The Humanities

The Stanford Challenge

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Music might do more than soothe the soul
Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) brings together a diverse group of colleagues, from disciplines including psychology, philosophy, music, and medicine. In one study, researchers hypothesize that rhythmic music may actually change brain function.  The research could lead to affordable treatments for a range of neurological conditions such as attention deficit disorder and depression.


The humanities at Stanford are distinguished by renowned scholars, dedicated teachers, diverse and outstanding undergraduates, and graduate students whose research pushes the boundaries of the expected.

The building blocks of critical thinking
Every entering freshman at Stanford is required to take courses in the humanities because we believe that building a broad base of knowledge is a critical underpinning of a liberal education — whatever field a student ultimately enters.

As we look to the future, we seek to continue to expand our strengths in the study of European, New World, and African societies, and to increase faculty representation in the study of Islamic societies and of South and East Asian regions, bringing the core of Western civilization and learning into conversation with other cultures in the modern world.

Cultivating the creative spirit
From the stage of the Pigott Theater to the studios of Roble Hall, the arts weave a rich and colorful tapestry across Stanford. Through our participation in the Arts Initiative, we are expanding opportunities for students to study, create, and experience art. Ultimately, by cultivating the creative spirit, the arts can foster innovation and an appreciation of diverse perspectives — building bridges to different cultures that can provide vital tools in the effort to understand the experiences of people around the world.

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