Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Course Enhancement Funds

Main content start

***We will begin accepting requests for course enhancements for Fall 2024 on August 28. 

Request Course Enhancements

In service of the pedagogical goals of the program, instructors teaching any IntroSem may request the following types of financial support for each class they teach:

Please request course enhancement funds at least two weeks before the event or activity. Because the program's goal is to support at least one course enhancement in every IntroSem, we may not be able to support every request or may only be able to provide partial coverage. If you have a big (i.e., expensive) idea for a course enhancement, please discuss it with IntroSems Program staff first to see what may be possible. 

Mentoring and Reunion Meals

All courses are pre-approved for $30 per individual (including tax and tip) for one class Mentoring Meal during the IntroSem and one Reunion Meal within a year of the IntroSem. It is possible to split a mentoring meal into two groups, but please note that the per-person rate of $30 per student per quarter should be maintained. No alcohol is permitted, even for of-age participants. It is assumed students are responsible for the personal cost of transportation to the mentoring or reunion meal. Transportation costs to a mentoring  or reunion meal are not covered by the IntroSems Program.

We are happy to work with you to brainstorm food and location ideas. (Hint: If feasible, students love being invited to faculty homes for class meals.) If you choose Stanford Faculty Club, please be aware that we can only book your class for lunch in the main dining room as the charges for the Club's private dining rooms are cost-prohibitive. Please include all reservation details (date, time, and group size) in your request and the SIS Business Team will book your reservation under our Club member number.

To request help with meal arrangements, including payment options and submitting receipts or reimbursement requests, complete the course enhancement request form.  

Receipts Requirements

  1. Number of entrees must match the number of people eligible for reimbursement (e.g., 1 person may order one sandwich with sides and a drink but not two sandwiches).
  2. Must include the method of payment.
  3. If receipts are in a language other than English, please include a translation.

Honorarium for Guest Speaker

IntroSems instructors are welcome to invite subject experts (up to 2 speakers per seminar) to interact with their students during a class session such as a discussion, a workshop, or a performance. All eligible guest speakers receive a $350 honorarium. To qualify, the guest speaker may not be a Stanford affiliate.

Please attach to your course enhancement request this completed form for each requested honorarium.

A member of the SIS Business Team will reach out if there are any problems with the form. If not, then the payment process begins the day after the speaker is scheduled to attend.

Course Activity Supplies

The IntroSems Program can fund special course materials needed for a hands-on activity led by the instructor. The materials must be used to make or do something, such as art or lab supplies. In other words, only things that cannot be reused. The materials can't be things such as equipment or books because then they may be subject to gift rules and students could be taxed. If a student's required book expenses are significantly higher than the student budget allowances, they can submit documentation of their costs to the Financial Aid Office which may adjust their budget and increase their financial aid eligibility. 

In the course enhancement request form, list the supplies requested with estimated costs. You may attach supporting documents for the estimated costs to the form. Describe how and when the supplies will be used in an activity that supports the focus and learning goals of your IntroSem. The SIS Business Team is happy to work with you to order and purchase the materials.

Field Trips

The IntroSems Program can fund a field trip connected to the subject and learning goals of the course. IntroSems can only pay for students enrolled in the course, the instructor(s), and CDA+ or CDA. 

If a field trip must include a meal because of the timing, the meal budget is $30 for lunch and $40 for dinner (including tax and tip). Please retain the itemized receipt and submit a justification for why food had to be purchased. The meal expense should be included in the field trip budget. 

In the course enhancement request form, list the planned activities with estimated costs (e.g., tickets, transportation, food, parking). You may attach supporting documents for the estimated costs to the form. Describe how the field trip supports the focus and learning goals of your IntroSem. The SIS Business Team is happy to work with you to arrange the trip or provide estimates for the cost of the trip. 

Field Trip Transportation Options (Please note, transportation to standalone mentor/reunion meals is not covered)

Transportation costs have gone up significantly in the past year. When possible, we request that you choose options that use public transportation or that go shorter distances and for shorter durations. Scaling back on transportation costs will allow us to keep our goal of supporting at least one course enhancement per IntroSem.

Charter: Keep in mind a charted bus typically costs approximately $1,000 for a 3-4 hour field trip and approximately $1,500 for a half-day field trip for trips within the Bay Area, e.g., Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco. See Charter Services' estimated rates for reference when planning transportation. 

Lyft: Lyft codes are available from the IntroSems Program upon request.

Rental Car: Instructors and student staff (CDAs) over 21 may drive Hertz rental vehicles for an IntroSems field trip and be covered under Stanford's insurance policy, but they must sign the Driver Authorization Form. Upon rental, students will be asked to provide their driver's license, a valid Stanford ID, and a major credit or debit card. Students must use code CDP#2243820. Please contact if you are considering a Hertz car rental for your IntroSem field trip and if any student staff will be driving. The SIS Business team will need to obtain the names and ages of all drivers, and lend you a department Pcard to pick up rentals from Hertz.

Personal Vehicles: Per university policy, students or student staff under 21 are not permitted to drive their personal vehicles for field trips.


We have a modest budget of $50 per IntroSem course per quarter for snacks one time in class. If you would like to purchase snacks for an activity or a class, request a PCard in advance and submit receipts and a reimbursement form through the course enhancement request form.  

For questions or consultations on incorporating course enhancement funds into your IntroSem, reach out to the program at 

***We will begin accepting requests for course enhancements for Fall 2024 on August 28. 

Request Course Enhancements