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Double Majors and Secondary Majors


Students with diverse or multiple areas of interest might consider adding breadth to their academic program by choosing to add a double or secondary major. 

Adding a second official area of study provides opportunities to experience another field of inquiry, participate in another intellectual community and learn another academic methodology. 

Double Majors

While students usually only declare one major, it is also possible to declare multiple majors within the same bachelor degree program (BA, BS, or BAS).  Double majors must fulfill all of the requirements for both majors with no overlapping courses.

Pursuing a double major is an option for students interested in more than one major area. It allows you to either deepen or diversify their course of study.

Planning for a double major is much more complicated than planning for a single major. You are strongly encouraged to initially declare a single major and then add the additional major later through Axess.

  • Students pursuing a double major must complete a Major-Minor and Multiple Major Course Approval form from the Office of the Registrar.

Double majors must fulfill all the requirements for both their majors with no overlapping or double-counted courses. The two exceptions to this are the following:

  • Courses that satisfy an introductory skill requirement (e.g., introductory math or foreign language)
  • For students majoring in an engineering field, any course that meet a school requirement in the School of Engineering.

Students with questions about overlapping courses should consult their faculty advisor and refer to the Stanford Bulletin for the official policy on multiple and secondary majors.

Secondary Majors

As with a double major, filing a secondary major allows students to complete more than one major. However, note the following significant differences:

  • In declaring a secondary major, students can overlap courses between the majors. 
  • On student transcripts, one major is listed as a primary major, the other as a secondary major.
  • The secondary major does not appear on the diploma.
  • While students are encouraged to seek faculty advising in their secondary department, that department is not required to assign formal advisors to these students.

Pursuing a secondary major is a good choice for a student interested in pursuing two majors who cannot fulfill the course requirements for the double major.

Office of the Registrar: Secondary Major

See Also