Stem cells have self-renewal capability and can proliferate and differentiate into a variety of functionally active cells that can serve in various tissues and organs. This review discusses the history, definition, and classification of stem cells. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) mainly include embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the embryo. Induced pluripotent stem cells are derived from reprogramming somatic cells. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into cells derived from all three germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm). Adult stem cells can be multipotent or unipotent and can produce tissue-specific terminally differentiated cells. Stem cells can be used in cell therapy to replace and regenerate damaged tissues or organs.