Courses on the West at Stanford

The American West- An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course

The American West is an interdisciplinary undergraduate course that debuted in the spring quarter of 2014 and is being taught for a second time in the spring of 2015. 


The American West is characterized by frontier mythology, vast distances, marked aridity, and unique political and economic characteristics. This course integrates several disciplinary perspectives into a comprehensive examination of Western North America: its history, physical geography, climate, literature, art, film, institutions, politics, demography, economy, and continuing policy challenges. Students examine themes fundamental to understanding the region: time, space, water, peoples, and boom and bust cycles.


Article from Stanford Humanities: Stanford course aims to cultivate future leaders of the American West 

Curated List of Other Courses on the West at Stanford

Each year, Stanford University offers nearly 100 courses related to the study of the North American West across a wide range of departments and programs. Click on the links here to see a listing by quarter:

Exploring the West High School Curriculum

Exploring the West is a high-school curriculum committed to expanding and enriching students’ perceptions of the West. The site contains worksheets and lesson plans that present the West as a contemporary, diverse, transnational, and dynamic region.

Due to security concerns following a cyber attack, the site has been brought down for maintenance. We invite you to fill out a survey if you are interested in using Exploring the West for your classroom and would like to be notified when it is available again.

We hope you will let friends and colleagues know about this resource. And give us a heads up if we are missing anything. Thanks!