Department Profiles

The departments of Anthropological Sciences and Cultural and Social Anthropology have merged to form one department, the Department of Anthropology.

Anthropology is devoted to the study of human beings and human societies as they exist across time and space. It is distinct from other social sciences in that it gives central attention to the full time span of human history, and to the full range of human societies and cultures, including those located in historically marginalized parts of the world. It is therefore especially attuned to questions of social, cultural, and biological diversity, to issues of power, identity, and inequality, and to the understanding of dynamic processes of social, historical, ecological, and biological change over time. Education in anthropology provides excellent preparation for living in a multicultural and globally-interconnected world, and helps to equip students for careers in fields including law, medicine, business, public service, research, and ecological sustainability and resource management. Students may pursue degrees in anthropology at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Morex

Applied Physics
Applied Physics is a graduate department with an emphasis on research and teaching relevant to applications of newly developing areas of physical science. Present activities include research in physics of condensed matter, lasers and quantum electronics, high-speed opto-electronics, fiber and guided wave devices, free-electron laser physics, force microscopy and imaging, vacuum tunneling, nondestructive testing, biophysics, synchrotron and accelerator physics, semiconductor physics and devices, and astrophysics and space physics. Morex

Art and Art History
The Art and Art History department offers courses of study in the history of art and in the practice of art, intended to increase understanding of the meaning and purpose of the arts, their historical development, their role in society, and their relationship to other humanistic disciplines such as literature, music, and philosophy. Work in the classroom and studio is designed to intensify visual perception of the formal and expressive means of art and to encourage insight into a variety of technical processes. Morex

Asian Languages
The Department of Asian Languages at Stanford is dedicated to the languages, literatures, linguistics and cultures of East Asia. The Department prepares students for B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese and Japanese, and has a thriving program in Korean language. It also offers an undergraduate and a Ph.D. minor in Chinese or Japanese language and literature.

The department includes more than 110 graduate students and 90 postdoctoral fellows from all over the world. Major research interests fall in the areas of molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology and genetics; plant biology; population and evolutionary biology and ecology; and marine biology. Morex


In addition to basic research opportunities for undergraduates, the Department of Chemistry at Stanford provides graduate study in a wide range of contemporary areas of chemistry, including organic, inorganic, physical, and biophysical chemistry. In the image above, tools of simulation and stochastics are used to examine the conformational dynamics of biological molecules of varying sizes and chemical compositions. Morex

Currently housed in six different buildings on campus, Stanford’s Chemistry Department is physically and intellectually located at the center of an enormous range of scientific enterprises which offer tremendous opportunities for curious and inventive young scientists. Large numbers of biotechnology, semiconductor, and laser companies have their roots in research undertaken at Stanford, helping to create an exciting and intense atmosphere of innovation and discovery. These relationships are continually fostered through the department’s Corporate Program. Morex

The Department of Classics is located in the Main Quad at Stanford University. Visit their site to take a virtual tour and learn more. Morex

The Department of Communication engages in research in communication and offers curricula leading to the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. The M.A. degree prepares students for research on mass media or for careers in journalism. The Ph.D degree leads to careers in teaching and research-related specialties. Morex

Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages (DLCL)
The DLCL brings together six departments of literature and culture—Asian Languages, Comparative Literature, French and Italian, German Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Spanish and Portuguese—and the Language Center to encourage intellectual collaboration and provide administrative support. While the six departments are largely autonomous, they draw on the combined resources of the DLCL to develop joint programs and represent common interests. Morex


Productions are an essential part of the Drama Department's program. Every drama degree requires students to work in the theater, often side by side with the faculty, to create successful productions. Most of our major shows are directed by our graduate students, as part of their degree work. Morex

The Stanford Department of Drama offers a Doctor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts, as well as a minor. Morex

This subject has been taught at Stanford since the first year of classes in 1891. The department's courses and faculty acquaint students with the economic aspects of modern society, familiarize them with techniques for the analysis of contemporary economic problems and develop in them an ability to exercise judgment in evaluating public policy. There is training for the general student as well as for those who plan careers as economists in civil service, private enterprise, teaching, or research. Morex

The faculty members of Stanford’s Department of English are experts in fields ranging from medieval and Renaissance literature to post-colonial studies. In addition to undergraduate and graduate courses, the department oversees the university’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric and is affiliated with the Stanford Humanities Fellows Program. Morex

The History Department at Stanford, with more than 170 undergraduates and more than 50 faculty members, offers many different ways to study the past. We have courses on medieval Japan and modern America, on the development of opera and foreign policy, family life and the origins of anti-Semitism. Morex

The Stanford University Department of Linguistics is a vibrant center of research and teaching, with 20 faculty members, more than 40 graduate students, and a lively undergraduate major. The range of languages studied is diverse and the scope of active research and teaching is broad, including acquisition, computational linguistics, historical linguistics, morphology, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, semantics, sociolinguistics, syntax, typology and variation. Morex

Stanford’s Department of Mathematics offers a wide-variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in various aspects of mathematics, and extends its expertise beyond Stanford with the Education Program for Teachers of Mathematics, which offers Stanford credit via distance learning to K-12 math teachers. Morex

The Department of Music aims to provide specialized training for those who plan careers in music as composers, performers, teachers, and research scholars; and to promote the understanding and enjoyment of music in the University at large through its courses and abundant performance offerings. Varied opportunities for instrumental and vocal study and performance are available to majors and nonmajors alike. Morex

Stanford’s philosophy program is well known for its small size, excellent support, streamlined teaching requirements, and low average time to degree. In recent years, the department has had one of the best Ph.D. placement records in the country. Stanford offers both terminal M.A. and Ph.D study, and an undergraduate degree. Morex

The Physics Department at Stanford University is one of great distinction with faculty that includes five Nobel Laureates. Jointly with Department of Applied Physics and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, we have formed a distinguished physics community, which provides a diverse and invigorating program for both graduate and undergraduate studies. Morex

Political Science
The Department of Political Science does not embrace any particular philosophy or approach to the study of political science, but offers courses and research opportunities in a wide variety of fields in the discipline, including American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. Morex


Recently recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for its "eminence," Stanford’s Department of Psychology’s undergraduate and graduate majors offer excellent training in how to understand human behavior using scientifically rigorous methods. Morex

Religious Studies
Stanford's Department of Religious Studies offers a variety of disciplinary perspectives on religion and on the history, literature, thought, and practice of particular religious traditions. The department is home to a dozen regular faculty members with strengths especially in the fields of Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism and enrolls about thirty graduate students and roughly half as many undergraduate majors. Morex

Sociology was represented at Stanford University from its earliest days as a part of the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1957, the discipline became an independent department and developed its strengths in strengths in social psychology, organizational studies, sociological theory and methods, and comparative sociology. Recent faculty appointments have allowed the department to offer courses and research training in the additional areas of economic sociology, ethnic studies, network analysis, political sociology, social movements and social stratification. Morex

Stanford’s statistics program is one of the top in the nation. Graduate majors include the MSc in Statistics or Financial Mathematics and a doctoral program. Undergraduate programs also are offered. Morex

Additional profiles are available in the Program Profiles section of this web site.