Please note: For the most up-to-date information about Majors and Programs, you can refer to the programs section of the new bulletin!

Comparing Majors Options

Making Choices

During your undergraduate career, you have the ability to customize your completion of the Major requirement to best suit your individual and academic preferences. Many of these choices are choices between pursuing breadth of academic study or a more in-depth approach to a particular field.

As you consider these options, avoid thinking about accumulating credentials. Instead look for the course of study that will help you produce a coherent academic program based on your interests and goals. Note that many employers and graduate programs are most interested in the quality, rigor, depth, and intensity of your overall education.

Major tracks / concentrations are determined by individual departments and programs

Benefits

Allows students the time and opportunities to expand the range of their undergraduate experiences and achieve a well-rounded academic experience (through overseas study, community service work, leadership opportunities, student activities)

Course work

Major Requirements: Determined by each program / department

Degree

Major appears on the diploma and on the transcript.

When you need to decide

Most students declare their major by the end of their sophomore year.

Two or more majors

Benefits

Allows students to add breadth to their undergraduate education by concentrating with equal rigor on two fields of study

Course work

Major Requirements: Determined by each program/ department.. Students cannot double-count classes for both majors.

Degree

Both majors appear on the diploma and on the transcript.

When you need to decide

Most students declare one major by the end of their sophomore year. The additional major can be declared any time (up to the application to graduate deadline for the term in which the student intends to graduate), but you should plan for it as early as possible.

A primary major and a secondary major

Benefits

Allows students to add breadth to their education by concentrating with equal rigor on two fields of study with the ability to double-count classes between the two majors

Course work

Major Requirements: Determined by each program/ department.. You can double- count classes between majors.

Degree

Only the primary major appears on the diploma. Both majors appear on the transcript; one listed as primary, the other as secondary

When you need to decide

Most students declare one major by the end of their sophomore year; the secondary major can be added any time (up to the application to graduate deadline for the term in which the student intends to graduate), but you should plan for it as early as possible.

Coming Soon!

One or more minors

Benefits

Allows students the opportunity to add breadth and coherence to their education by complementing their major studies with work in another field

Course work

Minor Requirements: Determined by each program/ department.. Students cannot double-count courses for major and minor requirements unless they satisfy an introductory skills requirement (i.e., intro math or foreign language) or meet a school requirement (as in the School of Engineering).

Degree

Minors listed on the transcript.

When you need to decide

Minors can be added at any time after the major has been declared, but must be declared no later than the deadline for your application to graduate.

Simultaneously work toward an Undergraduate and a master’s degree

Benefits

Allows students the opportunity to begin work on a master’s degree while still finishing a bachelor’s degree and add coherence and depth to their educational program

Course work

You have two active careers when admitted into the coterm program (graduate and undergraduate) under which to enroll in courses. Undergraduate career is used to enroll in courses for bachelor’s degree. Graduate career is used to enroll in courses toward the master’s degree.

Degree

Bachelor’s degree can be conferred before the master’s degree or simultaneously.

When you need to decide

You can apply to a coterm program as early as your 8th quarter at Stanford, after or upon completing 120 course units. You cannot apply later than the quarter prior to the one in which you expect to finish your undergraduate degree.

Recognition of successful completion of special advanced or interdisciplinary work

Benefits

Allows students to conduct in-depth research in the major field or other field to enrich the academic experience

Course work

Honors Requirements: Involves writing an honors thesis. Many honors students participate in Bing Honors College. Many departments / programs offer Honors Seminars.

Degree

Diploma notes “Honors” as does the transcript

Configurations

Can enroll in Honors within your major. Interdisciplinary Honors in a field other than your major. Public Service Scholars program to connect Community service with your Honors project.

When you need to decide

Most students apply for the honors program after they declare their major, at the end of their sophomore year or beginning of the junior year.