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Monday, April 18, 2016
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Accepting Applications 

November 25, 2015 – April 11, 2016 

Course Starts Online: 

April 18, 2016 

Come to Stanford: 

May 31-June 3, 2016 

Fee and Application. 

This course is offered through Worldview Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates interdisciplinary learning experiences for professionals to prepare them for the strategic challenges ahead. 


What's driving big data? We increasingly live our social, economic, and intellectual lives in the digital realm, enabled by new tools and technologies. These activities generate massive data sets, which in turn refine the tools. How will this co-evolution of technology and data reshape society more broadly? 

Creating new knowledge and value: Big data changes what can be known about the world, transforming science, industries, and culture. It reveals solutions to social problems and allows products and services to be even more targeted. Where will big data create the greatest sources of new understanding and value? 

Shifting power, security, and privacy: The promise of big data is accompanied by perils—in terms of control, privacy, security, reputation, and social and economic disruption. How will we manage these tradeoffs individually and in business, government, and civil society? 


Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including: 

Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy, technology, and policy scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society 

Sharad Goel, computational scientist studying politics, media, and social networks 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

Jennifer Granick, attorney and director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society 

Michal Kosinski, psychologist and computational scientist studying online and organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

John Mitchell, computer scientist, cybersecurity expert, and Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning

Big Data

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Now Open!

This program is offered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD)  through the School of Engineering and Graduate School of Business.

Date: Ongoing

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Influenced by the spirit of Silicon Valley, the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship professional certificate program is designed to foster your ability to think differently in your quest to develop innovative products, services and organizations.

The Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate is the online program that blends real-world innovation experience with proven research models from world-class faculty at both the School of Engineering and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Master the skills, mindset and culture of innovation driving Silicon Valley with a self-paced, customizable program that lets you take exactly what you want, when you want. Choose one or two courses to focus on a specific need or complete 8 courses and receive the official Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. Apply your newfound skills and insights on the job, in real time and make an immediate impact on your company…and your career.


  • Learn from world renowned faculty from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Stanford School of Engineering
  • Gain useful tools and strategies that you can apply immediately whether you work at a start-up or a large organization
  • Hear seasoned entrepreneurs and CEOs tell stories and share insights of their successes and failures
  • Practice applying new concepts and frameworks to refine your skills and knowledge
  • Receive personal feedback and support from the Stanford innovation coaches
  • Work at your own pace with course access 24/7
  • Customize the program by selecting the courses that are most relevant to you
  • Entrepreneurs looking to start their own venture
  • Intrapreneurs from large and small companies developing new products and services
  • Engineers and leaders of innovation teams
  • Project team leaders in any field or organization—public or private
  • Professionals who want to create a culture of entrepreneurship in their organization

Who Should Enroll

  • Entrepreneurs looking to start their own venture
  • Intrapreneurs from large and small companies developing new products and services
  • Engineers and leaders of innovation teams
  • Project team leaders in any field or organization—public or private
  • Professionals who want to create a culture of entrepreneurship in their organization


This certificate is offered online and the courses cover a broad range of topics relevant for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and innovators. Each course is a self-paced independent unit. Participants have the flexibility of taking individual courses in any order or earning the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate by completing any 8 of the 12 courses.

Each course is comprised of approximately 4 hours of online videos, 4 hours of hands-on assignments, and a final exam. A discussion forum allows participants to interact with the teaching team and others who are enrolled in the course. The teaching team also provides feedback on select assignments. Each course is available for 90 days after the date of enrollment.


An approved application is required to enroll in Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses to ensure you have the background to benefit from the program. Each application will be evaluated as a whole, taking into consideration both the candidate's academic and professional experience. Below is a profile of a typical student that is admitted into the program. We are looking for a diverse group of innovators, so if you’re background does not match the typical student profile, we still strongly encourage you to apply.

Typical Student Profile

  • 5 years work experience
  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, with minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Background in management or working in teams
  • An entrepreneurial and innovative spirit

Applications may be submitted online at anytime.  Sample Application 


  • $995 per online course
  • $7,960 total for the 8 courses needed
  • $75 one-time document fee (covers life-time access to your record of completion)


For more information please see

You can also contact us by phone at 650-741-1581 or by email

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Monday, February 9, 2015 to Friday, March 20, 2015
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This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.


Physical health, emotional well-being, social relationships, and professional success all require the ability to regulate our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Advances in psychology, neuroscience, medicine, and mind-body research are beginning to paint a new picture of what willpower is, why it matters, and how to develop it. 

