Undergraduate Education


At Stanford, students enjoy an unusual degree of academic freedom. The Stanford curriculum will not force you into specific courses that do not interest you. Instead, it will remind you at every turn why you wanted a strong liberal arts education.

General Education Requirements

The General Education Requirements are an integral part of undergraduate education at Stanford. All programs of study achieve balance between depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and breadth of knowledge acquired through exploration.


  1. Introduce students to a broad range of fields and areas of study within the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences and technology.
  2. Help students prepare to become responsible members of society.
  3. Introduce students to the major social, historical, cultural and intellectual forces that shape the contemporary world.

Students build an intellectual foundation for future pursuits through a freshman year Thinking Matters course, a writing requirement and a one-year foreign-language requirement.

The Disciplinary Breadth requirement allows students to explore various disciplines by taking one course in each of the five areas of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.

The Education for Citizenship requirement provides students with some of the skills and knowledge necessary for citizenship in contemporary national cultures and participation in the global cultures of the 21st century. Students take one course from two of the following four areas: Ethical Reasoning, the Global Community, American Cultures and Gender Studies.

Updated on January 23, 2015 2:28 PM