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Undergraduate Studies

Move-in day at the Ujamaa House
Move-in day at the Ujamaa House.

Students who enjoy learning for its own sake thrive at Stanford. 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 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.

Undergraduates complete at least 180 units, including major courses, writing and rhetoric requirements, and one year of a foreign language. Undergraduates also experience Thinking Matters, a one-quarter course for first-year students; and 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.

Stanford’s distinctive undergraduate programs include:

Introductory Seminars: These small seminar classes for first- and second-year students enroll more than 2,000 students annually. Faculty from all seven schools of the university teach over 200 seminars each year.

Undergraduate Research: Stanford believes learning is enhanced by participation in research. In 2018–19, about $6.03 million was allocated for grant programs benefiting 1,024 projects. Almost 90 students conducted research overseas.

Bing Overseas Studies Program: Stanford offers study opportunities in Australia, Berlin, Cape Town, Florence, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kyoto, Madrid, New York, Oxford, Paris, and Santiago. Also offered are short-term overseas seminars and faculty-led programs in Oaxaca and various locations. In 2018-19, 807 students—48 percent of the average class year—studied away on Stanford programs.

Undergraduate Financial Aid

Stanford has a long-standing commitment to providing an affordable education to all students, regardless of their economic circumstances. 83% of the recent graduating class had no student debt. Through our generous need-based financial aid program, parents with annual incomes below $125,000 and assets typical of that income level pay no tuition. In 2020/21 this threshold will increase to $150,000. Parents with an income at or less than $65,000 and typical assets pay no tuition or room and board. Starting with the 2019/20 academic year, home equity is no longer a factor in calculating aid eligibility for undergraduates.

Undergraduate Fields of Study

Stanford offers 65 major fields of undergraduate study. Engineering students may also elect to pursue an individually designed major (IDMEN). For a current listing of major fields of study, visit

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