Is willpower in the mind or in the body? Is it possible to run out of willpower, and how do you build a bigger reserve? What motivates people to change? Why do we talk ourselves out of things we really want or need to do? How much control over our thoughts and feelings do we really have, and what are the healthiest ways to regulate them? This course will address those questions through lectures, readings, and discussions, and give students the opportunity to apply the ideas of the course to making an important change or pursuing a major goal in their lives.

Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, this course can be taken anywhere, anytime— a plus for students who lead busy lives or for whom regular travel to the Stanford campus is not possible. While necessarily structured differently from the on-campus version, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions.

Tuition Applies


Kelly McGonigal, Senior Teacher, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford

Kelly McGonigal teaches for a wide range of programs at Stanford, including the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Business. She has received the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is the author of The Willpower Instinct: How Self- Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. McGonigal received a PhD in psychology from Stanford.


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This online professional course contributes to the Strategic Decision and Risk Management certificate.

Now Open!

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Course Description

Acquire an overview of the best practices for making smarter, faster, and more creative long-term decisions including these cornerstones of making better decisions:

Decision Quality - the framework that defines the requirements of a good decision

Dialogue Decision Process - a collaborative approach to address complex issues to reach quality decisions

Decision Analysis - the concepts and tools that produce clarity about the best choice in an uncertain and dynamic environment

Learn How To:

  • Frame a decision appropriately
  • Generate creative alternatives
  • Quantify uncertainty using probability
  • Structure and evaluate decision trees to determine the best alternative and communicate evaluation results
  • Build decision competency into an organization
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Course topic: 

This online professional course contributes to the Stanford Advanced Project Management certificate.

Now Open!

Course Description

This foundational course demonstrates what it takes to improve organizational alignment and deliver on your strategic objectives. Learn the framework for strategic execution that incorporates a full range of proven approaches and emerging concepts for aligning project and program initiatives with strategic objectives.

Learn How To:

  • Identify and reduce organizational barriers to strategic execution
  • Formulate approaches for improving alignment between your organization and your team's culture, structure, strategy, and metrics
  • Recognize, communicate, and influence project, program, and portfolio decisions and deliverables
  • Build a stronger project-based organization that consistently delivers high performance
  • Improve your ability to impact results beyond the project level

Tuition and Fee Apply

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Monday, January 5, 2015 to Sunday, February 15, 2015
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 The Course

This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, pioneered in Silicon Valley and now spreading across the world. You will learn the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies. It involves taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, figuring out how to sell and market the idea, and managing rapid growth. To gain practical experience alongside the theory, students form teams and work on startup projects in those teams. This is the 7th offering of the class. In total nearly 200,000 students from around the world have participated and worked in teams together in this class. The the best teams at the end of the class pitched their ideas to investors. Many of the alumni of the last class are continuing to build their startups and will be mentoring teams this time. By the conclusion of the course, it is our hope that you understand how to: 1. Articulate a process for taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity (high performing students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of alternative theoretical models). 2. Create and verify a plan for gathering resources such as talent and capital. 3. Create and verify a business model for how to sell and market an entrepreneurial idea. 4. Generalize this process to an entrepreneurial mindset of turning problems into opportunities that can be used in larger companies and other settings.


Workload: 10-20 hours per week.
Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments which will be reports and powerpoint/video presentations.
Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

Chuck Eesley

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In this introductory, self-paced course, you will learn multiple theories of organizational behavior and apply them to actual cases of organizational change.

It is hard to imagine living in modern society without participating in or interacting with organizations. The ubiquity and variability of organizations means there is ample room for complexity and confusion in the organizational challenges we regularly face. Through this course, participants will consider cases describing various organizational struggles: school systems and politicians attempting to implement education reforms; government administrators dealing with an international crisis; technology firms trying to create a company ethos that sustains worker commitment; and even two universities trying to gain international standing by performing a merger. 

Each case is full of details and complexity. So how do we make sense of organizations and the challenges they face, let alone develop means of managing them in desired directions? While every detail can matter, some matter more than others. This is why we rely on organizational theories -- to focus our attention and draw out relevant features in a sensible way. 

Through this self-paced course you will come to see that there is nothing more practical than a good theory. In every module, you’ll learn a different organizational theory, and it will become a lens through which you can interpret concrete organizational situations. Armed with a toolset of theories, you will then be able to systematically identify important features of an organization and the events transforming it – and use the theories to predict which actions will best redirect the organization in a desired direction.

