The Undergraduate Program

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 students who have selected a rigorous academic program and achieved distinction in a range of areas.

With an approximate 4 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, Stanford emphasizes close interaction with faculty. 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 Sciences and Engineering.

Undergraduates complete at least 180 units, including major courses, writing and rhetoric requirements, one year of a foreign language and offerings in the following areas:

  1. Thinking Matters: One-quarter course in the freshman year.
  2. Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing: Eleven courses in eight subject areas, including aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, applied quantitative reasoning, creative expression, engaging diversity, ethical reasoning, formal reasoning, scientific method and analysis and social inquiry.

Among many distinctive Stanford undergraduate programs are:

Introductory Seminars: Stanford prioritizes close student and faculty interaction. More than 2,300 freshmen and sophomores enroll in over 200 seminars annually, studying with faculty members from all seven schools.

Undergraduate Research: Stanford believes learning is enhanced by participation in research. In  2014-15, about $5.4 million was allocated for grant programs benefiting 1,074 projects.

Bing Overseas Studies Program: Stanford offers study opportunities in Australia, Beijing, Berlin Cape Town, Florence, Istanbul, Kyoto, Madrid, Oxford, Paris and Santiago. Also offered are Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs, such as the Community Health in Oaxaca program. In 2014-15, 854 students—53 percent of the average class year—studied abroad with Stanford.

Undergraduate Financial Aid

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. For more information, please visit

Major Fields of Undergraduate Study

Earth Sciences

  • Earth Systems
  • Energy Resource Engineering
  • Geological & Environmental Sciences
  • Geophysics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Architectural Design
  • Atmosphere/Energy
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomechanical Engineering
  • Biomedical Computation
  • ChemicalEngineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Management Science and Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Product Design

Humanities and Sciences

  • African and African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Art Practice (Studio)
  • Asian American Studies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Comparative Literature
  • Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • French
  • German Studies
  • History
  • Human Biology
  • Iberian and Latin American Cultures
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Jewish Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematical & Computational Science
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Native American Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Symbolic Systems
  • Theater & Performance Studies
  • Urban Studies

Stanford also offers 14 different joint bachelor of arts and sciences majors that combine computer science with humanities subjects. Visit the CS+X website to learn more.

This page last modified Oct 30, 2015.