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The LSP Story

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About the Leland Scholars Program

Leland Scholars participate in a four-week program in the summer prior to arrival on campus. This fully-funded program has a carefully crafted schedule of activities, coursework and seminars designed to facilitate the transition to Stanford. During the academic year, Leland Scholars will have access to additional advising and first-year seminars that sustain the community and reinforce the skills and strategies acquired during the program.

Who can apply

  • Any incoming Stanford student who will be enrolling in their first quarter in the Fall
  • First-generation and/or low-income students, and those from under-resourced high schools are encouraged to apply, however these are not requirements to participate in LSP
    • First-generation: a student whose parent/guardian has not attained a U.S. bachelor's degree 
    • Low-income: students eligible for full or substantial financial aid, as defined by Financial Aid Office
    • Under-resourced high school: schools with limited advanced currciular options (e.g. Advanced Placement, IB, etc)

How it works

  • Leland Scholars enroll in a two-credit LSP course that includes an analytical writing and research course, and a math problem-solving course that will prepare them for the fall quarter.
  • Hands-on, small group-oriented courses focus on enhancing students’ critical thinking and sharpening their problem-solving abilities.
  • Students also participate in a host of seminars, presentations, and activities that will introduce students to Stanford, acquaint them with faculty and peers, and familiarize them with campus resources.


In 2008, Stanford proposed the creation of a new summer transitional program for incoming freshmen, though due to economic challenges, the final implementation was delayed until 2011. The President’s Office approved funding for the Leland Scholars Program as an official Stanford Introductory Studies pilot initiative within the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.


LSP Founder/Director: Warren Chiang hired to create and implement LSP program. 

LSP I- inaugural LSP class in 2012; 33 students

LSP II- Second cohort enters in summer 2013; 40 students

LSP III- Third cohort enters in summer of 2014; 42 students

LSP IV- Fourth cohort enters in summer of 2015; 45 students. Lourdes Andrade assumes director position after Warren is promoted to Director of Residential Programs

LSP V - Fifth cohort enters in summer of 2016; 60 students

LSP VI- Sixth cohort begins with 60 students in summer 2017; additional 37 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (97 students)

LSP VII- Seventh cohort begins with 60 students in summer 2018; additional 42 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (102 students). Brandi Pretlow assumes director position after Lourdes joins School of Engineering as new Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

LSP VIII- Eighth cohort begins with 60 students in summer 2019; additional 50 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (110 students). Joy Robinson assumes Program Administrator position and Warren is promoted to Associate Dean and Senior Director of First Year Experience, Academic Advising.

LSP IX- Ninth cohort begins virtually with 75 students in summer 2020; additional 26 students join cohort through LSP fall and winter seminar course (101 students). Joy Robinson assumes Program Manager position.