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Summer Institutes participants have full schedules which incorporate the academic, social, and cultural aspects of the program into each day.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Instructor-led classroom session that includes lecture, small group discussions and some individual work
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Lectures, guided study and small group sessions
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Snack break
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Selected organized activities such as: indoor and outdoor games, sports, arts and crafts, local excursions, etc.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Free time for informal study, activities organized by residential staff
9:30 PM
All students must be in their residence
11:00 PM
Lights out (on Fridays and Saturdays this may be one hour later)


  • Morning classes are taught in Stanford classrooms or in residential computer labs, and are led by the course instructor.
  • After lunch, students attend a study session supervised by the teaching assistants, and typically held in their residences. These sessions usually consist of one-on-one conferences, small group discussion sessions, projects, labs, or independent work.
  • The afternoon activity period provides a range of options for students to choose from, including sports, games, arts and crafts, local excursions to downtown Palo Alto or the Stanford Shopping Center, and other group activities which allow students to get to know other Summer Institutes students outside of their residence and course. All activities are supervised by the Residential Counselors.
  • Evenings allow students unstructured time to continue work on course assignments, relax with friends, watch movies, or take part in cluster-wide activities such as talent shows and dances, which are held each session.

Field trips to exciting cultural and natural attractions are scheduled for one day each weekend, and the other weekend day will have open-ended free time as well as an offering of enjoyable activities.

"My experience was great! I had the privilege of studying at one of the best college campuses anywhere with extremely smart individuals from all over the world. The schedule was really flexible during free time. I feel like I really broadened my horizons and got to experience the college life at Stanford."

–Topics in Legal Studies, 2010 participant