As a graduate student, you are part of a broader graduate student community that accounts for more than half of the University’s student body and much of our campus life. We hope you find Stanford intellectually and personally enriching, and that you will take advantage of all the University has to offer by attending seminars, taking courses from other departments, and interacting with people from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.
This page provides an introductory list of essential tasks, orientations and training, and other resources to help you adjust to your new home at Stanford.
New Student Checklist
Keep track of what you need to do before starting at Stanford. The Graduate Student Gateway
contains essential information, deadlines, and resources across many topics, including:
Nearly all students take the “BIOS 200: Foundations in Experimental Biology” course, open to first year graduate students in the Biosciences only. The overall mission of the course is to facilitate the first steps toward becoming scientists —from being consumers of information to producers of knowledge. In the process of doing this, students learn to read for breadth and depth, construct compelling arguments, find important research questions and discriminate between approaches to answer those questions, communicate with the spoken or written word as well as images, and work in interdisciplinary teams. Additionally, students will be developing an original research proposal which may be used for NSF or other fellowship applications.
Choosing a Lab
To help find the right lab fit, new PhD students will rotate labs. A minimum of two rotations is required, and students can choose a lab anytime after April 1. Recommendations of rotation length and number differ by Home Program, with students able to opt for shorter rotations to gain a wider breadth of experience. See your program handbook for specific requirements and recommendations.
If you choose a lab outside of your original Home Program, you may transfer into the Home Program with which the thesis advisor is affiliated or stay within your original Home Program. This decision is made jointly by the student, the thesis advisor, and the graduate advisors in the respective Home Programs, with optimization of the student’s training as the primary consideration.
The Bechtel International Center is the primary resource for international students at Stanford.
The Bechtel International Center (I-Center) provides information on a wide range of issues that are important to international students, scholars, and their families: immigration matters, social and cultural concerns, and personal issues. In addition, the I-Center hosts programs and events to help international students adjust to life in the United States.
SUNet IDs: Email and Axess, your online hub
This login is your key to access Stanford’s online resources.
Your account identifies you, uniquely and permanently, as a member of the Stanford community. It is what is used to log in to Stanford computer systems.
University IT provides a helpful starter’s guide for Stanford technology, from purchasing a laptop to managing your SUNet ID and connecting to the campus network.
This web-based system is the go-to hub for most student business. Students use Axess to accomplish the following tasks:
- File or adjust a study list and select grading options each quarter
- Update emergency contact information
- View and print an unofficial transcript
- Check registration status each quarter (e.g. pending holds)
- Review grades
- Ensure University bill is paid
- Acknowledge University patent agreement
Axess also hosts services for official transcript requests, campus housing applications, and printing enrollment certifications.