What is an Introductory Seminar?
Introductory Seminars, sponsored by Stanford Introductory Studies in VPUE, are small-group elective courses taught by esteemed faculty designed specifically for Stanford first-year, sophomore, and new transfer students. These discussion-based academic classes are offered in a wide range of disciplines, in more than sixty departments and programs from all seven schools of Stanford University. Introductory Seminars are only open to matriculated undergraduates and seminar units count towards the 180 units needed to graduate. Many IntroSems fulfill Stanford's general education breadth requirement, or Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing, and some fulfill the university's second-level writing requirement, Writing 2.
First-year students, sophomores and new transfer students are eligible to apply for priority enrollment in IntroSems by ranking their top three seminars each quarter and submitting statements of interest starting in August. There are deadlines for each quarter. Faculty select students from those who apply and admitted students are enrolled before other courses open for enrollment. Students may self-enroll in IntroSems that still have space available after priority enrollment is released each quarter.
How IntroSems Fit into Your Stanford Education
Find out how IntroSems can help you find your place at Stanford.
Who Gets Priority for an IntroSem
Learn more about IntroSems preference by class cohort. First-year, sophomore, and new transfer students receive priority!
How to Choose an IntroSem
With seminar offerings in sixty departments, it's hard to decide which ones to apply for and/or take. We can help.
Explore IntroSems Catalog
The Introductory Seminars catalog is released each August for the upcoming year. Stanford frosh, sophomores, and new transfers are invited to apply for priority enrollment by submitting a statement of interest for consideration each quarter.
Apply in the IntroSems' VCA
Log into the application system, the IntroSems' VCA, to rank your top three seminars for priority enrollment each quarter and submit a statement of interest for your first choice.
IntroSems in the News
Looking for a sense of what IntroSems are all about? Check out some of these featured articles.