The Undergraduate Program

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 4-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 2000 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 2016–17, about $5.62 million was allocated for grant programs benefiting about 1,049 projects.

Bing Overseas Studies Program: Stanford offers study opportunities in Australia, Berlin, Cape Town, Florence, Istanbul, Kyoto, Madrid, Oxford, Paris, and Santiago. Also offered are Overseas Seminars and faculty-initiated programs in Oaxaca and various locations. In 2016-17, 890 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. Students are admitted without regard to their ability to pay. Stanford provides 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, more than 80 percent of undergraduate students received financial support from a variety of internal and external sources. For more information, please visit

Undergraduate Fields of Study

Stanford offers more than 65 major fields of undergraduate study, as well as 14 joint bachelor of arts and sciences majors that combine science with humanities subjects. Students may also elect to pursue an individually designed major. For a full range of major fields of study, see