We report that terahertz (THz) irradiation of mouse mesenchymal stem cells with a pulsed broadband (centered at 10 THz) source, or a single-frequency, 2.52 THz, (SF) laser source, both with weak average power (<1mW/cm2), results in specific heterogenic changes in gene expression. The insignificant differential expression of heat shock and stress related genes as well as our temperature measurements imply a non-thermal response. The microarray survey and RT-PCR experiments demonstrate that at different irradiation conditions distinct groups of genes are activated. Stem cells irradiated for 12 hours with the broadband THz source exhibit an accelerated differentiation toward adipose phenotype, while the 2-hour (broadband or SF) irradiation affects genes transcriptionally active in pluripotent stem cells. Phenotypic and gene expression differences suggest that the THz effect depends on irradiation parameters such as duration and type of THz source, and on the level of stem cell differentiation. Computer simulations of the core promoters of two pluripotency markers reveal association between gene upregulation and propensity for DNA breathing. We propose that THz radiation has potential for non-contact control of cellular gene expression.