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Departments & Programs

Humanities and Arts

  • Art & Art History

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    Art & Art History The Department of Art & Art History at Stanford encompasses the history of art, the practice of art in a studio, and film and media studies. Courses investigate the historical development of images and media and their influence on society, as well as their relationship to other disciplines such as literature and music. Critical thinking and technical skills learned in the classroom inform the creation of artwork in studios, labs, screening rooms, and galleries on campus. Between lecture series, symposia, gallery exhibits, film screenings, and design presentations, the department participates in more than 60 events a year.

    The department offers bachelors degrees and minors in art history, studio art, and film and media studies. MFA degree programs include art practice, design, and documentary film & video. Students can also earn a PhD in art history and a joint PhD in art history and humanities. Learn More »

  • Cantor Arts Center

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    The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford presents art in 24 galleries plus sculpture gardens, terraces, and courtyards. The center’s diverse collections span 5,000 years and the world’s cultures and number some 30,000 objects, including the largest collection of Rodin bronzes outside Paris. Presenting a wide range of changing exhibitions, docent tours, lectures, gallery talks, symposia and classes, the Cantor Arts Center is a cultural hub for the community and a teaching resource for Stanford.
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  • Classics

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    Classics One of the largest and most diverse classics programs in the country, Stanford’s Department of Classics takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Students examine history, language, literature, art, philosophy, and archeology, frequently in relation to other ancient cultures and societies.

    At Stanford, classics is a dynamic field in which faculty and students employ methods of study across media, genre, and time. Coursework delves into specialized fields such as ancient economics, law, and science, illuminating the interactions of various cultures, as well as the influence of the ancient world on the contemporary one. Classics also collaborates with the Department of Philosophy to offer undergraduate and graduate joint programs in ancient philosophy. Learn More »

  • Comparative Literature

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    The Department of Comparative Literature provides students the opportunity to study imaginative literature in all its forms. While other literary disciplines focus on works of literature as parts of specific national or linguistic traditions, Comparative Literature draws on literature from multiple contexts in order to examine the nature of literary phenomena from around the globe and from different historical moments. We study literary forms such as fictional narratives, performance and poetry, as well as cinema, music, and emerging aesthetic media.

    Along with the traditional model of comparative literature that juxtaposes two or more national literary cultures, the department supports teaching and research that examine literary phenomena with additional tools of inquiry such as literary theory, the relationship between literature and philosophy, and the enrichment of literary study with other disciplinary methodologies. Students emerge from the program with enhanced verbal and writing skills, a command of literary studies, the ability to read analytically and critically, and a more global knowledge of literature. Learn More »

  • East Asian Languages and Cultures

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    In Stanford’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, students closely study China, Japan, and Korea through coursework on language, linguistics, literature, film, cultural studies, and visual arts. Small classes are led by faculty and visiting scholars whose specialties span traditional poetry to modern politics.

    Intense language training and cultural immersion are cornerstones of the department. The opportunities for learning range from classes in the department’s new Confucius Institute—dedicated to research and instruction in Chinese language and culture—to a Stanford overseas program in Kyoto. Learn More »

  • English

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    English In Stanford’s Department of English, students deeply explore the rich legacy of literature written in English, past and present. Coursework emphasizes critical thinking and interpretation. A wide range of classes are offered on individual authors, the history of literary genres, literary theory, new media, and creative writing.

    The graduate program involves intensive training in the research and analysis of British, American, and Anglophone literary histories and texts, preparing students to produce original scholarship and teach literature at the highest levels. The department also hosts Stanford’s renowned Creative Writing Program, which offers workshops and tutorials in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in addition to a reading series featuring prominent contemporary writers. Learn More »

  • French and Italian

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    The Department of French and Italian offers students the opportunity to pursue course work at all levels in the languages, cultures, literatures, and intellectual histories of the French and Italian traditions. The undergraduate majors in French or Italian provide a comprehensive study of their respective literatures and cultures, establishing a solid basis for potential further study in literature or history.

    At the graduate level, a terminal MA and a PhD (with various possible minors and combined degrees) are offered. In addition, a minor in French or Italian for both undergraduate and graduate students is offered. The curriculum is also designed to benefit students with varying interests and levels of language proficiency. Students interested in international relations, European history and literature, film studies, philosophy, and post-colonial studies will find relevant course offerings. Learn More »

  • German Studies

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    The undergraduate program equips students with language skills and analytic capacities to understand the cultures of German-speaking Europe. Students learn how to interpret complex literary and philosophical works, evaluate historical processes, and understand another culture and society. Students majoring in German normally combine courses in the department with offerings from other fields in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

    The doctoral program provides training in the full range of German literary history, combined with opportunities for students to pursue specialized research topics. All students participate in an on-going colloquium to share work as well as in language teaching and other professionalization opportunities. Learn More »

  • History

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    Through courses ranging from Africa Until European Conquest to Food Ways: The Politics, Culture, and Ecology of Food in American History, Stanford’s Department of History teaches the analytic, interpretive, and writing skills necessary to understand connections between the past and present. Students also learn how to weigh historical sources and transform their research into persuasive analysis.

