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General Education Breadth Requirements

General Education Breadth Requirements

Undergraduates admitted 2013-14 and later fulfill the Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing (WAYS) General Education Breadth Requirements. Students admitted in earlier years should consult the "General Education Requirements through 2012-13" section below.

In order to graduate, undergraduates must complete the following General Education Breadth Requirements:


The General Education Breadth Requirements are an integral part of undergraduate education at Stanford. Their purpose is to introduce students to the intellectual life of the University, to foreground important questions, and to illustrate how they may be approached from multiple perspectives. They are intended to develop a broad set of essential intellectual and social competencies of enduring value no matter what field a student eventually pursues. Students have flexibility to select topics that appeal to them while building critical skills, exploring interests, forming relationships with faculty and peers, and forging connections between educational experiences in many spheres. Together with the major, the requirements serve as the nucleus around which students build their four years at Stanford.

General Education Breadth Requirement courses must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum of 3 units of credit, with the exception of courses taken to fulfill the Language requirement, which may be taken for credit/no credit. Additionally, a course taken to satisfy the Creative Expression Way (Way-CR)  may be taken for a minimum of 2 units and/or may be taken satisfactory/no credit at the instructor’s discretion.

Transfer Credit

Students may propose that work taken at another college or university be accepted in fulfillment of a General Education Breadth Requirement. In such cases, the Office of the University Registrar determines, after appropriate faculty consultation, whether the work is comparable to any of the specifically certified courses or course sequences. To fulfill GER requirements through transfer work, the course must match a specific Stanford course that fulfills the same GER requirement, be a minimum of three quarter units, and be taken for a letter grade. For more information see the Transfer Procedures.

General Education Requirements through 2012-13

Undergraduates fulfill their General Education Requirements through the policy in effect at the time of their admission to Stanford.