Suggested Readings

No readings are required to complete this course. However, thousands of prior students have found the course textbook to be especially useful and worth the purchase. The textbook is over 200 pages in length but written in an accessible style. An e-book version costs about $10 plus transaction fees, which will vary depending on your location (see course page for details). 

Here is the manual link:

Please note the textbook is large and will take a while to download, so please secure a good connection before commencing the download process. If you are mostly interested in single modules of the course, then you can also purchase single chapters after you register using the links listed on the syllabus. 

Additional readings will be made available in the course syllabus and through a text provider. For further information, please register and access the course page.

Course Format

This is a self-paced course that you can take at your leisure and there are no deadlines! 

Each module includes a series of short lectures, followed by interactive assessments that refer to the module readings on an organizational theory and case. In addition, there will be a forum where students post questions, respond to others, and “like” questions they want answered. Within each module, I record and post on-line the discussion of highly rated forum questions (screen-side chat). A final exam reviews all the material in the course. 

You may take the quizzes and exams as many times as you like and we will keep the last score you achieve. We will grade all registered participants every three months and send out Statements of Accomplishments at that time. If you don't finish in three months, then complete the remaining requirements as soon as you can and the Statement of Accomplishment will arrive three months later when we grade again.  


• How much work will I be expected to do in this class? 
About 2 hours a week to watch the videos, complete the quizzes, and post online. 

• Will I get a “statement of accomplishment” after completing this class? 
Yes. Participants will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. It will designate whether the participants met the requirements that demonstrate literacy in organizational analysis. 

• Does Stanford award credentials or reports regarding my work in this course? 
Stanford University does not award certificates or other credentials for participants' work in this course. The instructor will offer a statement of accomplishment.

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Monday, October 6, 2014 to Monday, November 24, 2014
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About the Course

Giving 2.0: The MOOC, is a Stanford University-sponsored online course intended to teach givers of all ages, backgrounds, incomes and experiences to give more effectively. Taught by social entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Giving 2.0: The MOOC will teach you how to assess nonprofits, create a high-impact philanthropic strategy, volunteer more effectively, use existing, free technology for good and more. Course participants will engage in an actual grantmaking process during which up to $100,000 of Learning By Giving Foundation capital will be allocated to student-selected nonprofits.

Giving 2.0: The MOOC is a six-week course. Each week has a particular theme and 5-10 content-packed and activity-rich, video modules exploring that theme. Video modules will include lectures from Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen as well as interviews, discussions and lectures given by guest speakers. Guest speakers are renowned leaders in multiple industries including philanthropy, technology and business, who will provide unique insights into course topics. Students will have the opportunity to join Talkabouts – small virtual meeting groups created to discuss class-related topics. By the course’s conclusion, students will have created an Individual Giving Action Plan to guide their future giving in a highly effective and meaningful way. Students will also complete a formal nonprofit assessment. Students will consider and vote on eligible nonprofits and collaboratively determine which ones receive Learning By Giving Foundation grants. Students will also be provided with ongoing, post-MOOC philanthropy education content that will support continued development and execution of their philanthropic goals.

Recommended Background

This course reveals how anyone can be a high-impact philanthropist. There is nothing required except your generosity and a passion to improve our world.

Suggested Readings

There are no required readings for this course. However, the course is designed to work with the ideas and content from Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen’s book, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World (Wiley/Jossey Bass, 2011). The book can be found at all online sellers and in many bookstores. Here is the Amazon link. Other optional readings that will enhance your learning about each week’s theme will be listed on our course website.

Course Format

Our course will consist of lecture and guest speaker videos, each between 3-10 minutes in length. Most videos will contain integrated quiz questions (a scientifically proven way to increase information retention), small workbook activities and supplementary quizzes as needed. The two primary projects for our course are completing a comprehensive nonprofit assessment and creating your Individual Giving Action Plan. You will select a nonprofit you believe is creating significant social/environmental impact and will conduct an in-depth assessment of that nonprofit. Every completed nonprofit assessment will be eligible to receive potential funding during our student-run grantmaking process. You will also create your Individual Giving Action Plan, which will assess your unique resources and how you can most effectively translate those resources into helping transform both nonprofits and the lives of those they serve. There is no final exam (because I do not believe in tests!).


Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen; Lecturer in Business Strategy, Stanford 

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Monday, October 13, 2014
Course topic: 

This course is now closed, and course materials are no longer available.

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About This Course

Stocks and bonds have always been a critical part of any investment portfolio, but what do investors actually get in exchange for their investment? Why do publicly traded stocks and bonds have value?