    In addition to the general undergraduate major, four interdisciplinary undergraduate programs are offered: history, literature, and the arts; history, science, and medicine; public history/public service; and history and the law. An intensive graduate program trains scholars, most of whom go on to teach in higher education. Learn More »

  • Iberian and Latin American Cultures

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    Studying Iberian and Latin American cultures means engaging in a deep and compelling exploration of the languages, literatures, cinema, and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America (including Brazil), and Latina/o populations in the United States. To achieve our goal of training students as experts in these areas, we balance an emphasis on literary studies with philosophical, historical, and social approaches to cultural issues.

    As a result of our focus on critical thinking, open discussion, and close textual analysis, our undergraduate majors provide excellent preparation for a large number of professional fields, including business, education, international relations, law, and medicine. Our graduate program provides rigorous and highly individualized advanced training in the analysis of Iberian, Latin American (including Brazil), and Latina/o literatures, and our students go on to produce innovative original research and find excellent jobs, both in academe and beyond. Learn More »

  • Linguistics

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    Linguistics In Stanford’s undergraduate program in linguistics, students analyze the structure of language, including sound, meaning, words, and sentences, and how these structural patterns vary over time. Courses also draw on anthropology, psychology, and cognitive and computer sciences, among other disciplines.

    The graduate program emphasizes theoretical work based in empirical language data. Research and teaching include the following topics: computational linguistics, historical linguistics, language acquisition, morphology, phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, semantics, and sociolinguistics. The program also collaborates with Stanford’s departments of computer science, philosophy, and psychology to offer interdisciplinary doctoral study in cognitive science. Learn More »

  • Music

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    Music Through courses based in theory, musicianship, analysis, and history, the Stanford Department of Music trains students for careers as composers, performers, teachers, and scholars. The department supports a culture that is both firmly rooted in history and tradition and vigorously engaged with the technological and artistic evolution of sound. Resources include the Archive of Recorded Sound—where students can explore the progression of music on formats from wax cylinders to CDs—and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, a multidisciplinary facility of composers and researchers collaborating at the crossroads of technology and art.

    Campus-wide, the department also promotes the enjoyment and understanding of music through private lessons, as well as the opportunity to participate in ensembles, chamber groups, and major productions. Learn More »

  • Philosophy

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    The Stanford Philosophy Department teaches students to think critically about questions of being, knowledge, and value and their application in society. Its rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs train students in traditional core areas of philosophy and also provides them with opportunities to explore subfields such as the philosophy of literature. Students acquire skills involved in critical reading, analytical thinking, sound argumentation, and the clear expression of ideas.

    The department has a strong focus on the history of philosophy, with one of the best programs in Kant studies in the world. It also maintains a tradition as a leading research center in logic and the philosophy of science. Learn More »

  • Religious Studies

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    Religious Studies Stanford’s Department of Religious Studies provides a range of perspectives on religion and on the history, literature, thought, and practice of religious traditions. Courses range from Religion in Popular Narratives to Crypto-Muslim Culture in Early Modern Spain. In addition to housing core faculty with strengths in the study of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, the department works with several programs on campus. These include the Department of Philosophy, with which it offers a joint undergraduate major; the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies; the Taube Center for Jewish Studies; the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies; and the Program in Medieval Studies.

    The department also supports the acquisition of languages needed to understand sacred texts and interpretive traditions, as well as study abroad at Stanford’s overseas centers, where religions can be observed and experienced in their original cultures. Learn More »

  • Slavic Languages and Literatures

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    The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures teaches Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, as well as literary theory and criticism. From Freshman and Sophomore Seminars that do not require specialized knowledge to research seminars for graduate students, courses at all levels are offered. Our students master a difficult language and rich literatures and cultures. They are rewarded by gaining entry into a unique, powerful and diverse civilization that defined major trends of the past century and plays a significant role in the world today. Learn More »

  • Stanford Arts Institute

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    The Stanford Arts Institute integrates art into Stanford life by hosting artists-in-residence, developing undergraduate arts programs, administering new multidisciplinary graduate programs, awarding grants for arts research and teaching, and fostering collaborative performances and exhibitions.

    Programming is organized around three areas that explore the role of art at Stanford and beyond: The Center for Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), Programming in Arts and Humanities, and Programming in Global Arts. In addition to providing a platform for cross-disciplinary dialogue, the Stanford Arts Institute bridges the campus arts community and its off-campus counterparts.
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  • Stanford Live

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    Stanford Live Stanford Live produces and presents music, theater, dance, spoken word, and multimedia events across the university. With a focus on innovation and risk-taking, the program has emerged as an incubator and destination for new work by artists outside the Stanford community.

