Academics

Learning at Stanford

Stanford creatively combines the intimate intellectual characteristics of a liberal arts college with the vast academic resources found only at a leading research institution. An undergraduate journey at Stanford helps ready you for a life and career of your choosing and deepens your ability to think critically, engage with life’s complexities, and adapt to inevitable change.

Strength Across Disciplines

Students who enjoy learning for its own sake thrive at Stanford. We seek students who have selected a rigorous academic experience and achieved distinction in a range of areas. With an approximate 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, Stanford emphasizes close student and faculty interaction. Stanford offers three undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Each is designed to achieve balance between depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. Three of Stanford’s seven schools award undergraduate degrees: Humanities and Sciences; Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; and Engineering.

At Stanford, students are encouraged to be curious, explore interests, try new things. Majors don’t need to be declared until the spring quarter of sophomore year. We invite you to find your own Stanford by exploring a wide array of opportunities.

A Shared Foundation

Stanford’s undergraduate general requirements help build a shared foundation for students to own knowledge, hone capacities, develop personal and social responsibility, and learn to adapt knowledge and skills developed in one setting to new challenges and circumstances.

These requirements are an integral part of your academic journey and the core of your distinct liberal education at Stanford. These foundational classes foreground important questions and illustrate how they may be approached from multiple perspectives. Students can develop essential intellectual and social competencies that will be of enduring value in any field. The requirements are flexible and allow students to select topics of interest, while building critical skills, forming relationships with faculty and peers, and forging connections across disciplines.

Thinking Matters (first-year students only): Engage in critical inquiry by asking questions from multiple perspectives. Examine problems with other through one of more than 20 Think courses or through alternative first-year programs, such as ITALIC, SLE and ESF.

Ways of Thinking / Ways of Doing: Learn to “think and “do” in new ways to help you discover the complexities and challenges awaiting you at Stanford and beyond.

Writing and Rhetoric: Hone your skills in writing and speaking, which are central to intellectual inquiry, to professional achievement, and to global citizenship.

Language: We believe language study significantly extends our range of knowledge and expression.

Meet Our Faculty

Scholarship is at its best when it draws upon a diverse community. When individuals are exposed to novel perspectives from a broader group, their thoughts become more creative, and they generate innovative solutions they might not have otherwise considered. Stanford faculty work closely with students and conduct groundbreaking research. They are leaders in their fields with their accomplishments recognized across the disciplines. Here, Stanford faculty members share their breadth of life experiences and interests that fuel the dynamic learning environment on campus.

Learning & Discovery

Stanford students enjoy countless opportunities for learning and discovery during their educational journey.