This course will present an overview of stocks and bonds, with a focus on the finance fundamentals behind these instruments. We’ll start out with an overview of the bond market, paying special attention to corporate and municipal bonds. Next, we’ll review interest rates and their impact on the valuation of treasury bonds. Then we’ll take a look at the fundamentals of the stock market, and finally we’ll dive into an analysis of how to make smart decisions as an investor.

Since the course is self-study, you can take as much time as you need. Short lecture videos introduce the concepts in manageable chunks. Following each video are practice exercises to help cement your understanding of the key concepts. Finally, a recorded panel discussion featuring a Nobel Prize-winning economist will allow us to delve into the finer details of asset management.

Whether you’re an experienced shareholder, a novice investor, or simply interested in how our financial markets work, join us as we study the financial principles behind stocks and bonds.


There are no formal prerequisites, but students will ideally have had some exposure to college-level courses in economics or finance, even if that exposure was not especially recent or extensive. An understanding of the following key concepts will be helpful:

  • diversified stock portfolio
  • interest rates
  • inflation
  • present value formula
  • statistical concepts like mean, median, standard deviation, and percentiles

Important Information

This course contains general information about financial matters for educational purposes only. You should always consult with a competent financial services/legal professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation before making any decision.

The information provided in this course is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information in this course is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Stanford University makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal, financial, or any information in this course.


What is the time commitment for this course?

This course is self-study, so you may participate at whichever level works best for your schedule. The course consists of five sections, each of which contains approximately 45 minutes of video content and 1-2 hours’ worth of practice exercises.

Are any additional textbooks or software required?

No textbooks are required, but you will need to use some kind of spreadsheet software with the ability to view and edit Excel files.

Does this course carry any kind of Stanford University credit?

No, this course does not carry any Stanford University credit.

What are the technical requirements for taking this course?

We recommend taking this course on a standard computer using Google Chrome as your internet browser. We are not yet optimized for mobile devices.

Will this course offer a statement of accomplishment?

No, the course will not be offering a Statement of Accomplishment.

Joshua Rauh

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Monday, September 15, 2014 to Sunday, October 12, 2014
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The success of every venture depends on scaling: on sustaining and enhancing its effectiveness as it adds more employees, customers, and locations. The problem, however, is that scaling comes with inherent risk. Even the best founders and teams face setbacks, make mistakes, and must muddle through stretches of confusion and uncertainty.

Professors Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton devoted seven years to understanding the differences between organizations that scale well and those that scale badly. In the process, they have identified what leaders can do increase their organization’s odds of success. They compiled the lessons they learned into the Wall Street Journal best-selling book Scaling Up Excellence: How to Get More Without Settling for Less. In this course, you will learn the principles that will help you scale up your venture without screwing up. 

You’ll address questions that cut to the heart of the scaling challenge:

  1. How can you avoid the illusion, impatience, and incompetence that are hallmarks for botched scaling efforts?
  2. What should your strategy be? Should you be more “Catholic” and replicate one model as you grow? Or should you take a more “Buddhist” approach and encourage local customization as your footprint expands?
  3. How can you avoid cognitive overload on yourself and those you lead, while at the same time, add necessary complexity as your team and organizations grows?

The five-week course consists of assigned readings, lectures, exercises, and video interviews. Each week will present you with different questions, and assigned readings from Scaling Up Excellence. Additionally, lectures that extend the insights of the book have been prepared, and the video interviews provide rich practical advice. The video interviews feature some of the most successful venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, such as:

  • Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz
  • Michael Dearing - the early stage venture investing guru of Silicon Valley
  • Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari - two Stanford students whose class project turned into Pulse, a venture acquired by LinkedIn
  • Clara Shih, the founder of Hearsay Social, and a board member of Starbucks
  • Selina Tobaccowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey
  • Anthony Coles, former CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Kaye Foster-Cheek, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr. Jordan Kassalow, founder and co-chairman of VisionSpring 
  • Kevin Hassey, CEO of VisionSpring

Through the exercises, you will be able to apply the learnings directly to develop your scaling plan. At the end of the course, there is a live webinar during which some of the best works from the class will be showcased.


Recommended Textbook: Scaling Up Excellence by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao. Random House, 2014. It is available in hardcover or as a Kindle version.

Workload: Expect to spend between 4 - 6 hours per week on the course over the five-week period.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will be images, videos, slides, and text. You should also be prepared to collaborate with teammates via email, Skype, and other free online tools.

Prerequisites: None


Huggy Rao, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business 

Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford School of Engineering


Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.

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