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Visitors and Privacy

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A student leads a campus tour through the university's Main Quad, a masterpiece designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1888.

Key guidelines for visitors, media and the campus community

Stanford University is private property, however, some areas of the campus typically are open to visitors. Even in these locations, visitors must not interfere with the privacy of students, faculty, and staff, or with educational, research, and residential activities.

Areas generally open to the public

  • White Plaza
  • public eating areas 
  • outdoor touring areas
  • locations to which the public has been invited by advertised notice (such as events that are designated as open to the general public)

The university may revoke permission at any time to be present in these, or any other areas of the university.


No commercial activity, including taking photos or audio or visual recordings that are sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes, may occur on the campus or in university programs without the university's permission

Members of the media are prohibited in all residential areas of the university, including student residences and the surrounding faculty neighborhoods, without prior permission from University Communications.

Visitors should not be in academic or residential areas unless they have been invited for appropriate business or social purposes by the responsible faculty member, student, or staff member.

Violators of this policy may be subject to criminal and/or civil liability, as well as university disciplinary action.

Related policies & links

The information on this website is meant as a general overview. Please be sure to read and understand the full policy documents for all of the policies that may apply to your event. Please also be sure to check for important announcements and updates that may impact events on campus. If you have questions, please contact us