Academics

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 5 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 students enroll in about 200 seminars annually.

Undergraduate Research: Stanford believes learning is enhanced by participation in research. In  2012-13, about $5.3 million was allocated for grant programs benefiting 938 projects.

Honors: About 20 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. In 2012-13, 851 students—51 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 finaid.stanford.edu.

Major Fields of Undergraduate Study

Earth Sciences

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

Engineering

  • 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

This page last modified Apr 23, 2014.