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Applying for WAYS Certification

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If possible, all advanced PWR courses should be designed to full WAYS requirements.  The WAYS requirements are a series of breadth requirements that all Stanford undergraduates have to complete prior to graduation. 

WAYS Requirements

  • Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry (AII: 2 courses required)
  • Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR: 1 course required)
  • Creative Expression (CE: 1 course required)
  • Engaging Diversity (ED: 1 course required)
  • Ethical Reasoning (ER: 1 course required)
  • Formal Reasoning (FR: 1 course required)
  • Scientific Methods and Analysis (SMA: 2 courses required)
  • Social Inquiry (SI: 2 courses required)

A full description of the different WAYS can be found on the WAYS website.  Students are more likely to enroll in classes that fulfill a WAYS.  You may apply for up to two WAYS for your course. To apply, you’ll need to submit a copy of your full syllabus through an online submission portal.  The deadlines for submission usually fall during the first week of classes in the quarter prior to the quarter in which you are teaching the course.  You can find the most current deadlines on the WAYS faculty page.


Here’s the process to follow as you get ready to apply for WAYS certification:

  1. Meet with the Associate Director to review the different WAYS and brainstorm which one (or ones) best match your learning goals and intended course design
  2. Review the WAYS Guidelines for Faculty and other online resources.  Also look at the Student Guide, especially focusing on the “Rationale” and the “Essential Elements” categories.
  3. Look at successful syllabi online through the WAYS website.
  4. Develop your syllabus with your desired WAYS in mind.  Key points to consider: Consider how the learning objectives you share on your syllabus resonate with the goals associated with your selected WAYS; Consider how your assignments are designed to accomplish the goals associated with your selected WAYS; Think about how to use phrasing and language to echo/evoke the goals associated with your selected WAYS.
  5. If you want, feel free to send the Associate Director a copy of your syllabus draft for feedback.
  6. Submit your syllabus for certification through the online submission portal (  Key notes about submission: Your course should appear in the “Course” dropdown menu. If it doesn’t, contact the Associate Director immediately; For the “Administrator” contact information, put the Associate Director’s contact information