Purpose Pathways

The DCI Program seeks to equip Fellows with the tools for a more positive life journey. Fellows select a broad academic theme or “purpose pathway” to guide their coursework and academic programs. Purpose pathways are analogous to academic majors but do not prescribe a specific or singular curriculum; rather, they provide Fellows with a starting point for meaningful exploration.


To complement the academic experience, DCI provides a variety of programs that support focused self-reflection and the continued exploration of purpose. Customized courses for DCI Fellows include a life design workshop and small group sessions that use design-thinking to examine one’s life aspirations. In addition, a memoir-writing course for DCI Fellows and Partners only allows participants to explore their past as prologue to the present and future. Fellows also engage in a storytelling project that culminates in the sharing of their story with their cohort, via transformative moments in their journey, known as Life Transformation Reflections.


The uniquely creative and entrepreneurial learning environment of Stanford University enables DCI Fellows to envision new career or life directions that build on their past accomplishments. Fellows have opportunities to align their interests with dozens of interdisciplinary centers and institutes within Stanford. The educational culture within DCI and the University fosters investigation of uncharted territory and discovery of new and sometimes unexpected horizons, enabling Fellows to test and pursue opportunities for impact in their own lives, as well as in their families and communities.