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Stanford is a thriving residential campus and community because of the extraordinary ways in which students share their curiosity and passions with one another. Because living and learning are intimately intertwined, Stanford provides a unique and supportive environment in which to learn and grow. Take a guided tour that highlights some of the many aspects of life at Stanford.
Residential Life
Your intellectual, social, and cultural lives will intersect in Stanford's vibrant residential communities. All freshmen are required to live on Stanford campus, and all students are guaranteed four years of campus housing. Because most students live on campus (94% at Stanford and 5% at an overseas campus) and the emphasis placed on residential education, the dorm community becomes one of if not the most exciting and stimulating places on campus.
Residential Education
The Residential Education program provides Stanford undergraduates a small community experience within a large research university. The essential conviction of Residential Education is that living and learning should be integrated, not separate; that formal teaching, informal learning, and personal support in residences is integral to a Stanford education. Residential Education programs extend the classroom into the residences and complement the academic curriculum with activities and experiences essential to students' preparation for a life of leadership, intellectual engagement, citizenship and service.
Residential Education begins with the Resident Fellows, members of the faculty or senior staff who live in residence halls and help provide a warm and intellectually stimulating environment. A residence staff, comprised of juniors and seniors, together offer personal and academic counseling. These staff roles include Residence Assistants (RAs), Peer Academic Advisors (PAAs), Peer Health Educators (PHEs), Residence Computer Coordinators, and others depending on the type of house.
Residential education in all its forms is one of the reasons that, despite the university’s size and breadth, Stanford is an intimate community.
 Dorm Programming
Resident Fellows and student Resident Assistants in each residence help residents plan educational, social, and recreational activities. Students are encouraged to initiate programs on their own and to participate in programs planned by other house residents. Wherever you live during your first year, you can expect a San Francisco scavenger hunt in the Fall, a trip to Lake Tahoe in the Winter, and an end-of-year celebration in the Spring that will no doubt arrive too soon. Other popular in-house activities organized by students include faculty dinners, special speakers, house seminars, poetry readings, dorm intramural competitions as well as trips to Yosemite and elsewhere
Campus Resources
Stanford’s commitment to its undergraduates does not begin and end in the classroom. It is inherently linked to every aspect of your daily experience. Drawing upon a community passionate to meet students’ needs in an individualized way, the extraordinary resources here provide the support, services, and tools in order to create a fulfilling college experience. These resources also extend beyond your years at Stanford.
About Parking & Transportation Services
Parking & Transportation Services is the one-stop shop for all your transportation needs.
If you drive onto campus, we'll help you find the best place to park, and sell you a parking permit that meets your needs and budget. If you use alternative transportation to commute to campus, we can assist you in planning your commute by public transportation, finding rideshare partners, using the real-time Marguerite bus schedule, or by getting you information on the best bike routes in the area
History of the Marguerite
Stanford's history of providing free transportation is as old as the university itself. In the late 1880's, while the University was in its construction on the farm of its proprietor, the railroad baron Leland Stanford, Stanford ran a horse and 12-person buggy service to and from the train station just across El Camino Real. In 1909, the horse and buggy gave way to electric streetcars. That lasted until 1929, when the county ripped out the tracks to make room for widening El Camino. A private bus service took the place of rail, and in 1963 the city of Palo Alto agreed to subsidize it. In early 1973, following the formation of the Valley Transportation Authority, Stanford began providing a free shuttle service around campus as well as back and forth to the two local train stations and downtown Palo Alto. The university named the service, which at the time consisted of a couple of vans, after Marguerite, one of the Stanford family's original horses.
Initially designed to make coming to Stanford by train more convenient, the Marguerite remains most popular among staff and faculty. The other major users are students getting from place to place on the spacious campus. All routes on the system are free and open to the public.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Crisis Counseling | Sexual Assault | Issues and Concerns | Counseling | Workshops and Groups | Confidentiality | Helping a Distressed Student | Consultation and Outreach | Fellowship Program
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to help students who experience a wide variety of personal, academic and relationship concerns.
Contact (650) 723-3785 (24 hours a day)
Sexual Assault (650) 725-9955
Counseling and Psychological Services offers evaluation and brief counseling, including personal, couples and group therapy. Any registered Stanford student is eligible. There is no fee for an initial evaluation or short-term counseling. Students requesting or requiring longer, ongoing therapy incur fees. Other services include:
Crisis counseling for urgent situations, 24 hours a day
Couples services: If you request services as a couple, only one partner needs to be a registered student.
Evaluations of the need for medication (there is no fee for the initial evaluation)
Workshops and groups that focus on students’ social, personal, and academic effectiveness
Consultation and outreach to faculty, staff, and student organizations
Location - Vaden Health Center, 2nd Floor
Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center
The Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center is the front door to the Farm for returning alumni. Offering the comforts of home, this light-filled, finely appointed facility provides nearly 30,000 square feet on the ground floor specifically designed for and dedicated to providing a warm and welcoming venue for the growing Stanford alumni family.