    Stanford Live plays a leading and collaborative role in the university’s thriving culture of creativity—one in which the arts mingle with academic disciplines and flourish as a vital part of campus and community. Learn More »

  • Theater and Performance Studies

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    Theater and Performance Studies At Stanford’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies, students receive instruction from faculty and artists-in-residence in the classroom and onstage. The curriculum integrates theory, criticism, and a historical study of drama with the experience of live performance in six theater spaces on campus. Students apply analytical skills honed in courses to artistic endeavors that range from performing canonical plays and stage managing musicals to creating costumes for period pieces and directing experimental one-acts.

    The department also houses a Dance Division, in which students study movement both as performance and as a cultural, political, and social lens for understanding the body and the world. Courses covering the critical and historical perspectives of dance complement movement and performance studio classes that teach forms from ballet to hip-hop. Learn More »

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Natural Sciences

  • Applied Physics

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    Applied Physics The Department of Applied Physics focuses on solving technological and scientific challenges through the lens of physics. Graduate students with a background in physics or engineering pursue research and coursework in the field as it relates to technical applications.

    Through collaboration with other disciplines such as engineering, materials science, biology, and chemistry, the department integrates a broad range of techniques and ideologies relevant to contemporary physics. Current areas of study include research in accelerator physics, atomic and molecular physics, biophysics, nanoscience and technology, photonics, and quantum information. Learn More »

  • Biology

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    Biology Stanford’s Biology Department encompasses a vast body of subdisciplines, from molecular biology to ecology. Through a core set of courses and specialized electives, undergraduate students learn how to analyze information critically, draw connections across disciplines, and communicate ideas to the scientific community.

    Undergrads and graduate students work with renowned faculty specializing in ecology, plant and animal physiology, population biology, genetics, immunology, neurobiology, cell and developmental biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. In addition to utilizing labs on campus, students can work and study in Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay. Learn More »

  • Chemistry

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    Chemistry Through in-depth coursework and lab experience in state-of-the-art facilities, Stanford’s undergraduate program in chemistry teaches the fundamental concepts driving the molecular sciences. Students also gain a solid understanding of the principles of chemistry, the methods needed to tackle problems in the field’s subdisciplines and the ability to articulate findings and concepts effectively to the scientific community.

    Both undergraduates and graduate students have the chance to work with prominent faculty members whose research includes developing new probes of biological molecules, modeling of protein folding and reactivity, and manipulation of carbon nanotubes. Learn More »

  • Mathematics

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    Mathematics Stanford’s undergraduate program in mathematics conveys a broad understanding of math that encompasses logical reasoning, generalization, abstraction, and formal proofs. Students learn to create, analyze, and interpret mathematical models and to communicate sound arguments based on reasoning and data analysis.

    The graduate program offers a coterminal master’s degree for matriculated students as well as doctoral degrees in pure and applied mathematics. The department also participates in the master’s degree program in financial mathematics and the master’s and PhD degree programs in scientific computing and computational mathematics. Learn More »

  • Physics

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    Physics Stanford’s undergraduate physics program offers a solid foundation in classical and modern physics. Courses in the program, including three introductory series, integrate labs in which students can conceive, design, and implement their own experiments. Astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology courses are also primarily offered through the department.

    Graduate students pursue research with leading faculty in areas including astrophysics, cosmology, particle theory, string theory, condensed matter physics, atomic physics, laser physics, quantum electronics, imaging, and biophysics. Collaborative research opportunities are also available with the departments of Applied Physics, Management Science and Engineering (MS&E), Electrical Engineering, and Biology and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). Learn More »

  • Statistics

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    Stanford’s Statistics Department, one of the most respected in the nation, gives students a foundation in the role of probabilistic and statistical ideas and methods in science and technology. It also teaches the theory and application of commonly used techniques in the field. Graduate students can design degrees according to their interests in either theory or applied statistical methods.

    To foster the relationship between theory and application, the Statistics Department collaborates across the university through faculty appointments in economics, education, political science, and other fields. The department also offers a number of courses in statistical techniques for students in disciplines such as biology and physics. Learn More »

Featured Department: Mathematics

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Social Sciences

  • Anthropology

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    Anthropology Stanford’s Department of Anthropology focuses on the study of human beings and societies through the examination of social, historical, ecological, and biological change. Known for its innovative approaches, the department maintains that anthropology must be studied in relation to the contemporary world.

    Students are encouraged to apply theory and research methods to topics including archaeology, ecology, evolution, linguistics, medical anthropology, political economy, and science and technology. Current areas of emphasis at Stanford include globalization and transnational politics, gender and sexuality, and culture and health. Learn More »

  • Communication

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    Communication The Stanford Department of Communication’s undergraduate curriculum examines the foundation and influence of mass communication in society. Coursework involving theory and field methods covers topics ranging from the historical role of the press in elections to the intricacies of virtual communities and social media. Although the undergraduate program trains students as social scientists rather than as journalists, several practicum classes teach students how to read, write, and report the news.

