The Thinking Matters Requirements: ESF, ITALIC, SLE

There are several different paths to complete your Thinking Matters requirement.

Thinking Matters Courses

Thinking Matters courses are meant to develop your ability to ask questions and articulate problems in ways that are as unique as each of you. Take them during fall, winter, or spring your first year.

 see Thinking Matters courses

Education as Self-Fashioning (ESF)

In Education as Self-Fashioning, we explore this idea from many different perspectives. We consider writings about education by intellectuals working in various fields, with the aim of articulating the ways that education can be used to structure one’s thinking, one’s self, and ultimately one’s life as a whole. 

 visit the ESF page

Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture (ITALIC)

ITALIC is propelled by a series of provocative questions about the place of the arts across the academic disciplines and in the world outside the university. The class is built around a series of questions about the purpose of art, the unique understandings it makes possible and the challenges it can present to categories of knowledge—history, politics, culture, science, medicine, law. The course makes the arts a frame for exploring existence through a series of close investigations and analyses of major works of the visual, performing and filmic arts, as well as less considered instances of the aesthetic in daily life. ITALIC will explore what the cultivation of aesthetic perception, analysis and experience in art can bring to creativity and perception in areas of human endeavor outside of art.

Visit the ITALIC page

Structured Liberal Education (SLE)

SLE is among Stanford’s longest-running programs designed especially for frosh. Since 1974 it has offered an integrated program in humanities classics (literature, philosophy, and the arts) and writing instruction in which the 90 students live together in the three houses of East Florence Moore Hall.

visit the SLE page