

April 3rd – Beginning of the quarter and the start of classes for all students (except M.B.A. and MSx courses); Deadline for the Preliminary Study List; Deadline for submitting a leave of absence for a full refund.

April 14th – Application deadline for Spring Quarter degree conferral.

April 21st – Final Study List due date except GSB; The final day to enroll in a class, drop a class, or change the units in a variable-unit course; Last day to reevaluate tuition for courses or units dropped.

May 15th – Last day to submit a Leave of Absence to withdraw from the university and receive a prorated refund.

May 26th – Deadline for changing the grading basis, except GSB; Course withdrawal deadline, excluding GSB, Law, and M.D.

May 29th – Memorial Day holiday

May 30th – Current-quarter grade rosters are available.

June 2nd – Late application deadline for Spring Quarter degree conferral.

June 2nd to 8th – End of Spring Quarter period

June 7th – Final day of classes; Last chance to arrange ‘Incomplete’ in a course.

June 8th – No classes on the day before finals.

June 9th to 14th – Final exams

June 16th – Graduating students must turn in their grades; Date of move-out from undergraduate housing (for all students not participating in commencement).

June 17th – Baccalaureate; Senior Class Day

June 18th – Commencement

June 19th – Undergraduate housing move-out date.

June 20th – Final Recommending Lists are due; Grades for students who aren’t graduating are due.

June 22nd – Degrees will be posted and be given with a conferral date of Commencement.

Summer 2023 Quarter

June 26th – First day of the quarter; Start of classes; Deadline for Preliminary Study List; Deadline for submitting an absence to receive a full reimbursement.

July 4th – Independence Day holiday

July 7th – Deadline for the Final Study List; Last day to remove or add a class, as well as the last day to change units on a variable-unit course; The final day to reevaluate tuition for courses or units abandoned.

July 28th – Last day to request a Leave of Absence to withdraw from the University and receive a prorated refund.

August 4th – Deadline for changing the grading basis; Last day for course withdrawals; Application deadline for Summer Quarter degree conferral.

August 7th – Current-quarter grade rosters are available.

August 12th to 17th – End of Summer Quarter period

August 17th – Last day of classes; Last chance to arrange for an ‘Incomplete’ in a course.

August 18th to 19th – Final exams

August 29th – Grades are due

September 1st – Late application deadline for degree conferral for the Summer Quarter.

September 14th – Final Recommending Lists are due.

September 28th – Conferral of degrees (Summer Quarter)

How Many Classes Can You Take In A Semester At Stanford?

One of the crucial things you should take note of is “How many classes can you take in a semester at Stanford?” Stanford utilizes the quarter system. Per quarter in the Stanford academic calendar, it is advised that a student should maintain under the unit enrollment cap, you may ask to enroll in more than 20 units for the quarter in specific situations. Students who want to take more units than allowed must go through a specific “request for exemption” process and offer a convincing academic justification.

Young woman writing near a laptop.

The application procedure takes time, and approval is not assured. Taking more than 20 units might be a considerable academic challenge even if you are allowed. Here are some rules for exemption:

  • The only students who may ask for an exception to take more than 20 units are those who have finished their first quarter at Stanford.
  • You may request to take a maximum of 22 units (23 if you are a co-term student).
  • Only after you have decided which courses you want to take should you submit requests to exceed the maximum number of units. They are not intended to be used for “shopping.”
  • From the first week of the quarter in the Stanford academic calendar up to the Add/Drop Deadline in Week 3, applications will be accepted.

What Is the Application Deadline For Stanford?

For first-year candidates, Stanford offers two decision plans: Regular Decision and Restrictive Early Action. While both early and regular applications are evaluated in the same manner, there are several factors that can make one choice more appropriate for you than the other. On the applicable deadline, turn in your Common Application by 11:59 p.m. (in your local time zone).

Restrictive Early Action Regular Decision
Application with Arts Portfolio Oct-15 Dec-05
Submission of Materials for Arts Portfolio Oct-20 Dec-10
Standard Application Deadline Nov-01 Jan-05
Notification of Lacking Documents Mid-November Mid-February
Admissions Decision Release Mid-December Early April
Student Reply Date Deadline May-01 May-01

What Are the Big Social Events At Stanford?

It’s not only the Stanford academic calendar that you should take notice of. The academics, the community, and the wealth of opportunities make up the Stanford experience. On top of those, Stanford students enthusiastically participate in school customs. Now, what are the big social events at Stanford? Let’s check a few of the popular traditions at Stanford.

Students walking around the campus of a school.

The Big Game

The Big Game is a rivalry game between the Stanford Cardinal football team from Leland Stanford Junior University and the California Golden Bears football team from the University of California, Berkeley. Usually, it is performed in late November or the beginning of December.

Stanford defeated Cal 14-10 in the inaugural Big Game on March 19, 1892, at the Haight Street grounds in San Francisco. It is the NCAA Division I FBS football division’s tenth-oldest rivalry. No matter where they place in the standings, these two competitors face off against one another every year. The match this year will take place at Berkeley on November 19th.

