Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Why Should I Take an IntroSem?

Main content start

You are encouraged to take advantage of IntroSems, both for WAYS Requirements and for general interest. IntroSems are an excellent opportunity to interact in a small class with some of the university's most prestigious and talented professors. They are also a great way to really get to know a discipline prior to completing the preliminaries for upper division work.

Connect with Faculty

Introsems are a guaranteed small classroom environment, often with around 15 students in each class.  This means that they can be an excellent opportunity to get to know a professor well.  An Introsem can also be an opportunity to take a class with a professor you wouldn't otherwise get to meet.  Many faculty members from the Medical School, Law School, and Business School don't normally teach undergraduate classes, but do teach Introsems!  

Be sure to take advantage of this small group environment by being prepared, participating actively in class, and visiting your professor's office hours when you get a chance.  If you make good use of this opportunity, an Introsem can allow you to build a strong mentoring relationship with a faculty member that you can rely upon for the rest of your Stanford career!  Don't forget that such relationships can be key for getting started in research.  And keep your Introsem instructors in mind if you someday need to ask for a letter of recommendation.

What IntroSems Should I Take?

You should consider signing up for IntroSems in areas that are new, but intriguing to you, as well as in areas in which you already think you might major. You might find a new passion or, perhaps even more usefully, discover that you are not quite as interested in a field as you thought you were before spending two years taking prerequisites. You might also reaffirm your interest in a field and possibly find a recommendation letter writer or even a faculty mentor. An IntroSem is truly an unparalleled opportunity. If you can find a way to take an IntroSem every quarter, you will find yourself well rewarded. At the very least, every student should endeavor to take at least one Introductory Seminar during their time at Stanford.

Why do Faculty Teach IntroSems?

See the other perspective--some faculty have shared why they chose to teach IntroSems with us.

See Also

Return to the Advising Student Handbook