    For prospective reporters, the Graduate Program in Journalism offers an intensive year of writing instruction combined with courses that promote critical thinking about what it means to practice journalism in the changing media landscape. Known for its core faculty of acclaimed former editors and writers, a focus on public affairs journalism, and location in Silicon Valley, the program has a near 100 percent placement rate for its entrepreneurial, media-savvy graduates. Learn More »

  • Economics

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    One of the leading programs in the nation, Stanford’s Department of Economics teaches students about the economic aspects of contemporary society and trains them to understand and evaluate policy. The department collaborates with Stanford’s programs in International Relations, Public Policy, and Urban Studies to cover subjects ranging from the global food market to the economics of law and institutions.

    Each summer the Department of Economics employs undergraduates as Research Assistants for faculty on the Stanford campus. A primary goal of the Program is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the nature and methods of academic research and to stimulate students’ interest in pursuing research projects of their own.

    Students can extend their education beyond the classroom through Policy Forums and other events at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). At SIEPR, economists across campus work with leaders in business, technology, and government, uniting theory with policy-oriented research. Learn More »

  • Political Science

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    Political Science In the Department of Political Science at Stanford, students study political systems in the U.S. and worldwide in relation to international conflicts, social movements, ideological systems, and racial and ethnic diversity. From the politics of modern Iran to the complexities of China’s criminal justice system, the department’s course and research topics reflect the wide expertise of its faculty members.

    The department focuses on five subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political methodology, and political theory. Learn More »

  • Psychology

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    Psychology Ranked number one for more than 50 years, the Stanford Psychology Department uses high-caliber teaching and cutting-edge research to work toward a better understanding of human nature and behavior. The department is structured into five distinct, yet collaborative, areas of study: cognitive science, child development, neuroscience, social psychology, and affective science—the study of emotion.

    Courses span topics ranging from the psychology of prejudice to applied vision and image systems. Students can apply and build on classroom instruction by assisting leading scholars with research or designing their own studies in the 15 psychology labs on campus. These include Stanford’s Bing Nursery School, a thriving locus for developmental research, and the Stanford Memory Laboratory, which seeks to understand how memory is organized. Learn More »

  • Sociology

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    Sociology How can we better address the conflicts and inequalities in global, institutional, and personal relations? By teaching core sociological theories and methods, the Department of Sociology at Stanford instructs students how to critically evaluate human behavior and social organizations.

    The department specializes in four areas of study. These include organizations, business, and the economy; social movements, comparative politics, and social change; social psychology and interpersonal processes; and social inequality. Through its strong interdisciplinary ties with other Stanford programs such as the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, as well as its commitment to hands-on research, the department produces work that engages with social issues of our time. Learn More »

Featured Department: Political Science

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Interdisciplinary Programs

  • African and African American Studies

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    African and African American Studies (AAAS) provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of peoples of African descent as a central component of all societies, offering courses that promote research across departmental boundaries. Scholars can focus on critical intersections between gender, class, region, religion and other factors, and often work closely with other ethnic programs and fields of study—from International Relations to Political Science, and from Feminist Studies to Sociology.

    AAAS also encourages students to use interdisciplinary methods drawn from anthropology, art, art history, economics, languages, linguistics and literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, and religion, among others. Learn More »

  • African Studies

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    African Studies seeks to enrich understanding of the interactions between the social, economic, cultural, historical, linguistic, geopolitical, and biomedical factors that shape African societies.

    Courses in African Studies are offered by departments and programs across the university. African language classes coordinated by the Center for African Studies include Swahili, Xhosa, Zulu, and Arabic. Each year the center sponsors a seminar to demonstrate how topics of current interest in African Studies are approached from different disciplinary perspectives.

    The Center for African Studies offers a one-year master’s degree program. Students may also pursue a joint degree program with Stanford Law School. Undergraduates and graduate students not pursuing the master’s degree can specialize in African Studies through other Stanford departments and programs. Learn More »

  • American Studies

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    The interdisciplinary program in American Studies provides students with an expansive understanding of American culture and society. Through courses on history and institutions, literature and the arts, and race and ethnicity, students analyze the past and present of the United States.

    Because the major spans disciplines, students can pursue interests in African-American studies, art, economics, feminist studies, film, education, history, literature, music, and more. Recent classes have included American Fiction into Film: How Hollywood Scripts and Projects Black and White Relations and the History of Women and Medicine in the United States. Learn More »

  • Archaeology

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    Through applying methods and concepts from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, the archaeology program introduces students to a robust and multidisciplinary analysis of the material culture of past societies. Faculty and visiting scholars come from a wide range of university departments, including classics, art history, and biology.

