With areas of excellence ranging from the humanities to social sciences to engineering, Stanford is dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and preparing students for leadership in a complex world.
A Stanford undergraduate education is rigorous and defined by the inherent freedom and flexibility enjoyed by students as they delve into the subjects they are most passionate about—forging meaningful relationships with their talented peers and lauded faculty along the way.
Grounded in the liberal arts, the Stanford curriculum is designed to achieve balance between the depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and the breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. It permits each student to plan an individual program of study that takes personal educational goals, prior experience, and future aims into account. And it’s an education that broadens the student’s understanding and awareness in each major area of the human experience, significantly deepens understanding, and prepares him or her for a lifetime of continual learning.
Many students supplement this already robust education through high-level research, even as undergraduates. In fact, Stanford has more funding available for undergraduate research—more than $5.8 million per year—than most colleges or universities in the nation. Students usually write proposals (with advice from faculty sponsors) to have their projects funded, which covers expenses such as travel and equipment and allows students to devote their full attention to their research.
Stanford students and faculty come to campus from a vast range of backgrounds and all over the world. Undergraduates represent all 50 states and more than 70 countries. In the newest undergraduate class, 19% are the first in their families to attend college, and 13% are international students.
But diversity at Stanford means more than geographic, racial, or ethnic differences. The Stanford community embraces a wide array of socioeconomic, religious, cultural, and educational experiences.
From the vibrant residential environment to intellectually charged classrooms to every corner of campus where students engage, diversity is celebrated. The Stanford community values a wide range of opinions, cultures, communities, perspectives, and experiences, all of which challenge a student’s own beliefs, intellectual passions, opinions, and understanding of the world. Members of the Stanford community believe the best education can only develop in a community that actively affirms both the differences and the numerous points of connection among its members.
Just down the road from campus is the global epicenter of high tech: Silicon Valley. From HP and Google to Netflix and Pandora, many of the most innovative enterprises in modern history were sparked by Stanford faculty, alumni, and students. Stanford alumni and faculty have created 39,900 companies since the 1930s.
However, entrepreneurship at Stanford extends far beyond founding companies; Stanford’s entrepreneurial spirit is homegrown, organic, and pervasive. Students, faculty, and alumni generate transformative ideas and set them in motion.
One such idea incubator is the Haas Center for Public Service, which connects academic study with public service to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders. Recognized as a national model for public service education, the Center encourages Stanford students to impact their community through service, scholarship, and community partnerships. The Haas Center offers more than 350 opportunities to participate in full-time service for a quarter or more in the United States and abroad and offers more than 75 courses across 25 academic disciplines.
Located in California’s intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse Bay Area, Stanford is a thriving residential campus and community sitting on 8,180 pastoral acres that was once a horse farm belonging to Jane and Leland Stanford and is still fondly referred to as “the Farm.” Today, Stanford’s campus is mostly open space, home to 43,000 trees and 800 species of plants. The University is a leader in sustainability, with 49 miles of roads traveled daily by the free Marguerite shuttle system and 13,000 bikes.
On the campus itself, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, you will find California Mission–inspired buildings made of local sandstone with iconic red-tiled roofs and a cloistered quadrangle with Memorial Church as its focus.
About 97% of undergraduate students live on these sprawling yet intimate grounds, with housing guaranteed to them for all four years. They can choose from more than 80 residence hall options on campus, each surrounded by extraordinary campus resources and facilities. And with San Francisco only 35 miles to the north, San Jose 20 miles south, and Palo Alto right next door, students enjoy a region rich not only in opportunity but also in entertainment and other diversions.
Vibrant student life
With its culture of creativity and innovation, Stanford fosters an arts scene alive with both professional and student voices, from film archives to orchestral concerts to visiting Broadway legends—not to mention a collection of visual arts pieces spanning 4,000 years.
For the student-athlete driven to excellence, Stanford fields 36 varsity teams and 31 club sports. Stanford has won the Directors’ Cup, honoring the most successful program in NCAA Division I sports, for the last 25 years. And for 42 years in a row, Stanford has won at least one national championship—the longest streak in the nation.
In addition to the offerings on campus, the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) is considered an integral part of Stanford’s curriculum. Approximately half of each graduating class studies abroad during their undergraduate career at Stanford, and BOSP operates a variety of programs and internships at 11 centers around the globe.
Stanford is committed to a need-blind admission policy for US citizens and eligible non-citizens and to providing a comprehensive financial aid program for all admitted students demonstrating need. Approximately 68% of undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance, with 82% graduating debt-free (financialaid.stanford.edu).