The Alumni Center stands as a tribute to Frances C. Arrillaga, MA '64, MA '65, a courageous alumna and longtime volunteer whose boundless enthusiasm and unfailing devotion to her alma mater, her community and her family was without peer.
Stanford Shopping Center
One of the few open air centers in the U.S., Stanford Shopping Center features spectacular, award winning gardens and picturesque sculptures by California artists. Enjoy our European-style street market where the scents of gourmet coffees, fresh flowers and international cuisine fill the air. It truly is a one of a kind experience.
 Campus Events
Whether it is a prominent speaker, an a cappella concert, an academic colloquium, a nationally competitive athletic game, or the opening of a new exhibit at the on-campus museum, Stanford is abuzz with opportunities to discover new passions, engage with a vital community, and have fun.
Campus life at Stanford means celebrating the extraordinary talents among students, faculty, and organizations while attracting world-class speakers, performers, and scholars from around the world. These events offer the unique opportunity to live and learn in an inspiring college environment.
Athletics and Intramurals
Stanford’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation offers programs of the highest quality that give all students opportunities for athletic participation and physical fitness at all levels of skill and interest. More than 80% of students take advantage of the extensive athletic facilities and programs offered at the intercollegiate, club sport, intramural, and instructional levels.
Stanford promotes excellence in both academics and athletics. Stanford has won 70 NCAA team championships since 1980 (leading the nation), as well as ten consecutive NACDA Director's Cup titles, awarded annually to the nation's most successful athletics program. From 1990 to 2002, Stanford athletes won 47 Olympic Medals and 39 individual NCAA championships.
Stanford maintains 1 million gross feet of indoor facilities and 94 acres of outdoor fields. Among Stanford facilities are the 6,800-yard Stanford Golf Course; the 7,600-seat Maples Pavilion; the 4,000-seat Sunken Diamond; the 14-court Taube Family Tennis Stadium; the 2,500-seat, four-pool Avery Aquatic Complex; and the 85,500-seat Stanford Stadium, the largest privately owned college football facility in the United States.
 Other Cardinal sports facilities include:
The 14-court Taube Family Tennis Stadium, which offers indoor and outdoor courts, office space and a 2,000-seat stadium. Both men's and women's tennis are consistently ranked among the top five programs in the nation.
The 6,786-yard Stanford Golf Course, located in the foothills and ranked as the 91st best golf course in the country by Golf Week magazine. PGA greats Tom Watson and Tiger Woods played golf for Stanford.
7,391-seat Maples Pavilion, host to men's and women's basketball, both of which routinely rank among the top 20 programs in the nation, and women's volleyball, a winner of four national titles in the '90s.
The 2,500 seat, four-pool Avery Aquatic Center, boasting spectacular swimming and diving facilities. Among the largest aquatics facilities in the nation, the complex is home to the Cardinal swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming teams, all considered to be among the elite teams in their respective sports. Among other Olympic medal winners, Jenny Thompson, Summer Sanders, Misty Hyman and Pablo Morales swam for Stanford.
4,000-seat Sunken Diamond, home to Stanford baseball, also among the top teams in the nation.
The Ford Center for Sports and Recreation which hosts men's and women's gymnastics.
T-shirts say it all for seniors awaiting the start of the Big Game against arch-rival Cal. Photo: L.A. Cicero
Thousands of students each quarter take part in Stanford's extensive intramural program. A variety of sports is offered, ranging from basketball and bicycle racing to table tennis and inner tube water polo. Teams are affiliated with various campus residences, organizations and departments.
Community and Public Service
Each year, approximately 3,000 Stanford students (logging more than 96,000 volunteer hours!) engage in public and community service outreach initiatives.
The Haas Center for Public Service is a central resource for service opportunities, a national model for the integration of academic and service activities offering more than 600 volunteer, internship and research opportunities. The center’s portfolio of public service opportunities spans the spectrum from direct human services to policy and advocacy, touching virtually all of the university’s schools, academic departments, centers and programs. The center makes the opportunity to serve available to all students regardless of financial situation, academic interest or political persuasion. Indeed, Stanford leads the nation’s top universities in using federal work-study money for community service. At Stanford, service informs scholarship and vice versa. As a student’s knowledge, skills and experience evolve, so do the levels at which he or she is able to engage societal challenges such as poverty, civil rights, education, health and justice.
Student Groups and Organizations
Stanford students move in many different directions, often simultaneously. Having the ability to engage in multiple interests and find friends who are not only similarly engaged, but also exceptionally talented in those areas, is one of the values of Stanford’s diversity. Stanford recognizes that student organizations enrich the social, cultural and educational experiences of students and the larger University community. About 600 organized student groups at Stanford cover a range of interests: Academic
Community Service
Music/Dance/Creative Arts
Political/Social Awareness
For a list of specific student groups, visit Stanford Student Groups. To glimpse the diversity of on-campus activities, issues and news, visit the Stanford Daily, Stanford’s student-run newspaper, or search for events at Stanford Events.

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