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WAYS Requirements and Undergraduates in Philosophy

Beginning Autumn Quarter 2013, entering first-year students must satisfy the WAYS requirement, an initiative of Stanford University to develop undergraduate capacities through the general education requirements.

Please check the Stanford Bulletin (ExploreDegrees) for the most up to date requirements.

The WAYS requirement includes the completion of 11 WAYS courses in eight diverse areas  two courses each in WAY-AII (Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry), WAY-SI (Social Inquiry), and WAY-SMA (Scientific Method and Analysis), and one course in each of the remaining five WAYS.  Although courses may be certified to fulfill two WAYS, you may only count a single course toward any one WAY requirement in your program of study

Philosophy and WAYS

You will find that a variety of philosophy courses satisfy WAYS requirements.  Find all the WAYS categories below and examples of Philosophy courses that fulfill each category. Explore the philosophy courses offered for the current quarter or search the full list of philosophy courses find all the philosophy courses that fulfill each category, discover new courses in philosophy, and learn about the diverse areas within the department. 


WAY-AII: Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry (2 courses)

  • PHIL 60: Introduction to Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 77S: Philosophy of Religion​ 

Find more Philosophy courses that fulfull WAY-AII

WAY-SI: Social Inquiry (2 courses)

WAY-SMA: Scientific Method and Analysis (2 courses)

WAY-AQR: Applied Quantitative Reasoning

  • PHIL 166: Probability: Ten Great Ideas About Chance

WAY-CE: Creative Expression

WAY-ED: Engaging Diversity​

  • PHIL 153: Feminist Theories and Methods Across the Disciplines
  • PHIL 175A: Ethics and Politics of Public Service

Find more Philosophy courses that fulfull WAY-ED

WAY-ER: Ethical Reasoning

  • PHIL 2: Introduction to Moral Philosophy
  • PHIL 74A: Ethics in a Human Life

Find more Philosophy courses that fulfull WAY-ER

WAY-FR: Formal Reasoning  

  • PHIL 49: Survey of Formal Methods
  • PHIL 50: Introductory Logic (not given 15-16)
  • PHIL 99: Minds and Machines


* Thinking Matters courses typically satisfy a WAY.

** Courses may also count both for major and General Education requirements.

** New transfer students must satisfy the WAYS requirement effective Autumn Quarter 2014-15.