Skip to content Skip to navigation

Declaring Undergraduate Majors, Honors, and Minors

The primary purpose of the undergraduate major is to encourage you to explore a subject area in considerable depth. This in-depth study complements the breadth of study promoted by the General Education Requirements and, in many cases, by your choice of elective courses.

Choosing a Major

Each entering student at Stanford has full access to all undergraduate offerings in the Schools of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Engineering, and Humanities & Sciences. The curriculum is not strictly divided into upper and lower divisions, so you may enroll in courses for which you are appropriately prepared. Course prerequisites are intended to serve as a guide, rather than as a deterrent.

Because some of the technical majors, such as engineering, have a more structured curriculum, students considering those majors should take some introductory courses in math and/or science during their first year.

You are asked to choose a major by the time you achieve junior status, usually completion of 90 units, including units granted for transfer work or Advanced Placement. Even after this point you may change your major if your interests shift.

Declaring a Major

If you are undeclared and want to declare your major, log on to Axess. You then submit a request to the department in which you want to pursue a major. The department informs you of their decision whether to accept you into the major. You should contact the department directly to determine if any other requirements must be fulfilled to process your major declaration request.

Note that students must declare a major prior to requesting to add a minor. 

You may change your major at any time by declaring a new major in Axess.

Major Field of Study

The major field of study is an area of concentration or a track within a particular major. The field may be noted on the transcript as specified by the department. In certain instances, the major field is noted on the diploma.

Individually Designed Major in Engineering

The School of Engineering offers an Individually Designed Major (IDM), intended for students who want to pursue an area of scholarly inquiry outside of established departments or programs at the University. Bachelor's degree requirements are the same. Prospective IDM students in the School of Engineering must obtain approval from two faculty members, one of whom must be an Academic Council member in the School of Engineering.  The IDMEN proposal is then reviewed by a faculty committee led by the senior associate dean. Contact the Dean's Office in the School of Engineering for further information.

No other Individually Designed Majors are offered.