Wacky Walk

Without the “Wacky Walk,” an unconventional ritual at Stanford when graduating graduates walk in homemade costumes ranging from the satirical to the sublime to occasionally stupid, no commencement would be complete. Last June 12, 2022, Stanford held its 131st Commencement for the Class of 2022.

Cardinal Nights

Stanford has implemented several programs, including Cardinal Nights, that not only improve student health and safety but also inspire them to consume alcohol responsibly. To support Cardinal Nights, Stanford gave more than $70,000 to student organizations and housing facilities to improve activities without alcohol.

In order to find out what kinds of social activities students preferred, OSE polled students in December, including those on the Cardinal Nights listserv. Pick Your Own Movie Night, where students are transported to a cinema in Redwood City and given a gift card to use for supper and a movie, is one popular Cardinal Nights event that is slated for a resurrection.

Stanford offers safe rides seven nights a week through the Office of Alcohol Policy & Education (OAPE), as well as weekend safe walks and snack and water tables near popular party spots. Additionally, it plans educational activities for individuals as well as groups of students, including first-year students, members of fraternities and sororities, residential assistants, and peer health educators.

What Is It Like Being At Stanford?

The Stanford academic calendar reflects the crucial dates and events in an academic year however, you may wonder what is it like being at Stanford. The following are the things you should look forward to:

Location and Campus

One of the top universities in the US is Stanford University, which frequently makes the list. Enrollment can serve as a golden ticket to Silicon Valley for young individuals who want to work in the technology industry.  For students interested in pursuing professions in technology, Stanford is a popular choice because of its proximity to Silicon Valley, which is home to some of the most well-known tech companies in the world (only about 40 miles away on the other side of the bay).

View of Stanford University at night and Stanford Yield rate..

With its amazing 8,180 acres and more than 43,000 trees, 800 varieties of plants, and 25 fountains, Stanford boasts one of the biggest campuses in the nation. Students will discover 19,000 bicycle parking spaces on the Stanford campus, which is a testament to the great weather and the university’s dedication to sustainability.

When you enter Stanford’s main campus, you will see 19,000 buildings with red clay tile roofs and the well-known Memorial Church.


Only three of Stanford’s seven schools—the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the School of Humanities & Sciences—offer undergraduate programs. Despite its reputation as a Silicon Valley feeder school, Stanford University offers more than 65 majors, ranging from Aeronautics and Astronautics to Urban Studies.

The Stanford School of Engineering is the university’s most well-known undergraduate program and comes in second on U.S. News’ list of the finest undergraduate engineering programs.

Stanford places a high value on interdisciplinary studies, and the university has developed a variety of opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at the School of Engineering, sometimes referred to as “the,” brings together students and faculty from a variety of disciplines to discuss viewpoints and advance the design process.


Stanford teams have won 152 national championships (including 126 NCAA crowns) in varsity sports, making them among the best in the country. Stanford teams have also seen success outside of the Olympics. Their 44-year winning streak is the longest in the country.

View of sports equipments placed on a court.

Stanford’s academic programs may get all the attention, but the school’s athletics program has a colorful past and is still very important to campus life. More American colleges than any other have produced Olympians (2,829), and since 1912, a Cardinal has medaled in every Olympics in which the United States has participated.

Student Clubs and Activities

Students at Stanford can pursue a variety of interests. The more than 650 student organizations on campus contribute to the social, cultural, and academic experiences of Stanford students, have an impact on the greater university community, and increase the university’s overall diversity.

Over 3,000 Stanford students participate in numerous public and community service outreach activities each year, clocking more than 96,000 volunteer hours. Stanford scholars prioritize the idea that service influences study and vice versa.

Through the many kinds of publications accessible on “The Farm,” including journalistic, intellectual, creative, political, and humor journals, Stanford students have many options to express their viewpoints and general inventiveness. These include The Dualist, a philosophical journal for undergraduates, The Stanford Daily, the school newspaper at Stanford, and The Chaparral, the main humor publication at the Farm.

There are 28 Greek groups at Stanford, including six branches of the Multicultural Greek Council and five chapters of the African American Fraternal and Sororal Association. Ten of the fraternity and sorority chapters at Stanford are housed, with about 13% of students choosing to do so.

Theta Breakers Run for the Children, the Sigma Nu Arts and Poetry Slam, and Snowchella, a concert for Support for International Change are just a few of the campus-wide activities that Greek life sponsors. Events such as step shows, karaoke nights, volunteer work, barbecues, and discussion groups are just a few examples of how communities are formed.

If you are interested to get into this top-tier university, make sure to explore the Stanford academic calendar to prepare yourself for the Stanford experience. Yet, before worrying about the hectic schedule you would face in college, make sure to boost your application to improve your chances at Stanford. Feel free to contact AdmissionSight for assistance in the college admissions process.

At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. Schedule your initial consultation now.

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