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Undergraduate student resources

Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language to understand and record our world. These modes of expression and thought have become some of the subjects that fall under the humanities umbrella today.

At Stanford you can delve into the humanities with over 200 professors working in 15 departments and through more than 25 degree-granting, interdisciplinary programs. Many of the Stanford humanities faculty are of national and international renown, and include Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, and numerous members of national scholarly academies.

Stanford is a major contributor to research in the humanities disciplines, and on campus you will find over 30 separate centers that sponsor a wide array of humanities research projects. Whatever you decide to major in at Stanford, and whatever your career path, your work will be strengthened through study of the humanities.

Undergraduate Academic Departments in the Humanities
Stanford Undergrad
Stanford Undergrad is your guide to undergraduate academics and opportunities run by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE). You can find information about humanities opportunities here, including internships, research and summer funding, and courses. Stanford alumni like Rachel Maddow share their thoughts on humanities education.
Humanities Gateway Courses

Are you interested in studying the humanities and arts but don't know where to begin? Gateway courses are specifically designed for students new to the disciplines.

Freshmen residential programs in the humanities
  • Sometimes called ‘the liberal arts college experience’ within the University, Structured Liberal Education (SLE) is a residence-based academic program that encourages students to live a life of ideas in an atmosphere that emphasizes critical thinking and interpretation.
  • Science in the Making Integrated Learning Environment (SIMILE) is an intensive residential program where students learn to approach science, technology, and medicine in their historical, cultural, and social contexts.
Thinking Matters

Thinking Matters courses are meant to help freshman students develop a sense for what constitutes a genuine question or problem and how to address it in a creative and disciplined manner.

Arts Intensive

Arts Intensive courses engage students in the theory and practice of a particular artistic discipline (Acting, Design Thinking and Fiction Writing are just a few examples). Students live on campus with the other students in their course in a designated AI Program Residence. Opportunities for students to work as AI Program Staff are also available.

Sophomore College

Sophomore College is a three-week residential summer program during which second-year students in seminars of 12-15 students engage in intense academic exploration.

International Opportunities

Nearly one-half of each graduating class studies abroad through one of Stanford's overseas programs. The Bing Overseas Studies Program offers the opportunity to study abroad while remaining enrolled at Stanford and is considered an integral part of the Stanford curriculum.

Mentoring Opportunities

Are you a current humanities student looking for a mentor? Are you a Stanford humanities alum who would like to share your post-graduate experiences? Stanford Alumni Mentoring (SAM) connects students and alumni for one-on-one mentoring and group sessions.

Get to know the 2014-2015 Hume Undergraduate Honors Fellows

In a series of Q&A interviews, the 2014-2015 Hume Undergraduate Fellows explain how the ideas for their honors theses originated and the research process.

Humanities Thoughts

As a professional composer, my music degree from Stanford is something that I bring into play every day of my working life. My professors constantly pushed me to dig deeper for inspiration, to find new solutions, and to risk new ideas, which laid the groundwork for my career. During these formative years, I soaked up not only their knowledge, but also their enthusiasm for creating real beauty.
Sophie Egan,
History, ‘09, Researcher at Sunset