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Undergraduate Education

Students walking in Memorial Court.

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.

All undergraduates also complete their Ways of Thinking / Ways of Doing general education requirements: 11 courses in 8 interdisciplinary Ways categories.

Undergraduates also experience COLLEGE, a three-quarter required set of courses for first-year students incorporating Civic, Liberal, and Global education. |

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.

Bing Overseas Studies Program: Stanford offers study away opportunities in Australia, Berlin, Cape Town, Florence, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kyoto, Madrid, New York, Oxford, Paris and Santiago. Also offered are shortterm faculty-led programs in Oaxaca and various locations. Each year, approximately 900 students—50 percent of the average class year—study away on Stanford programs.

Undergraduate Research: Last year the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education dedicated $5.5M to supporting nearly 1,000 students participating in a wide range of virtual and on-campus projects and programs. In the coming year, we look forward to resuming support for projects at field sites around the globe.

Project funding was used by students and faculty in departments and programs across every school, as well as nearly 20 interdisciplinary institutes and research centers. Projects spanned the humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and medical sciences.

Undergraduate Financial Aid

Stanford has a long-standing commitment to providing an affordable education to all students, regardless of their economic circumstances. Eighty-seven percent of the recent graduating class had no student debt. Through our generous need- based financial aid program, parents with annual incomes below $150,000 and assets typical for that income level pay no tuition. Parents with income at or less than $75,000 and typical assets pay no tuition or room and board. Families with higher incomes and assets also qualify for assistance depending on their individual circumstances.

Undergraduate Fields of Study

Stanford offers 69 major fields of undergraduate study. Engineering students may also elect to pursue an individually designed major.