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Choose one course to take during your first year at Stanford. 

You can view the complete COLLEGE catalog, or use the course listing below. A single COLLEGE or Thinking Matters course will fulfill the requirement for the Class of 2025, or visit Compare Options to Fulfill the Requirement to learn about special and residential programs. 


COLLEGE courses help you reflect on your own education, evaluate your place within the communities where you belong, or analyze your relationship and responsibility to the globe.

Thinking Matters Courses

Thinking Matters courses invite you to question some of the fundamental issues of the world today while engaging methods from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM—often all in the same class.

So many courses! How do you pick one?

A good start is to consider which topic among the 18 classes arouses your curiosity and motivates you to engage in deep critical inquiry. Read beyond the course title to learn about the fundamental questions and problems that the class investigates. Another way to decide is to learn about the faculty teaching the class—is this person active in a research or a professional field that you’d like to explore? Be assured that there is no single ‘right’ choice!  You can also change your mind after you get your course placement in mid-August. Check out the catalog below for more guidance.

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So is it COLLEGE or Thinking Matters?

It's COLLEGE, which is shorthand for Civic, Liberal, and Global Education. The COLLEGE requirement is currently in transition from the older Thinking Matters requirement, so for 2021-22, we will be hosting both new COLLEGE courses and previously offered THINK courses, including some courses that were piloted as THINK this year and will be COLLEGE courses next year. Any course with a COLLEGE or THINK subject code will equally fulfill the COLLEGE requirement for the Class of 2025.


You can also fulfill the COLLEGE requirement by participating in the ESF, ITALIC, or SLE programs.  Visit Compare Options to Fulfill the Requirement for a handy chart to see the differences.