    Students relate their coursework to the practice of archaeology through cutting-edge research and collaboration in the Archaeology Center on campus and at a range of dig sites around the world. Learn More »

  • Biophysics

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    Biophysics The Stanford Biophysics Program is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental graduate training program that leads to a doctoral degree in biophysics. The program, which brings together faculty from 16 departments in the schools of Humanities & Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering, as well as the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, imparts an understanding of biological functions in terms of physical and chemical principles.

    Studying the physical interactions of DNA molecules, for example, can lead to insights into diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The program trains students to approach biological problems quantitatively and also encourages high-level independent research on biological issues at the forefront of science. Learn More »

  • Center for International Security and Cooperation Honors Program

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    The CISAC Interschool Honors Program in International Security Studies provides an opportunity for undergraduates from all majors to write a thesis that makes a substantive contribution to the understanding of international security.

    The program requires that students serve an internship with a security-related organization, participate in CISAC's Honors College in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of the honors year, and attend a yearlong seminar that culminates in the writing of their theses.
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  • Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

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    The Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Interdisciplinary Honors Program aims to provide an opportunity for eligible seniors focusing on democracy, economic development, and rule of law subjects in any university department to earn honors in democracy, development, and rule of law (DDRL). Students work to complete their thesis under the guidance and consultation of CDDRL faculty, but may have a primary thesis advisor from their own department. Learn More »

  • Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

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    Students interested in exploring the constructs of race and ethnicity from an interdisciplinary perspective select from more than 150 courses across the university through the undergrad program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE). The broad range of coursework provides students with a historical background in diversity, as well as the tools needed to address current issues of race, ethnicity, nationality, and inequality. CSRE encompasses four degree-granting programs: Asian-American Studies, Chicana/o studies, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Native American Studies.

    Students are encouraged to choose a thematic concentration to guide their coursework: public service, American diversity, race and the American city, or a self-designed concentration. Another concentration within CSRE—the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and Committee on Black Performing Arts—provides a study track for those interested in studying culture, identity, and diversity through the arts. Learn More »

  • East Asian Studies

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    Stanford’s master’s program in East Asian Studies combines language training, interdisciplinary area studies, and a disciplinary concentration. Students construct a course of study suited to their individual interests and career aspirations.

    The program is designed for those who want to concentrate on East Asia at the doctoral level, but have not selected a specific discipline or wish to pursue intensive area studies and language training before moving on to advanced study. Stanford offers a joint degree program in East Asian Studies and law and dual degree programs with medicine or business. The program also attracts students who plan to specialize in East Asian Studies for careers in fields such as government service or journalism. Learn More »

  • Ethics in Society

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    The Program in Ethics in Society offers undergraduates the opportunity to write a senior honors thesis within a community of interdisciplinary scholars. The program includes course offerings from philosophy, history, comparative studies in race and ethnicity, economics, and political science. The broad range of courses prepares students for the challenge of integrating ethical theories with real-world moral and political problems.

    Students who write an honors thesis in the program major in many disciplines, including earth sciences, human biology, economics, and religious studies. With its committed faculty and small size, the program is able to offer individualized advising. Students meet with an advisor when they begin their honors thesis, and maintain relationships with faculty mentors until graduation.
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  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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    Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that explores gender and sexuality with the assumption that gender is a critical component in the organization of personal lives and social institutions. Students investigate how societies structure gender roles, relations, and identities, and how those intersect with other constructs such as class and ethnicity.

    The Queer Studies component of the program provides a multidisciplinary approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and queer political movements, identities, theories, and cultures. Students choose from classes across the university to develop an individual study track around a self-defined thematic focus. Learn More »

  • Financial Mathematics

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    The interdisciplinary MS degree in financial mathematics is offered by the departments of Mathematics and Statistics along with the departments of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) and Economics and the Graduate School of Business. The program provides an education in applied and computational mathematics, statistics, and financial applications. Learn More »

  • Human Biology

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    Human Biology The undergraduate program in Human Biology offers a unique interdisciplinary approach to understanding human beings from biological, behavioral, social, and cultural perspectives. Coursework aims to help students see connections with other fields as they learn to evaluate health, environmental, and other public policy issues that influence human welfare.

    A core sequence typically completed in the sophomore year segues into an individualized road map of study within the program and across other university departments. Students can choose from concentrations such as human development; brain and behavior; environment and environmental policy; and health and health policy. A key aspect of the program is a required internship during which students leave the classroom to gain experience in a field related to their chosen track of study.
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  • International Relations

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    International Relations is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major focusing on the changing political, economic and cultural relations within the international system in the modern era. The program explores how global, regional, and domestic factors influence relations between actors on the world stage. Students are equipped with both the foundational skills and specific knowledge necessary to analyze the choices and challenges that arise in this arena. Learn More »

  • Latin American Studies

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    The one-year master’s program in Latin American Studies is designed for students who have experience working, living, or studying in Latin America or the Iberian Peninsula but have little prior coursework in the field.

