The objective of Stanford University, Jane and Leland Stanford wrote in their Founding Grant in 1885, is "to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life; And its purposes, to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization, teaching the blessings of liberty regulated by law, and inculcating love and reverence for the great principles of government as derived from the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
With an approximate 5 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, Stanford emphasizes close interaction with faculty. Stanford offers three undergraduate degrees – Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Sciences (B.S.), and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (B.A.S.) – each designed to achieve balance between depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. Undergraduates complete at least 180 units, including requirements for the major, writing and rhetoric requirements, one year of a foreign language and courses in the following areas:
- Thinking Matters: One-quarter course in the freshman year
- Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing: Eleven courses in eight subject areas, including aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis,formal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning and creative expression.
Of the seven schools at Stanford, three award undergraduate degrees: Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences and Engineering.
Introductory Seminars: Stanford prioritizes closed student and faculty interaction. More than 2,300 students enroll in about 200 seminars annually.
Undergraduate Research: Stanford believes learning is enhanced by participation in research. In 2011-12, about $4.6 million was allocated for grant programs benefiting about 975 projects.
Honors: About 25 percent of the members of each graduating class earn departmental honors. About 100 students annually participate in Bing Honors College.
Bing Overseas Studies Program: Stanford offers study opportunities in Australia, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin Cape Town, Florence, Kyoto, Madrid, Moscow, Oxford, Paris and Santiago. About 48 percent of the average class year—813 students—studied abroad with Stanford in 2011-12.
Students who derive pleasure from learning for its own sake thrive at Stanford. Academic excellence is the primary criterion for admission, and the most important credential is the transcript. We seek outstanding students who have selected a rigorous academic program and achieved distinction in a range of courses.
Stanford is committed to a need-blind admission policy for U.S. citizens and permanent residents—admitting qualified students without regard to their ability to pay—and to providing a comprehensive financial aid program for all admitted students who have computed need as determined by the university and who meet other requisite conditions for financial aid. In recent years, about 80 percent of undergraduate students received financial support from a variety of internal and external sources.
Major Fields of Undergraduate Study
- African and African American Studies
- American Studies
- Art History
- Film and Media Studies
- Studio Art
- Ancient History
- Classical Studies
- Greek and Latin
- Comparative Literature
- Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
- Asian American Studies
- Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies
- Jewish Studies
- Native American Studies
- Earth Sciences
- Earth Systems
- Energy Resource Engineering
- Geological & Environmental Sciences
- East Asian Studies
- Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Architectural Design
- Biomedical Computation
- Computer Science
- Computer Systems Engineering
- Engineering Physics
- Management Science and Engineering
- Materials Science
- Product Design
- Feminist Studies
- German Studies
- Human Biology
- Iberian and Latin American Cultures
- International Relations
- Mathematical & Computational Science
- Political Science
- Public Policy
- Religious Studies
- Science, Technology and Society
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Symbolic Systems
- Theater & Performance Studies
- Urban Studies