    The interdisciplinary curriculum is based on core courses surveying the history, politics, and ecology of Latin America. Additional individualized courses allow students to further explore interests in specialized areas. Stanford also offers a joint degree program in Latin American Studies and law, and dual degree programs with medicine or business. Students benefit from advanced language training and opportunities to interact with leading scholars in a variety of disciplines. Learn More »

  • Mathematical and Computational Science

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    Mathematical and Computational Science The Mathematical and Computational Sciences program (MCS) provides students with a math core fundamental to all mathematical sciences. The curriculum also includes an introduction to concepts and techniques of computation, optimal decision-making, probabilistic modeling, and statistical inference.

    The interdisciplinary program uses faculty and courses from the departments of computer science, management science and engineering (MS&E), mathematics, and statistics. A computational biology track for those interested in biomedical applications, such as bioinformatics, statistical genetics, computational biology, and neurosciences, is also offered. Learn More »

  • Medieval Studies

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    The program in Medieval Studies brings together a wide range of disciplines. These include art and architecture; literature and languages; music; philosophy; religious studies; and economic, social, and political history. Faculty specialties bridge Western, Islamic, and Asian cultures, and coursework encompasses both traditional and innovative materials and methods.

    Recent courses include Arthurian Literature and Medieval Romance in the English department and Land of Three Religions: Medieval Spain in the History department. Students can also explore the period through workshops and events cosponsored by the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Learn More »

  • Modern Thought and Literature

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    Modern Thought and Literature Modern Thought and Literature (MTL) is an interdisciplinary graduate program that focuses on the study of critical issues in fields ranging from cultural anthropology and women’s studies to comparative literature and film. The program trains students to understand the history and methods of various disciplines.

    Students consider how the disciplines shape knowledge and, most important, how interdisciplinary methods reshape objects of study. Each student creates a program of study tailored to his or her research in areas across the humanities and social sciences, as well as in education, law, and medicine. Learn More »

  • Public Policy

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    Public Policy The undergraduate program in Public Policy teaches the concepts and tools used to evaluate policy options, with a focus on domestic policy issues that can be applied anywhere in the world. Students take courses in economics and qualitative methods, political science, law, philosophy, ethics, organizational behavior, and social psychology.

    The program provides an interdisciplinary framework for examining policies, programs, and political organizations while also teaching students how to apply their knowledge to decision-making in the real world. Learn More »

  • Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREEES)

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    The master’s program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies is designed to provide intensive study for students with a strong academic background in the region. The one-year program offers advanced training in area studies through an interdisciplinary course of study.

    The program combines language and area courses with disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Students include those aspiring to pursue careers in government, journalism, business, and non-governmental and relief organizations. It attracts students who wish to pursue doctoral or professional degrees but also want intensive area studies and language training. The program also comprises students who have not yet decided on a career but want to deepen their understanding of Russia and the former Soviet Union, its successor states, and eastern Europe. Learn More »

  • Science, Technology and Society

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    The interdisciplinary program Science, Technology and Society (STS) explores the nature and consequences of technology and science in contemporary culture. STS teaching and research are based on the idea that science and technology are two of the strongest forces for individual, societal, and global change today.

    Students approach topics from a range of perspectives in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Courses encourage critical analyses of how science and technology influence—and are influenced by—human values, political and economic forces, and cultural and environmental systems. Learn More »

  • Stanford Global Studies

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    Stanford Global Studies Within the Stanford Global Studies division, 14 programs and international centers provide resources for examining the world through multiple perspectives—economic, political, social, technological, and cultural. Through courses, research, and events in programs such as Islamic, Iranian, and Buddhist studies, scholars engage in a deep comparative analysis of the increasingly interconnected world.

    Undergraduate majors are available in International Relations, and Jewish Studies. Minors are available in those programs, as well as in Latin American Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. ICA also supports five interdisciplinary master’s degree programs: African Studies; East Asian Studies; Latin American Studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and International Policy Studies. Learn More »

  • Symbolic Systems

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    The interdisciplinary program Symbolic Systems focuses on computers and the human mind, examining the relationship between artificial and natural systems that use symbols to represent information. Faculty members teach the theoretical background and technical skills necessary to research questions about language, information, and human and artificial intelligence.

    Coursework incorporates instruction in science and engineering, as well as humanistic approaches to issues surrounding language and intelligence. Core requirements include cross-disciplinary courses in symbolic logic, the philosophy of mind, formal linguistics, cognitive psychology, programming, the mathematics of computation, statistical theory, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. Learn More »

  • Urban Studies

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    Urban Studies The interdisciplinary undergraduate Urban Studies program brings together students, faculty, and specialists to study the nature of cities and their impact on society and people’s lives. Coursework from the social sciences, history, and education explores how cities have changed over time, as well as contemporary urban issues such as poverty, homelessness, and troubled schools.

    Through instruction, independent research, and real-world experience, students develop the tools and knowledge needed to help improve urban environments. Learn More »

Featured Program: Human Biology

Human Biology

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Research Centers

  • Bill Lane Center for the American West

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  • Bing Nursery School

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    Located on campus, Bing School was originally established to promote research in developmental psychology. From the time the school was built, emphasis has been placed on providing children the opportunity to learn social skills and enhance their cognitive abilities by exploring the natural environment and interacting with each other under the guidance of skilled teachers. Today, the Bing School provides top quality early education to approximately 400 children between the ages of two and five. Learn More »

  • Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

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    Through research, teaching, and engagement, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society is committed to bringing ethical reflection to bear on social problems. The center is driven by the idea that major global issues—poverty, environmental sustainability, peace and security—are not only political and technological in nature but also moral. The center’s interdisciplinary initiatives draw on the strengths of Stanford’s faculty.

    In addition to housing the undergraduate honors Program in Ethics in Society, the center also runs a range of activities including a postdoctoral fellows program, lectures, conferences, workshops, curriculum development, and community partnerships.
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  • Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE)

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  • Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)

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  • Center for Latin American Studies

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  • Center for Molecular Analysis and Design (CMAD)

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    The Center for Molecular Analysis and Design (CMAD) is a new resource for graduate students and postdocs to collaborate within the Stanford chemistry department. The center supports collaborative research by awarding fellowships to graduate students and postdocs whose work spans the interests of multiple chemistry labs.

    CMAD also conducts bimonthly colloquia at which students associated with the center report on their current research and receive feedback from faculty.
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  • Confucius Institute

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    Stanford’s Confucius Institute is dedicated to research on and the teaching of Chinese language, literature, and culture. Administered by the Department of East Asian Studies, the new institute houses a reference library on China and will soon present lectures and workshops open to the public. It also awards fellowships each year to up to three graduate students enrolled in Stanford’s Chinese program. Chinese is now the second most popular foreign language on campus.

    The Confucius Institute is a partnership between Stanford, Peking University—one of China’s top research universities—and Hanban, a public institution affiliated with the Ministry of Education in China.
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  • Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies

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    The Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies (IPS) is a multidisciplinary master’s program dedicated to the study and analysis of the international system. Its goal is to provide students with in-depth exposure to a range of topics relevant in the 21st century, and to develop a foundation of skills and knowledge to address such issues.

    IPS allows students to focus on the international economic system, societies in transition, the rule of law and global justice, world health, negotiation and conflict management, security issues, and energy and the world environment.
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  • Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)

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  • Haas Center for Public Service

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  • Hopkins Marine Station

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  • Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS)

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    The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences trains researchers in advanced and innovative research methods, pursues interdisciplinary inquiry, and communicates findings that address significant global challenges. IRiSS provides a collaborative platform for the departments of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology, and Stanford’s graduate schools.

    The institute encompasses groups such as the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (CPI). It provides core support for research projects such as the American National Election Studies (ANES) and hosts secure facilities such as the Stanford branch of the Northern California Census Research Data Center.
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  • Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

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  • Kavli Institute for Particle Physics and Cosmology (KIPAC)

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    Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Physics and Cosmology (KIPAC) seek solutions to some of today’s most interesting and challenging problems in astrophysics and cosmology. KIPAC’s mission is to bridge theoretical and experimental physics communities and bring their combined strengths to bear on these questions. Learn More »

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

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  • Mathematics Research Center (MRC)

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    Since its founding in 1999, the Mathematics Research Center (MRC) has helped transform Stanford into one of the world’s leading hubs for math research. The MRC provides opportunities for collaboration among Stanford students and faculty. It also engages rising stars and internationally renowned mathematicians on major research initiatives in pure and applied math.

    The center hosts conferences, workshops, and seminars to advance specific research areas and introduce young mathematicians to cutting-edge work in the field. In addition, the MRC sponsors educational and outreach activities for undergraduates and local high school students.
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  • Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research

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    Founded in 1974, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford is one of the nation’s oldest organizations devoted to the study of gender. The institute collaborates with interdisciplinary groups of scholars and activists to set a broad agenda for research on topics related to gender. Faculty, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows work together on projects and convene regularly for discussions and workshops.

    The institute publishes and disseminates its findings to engage communities and effect change nationally and internationally. The institute’s Gender News service, for example, features the latest research from Stanford.
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  • Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies

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    The Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies is a research unit within the School of Humanities and Sciences. The objective of the Institute is to lead the interdisciplinary study of population growth and its effects on social structures, national economies, resource availability, and the environment throughout the world. The three major facets to this endeavor — research, education, and contribution to the formation of policy — overlap in the major programs of the Institute. These programs include:

    International exchange. The visiting fellows’ program brings scholars to Stanford from developed and less-developed countries to study population, environment, resource management, and sustainable development.

    Student support. Through the grants and training program, the institute helps sponsor research projects by Stanford students, usually in fieldwork that contributes to their dissertations and to the study of population problems (e.g., on-site study of population growth as a factor in the destruction of the tropical forests of Latin America).

    Education. The annual Winter Colloquium, which is available for course credit, presents a range of lectures designed to highlight the significance of an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on the physical, natural, medical, and social sciences. Learn More »

  • Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

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    The Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at Stanford teaches students to examine the sciences, medicine and technology from myriad perspectives, conceptual, historical and social. The program's community of scholars includes core faculty and students from the history and philosophy departments as well as affiliated members in classics, anthropology, English, political science, communication, and other disciplines.

    Together, they draw upon the multiple methods of their disciplines to study the development, functioning, applications and social and cultural engagements of the sciences. Learn More »

  • Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (RICSRE)

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    As the research arm of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, RICSRE sponsors fellowship programs, research groups, and a range of events and conferences. The institute strives to expand the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines by approaching topics of race, ethnicity, and culture through new questions and methodology.

    RICSRE’s interdisciplinary group of scholars study social issues across time, examine various ethnic and racial groups, and look at issues of race and ethnicity from domestic and global perspectives. The institute encourages a deeper understanding of how race and ethnicity intersect with the social sciences and humanities—as well as with everyday lives.
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  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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    Since its opening in 1962, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has been helping create the future. Six scientists have been awarded Nobel prizes for work done at SLAC, and more than 1,000 scientific papers are published each year based on research at the lab. As our second half-century unfolds, we’re just getting started. Learn More »

  • Stanford Archaeology Center

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    The Archaeology Center’s goal is to give students a strong foundation in the discipline while fostering diverse and open-minded inquiry. In addition to housing the undergraduate and graduate archaeology programs, the center provides a forum for faculty, students, and postdocs from across campus to work on interdisciplinary projects. Collaborations draw from research in law and earth sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences.

    Opportunities at the center include fieldwork across the globe and lab work in areas such as the analysis of ancient DNA. The Archaeology Center promotes research in the conservation of natural and cultural capital, plus heritage ethics and human rights. It also hosts a program of distinguished scholars and offers workshops and public lectures.
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  • Stanford Arts Institute

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    The Stanford Arts Institute integrates art into Stanford life by hosting artists-in-residence, developing undergraduate arts programs, administering new multidisciplinary graduate programs, awarding grants for arts research and teaching, and fostering collaborative performances and exhibitions.

    Programming is organized around three areas that explore the role of art at Stanford and beyond: The Center for Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), Programming in Arts and Humanities, and Programming in Global Arts. In addition to providing a platform for cross-disciplinary dialogue, the Stanford Arts Institute bridges the campus arts community and its off-campus counterparts.
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  • Stanford Global Studies

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    Stanford Global Studies Within the Stanford Global Studies division, 14 programs and international centers provide resources for examining the world through multiple perspectives—economic, political, social, technological, and cultural. Through courses, research, and events in programs such as Islamic, Iranian, and Buddhist studies, scholars engage in a deep comparative analysis of the increasingly interconnected world.

    Undergraduate majors are available in International Relations, and Jewish Studies. Minors are available in those programs, as well as in Latin American Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. ICA also supports five interdisciplinary master’s degree programs: African Studies; East Asian Studies; Latin American Studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and International Policy Studies. Learn More »

  • Stanford in Washington

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    The Stanford in Washington program provides highly-qualified undergraduates with an opportunity to work and study in the nation's capital. In addition to providing students with an understanding of public policy making, the program offers an opportunity to take advantage of the city's unique cultural resources.

    Central in the student's educational experience is a full-time internship. Students serve as interns at institutions such as the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House, the National Institutes of Health, the Smithsonian Institution, World Bank, the Kennedy Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn More »

  • Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)

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  • Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP)

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    The Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP) supports a community of faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visitors who collaborate on research in high energy and condensed matter physics.

    SITP provides a place for Stanford’s leading physicists and rising scholars to come together, brainstorm ideas, and uncover answers to topics such as quantum gravity, string theory, and cosmology. The world’s top theoretical physicists are also invited to present colloquia, lead workshops, and work with Stanford researchers. Learn More »

  • Stanford Live

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    Stanford Live Stanford Live produces and presents music, theater, dance, spoken word, and multimedia events across the university. With a focus on innovation and risk-taking, the program has emerged as an incubator and destination for new work by artists outside the Stanford community.

    Stanford Live plays a leading and collaborative role in the university’s thriving culture of creativity—one in which the arts mingle with academic disciplines and flourish as a vital part of campus and community. Learn More »

  • Taube Center for Jewish Studies

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  • The Stanford Humanities Center

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    Founded in 1980, the Stanford Humanities Center sponsors advanced research into the historical, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of the human experience. The center's international visitors, fellowships, research workshops, and public events strengthen the intellectual and creative life of the university, foster innovative scholarship and teaching, and enrich the community's understanding of our common humanity.

    As one of the most dynamic humanities centers in the country, the Stanford Humanities Center offers about 25 fellowships every year, supports 15 to 20 year-long research workshops, hosts four to six international visitors, stages numerous public events, and supports collaborative projects.
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