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Minors and More

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A major is not the only way to earn an official label that signals your interests and the skills you have developed at Stanford. Some other credentials include minors, notations, certificates, and interdisciplinary honors programs.


Minors can add breadth to an undergraduate education by allowing you to either develop an expertise in a related field, or cultivate interests that are quite independent of your major.

That said, pursuing a minor should be weighed against competing opportunities such as research, public service, and overseas study, or simply taking a more varied and less prescribed curriculum.

Minors vary by the number of courses needed and the proportion of required versus elective courses. You can browse the full list of minors here (click on each major and see if there is a minor offered) and may further investigate them on departmental sites or in the Stanford Bulletin.

Students pursuing a minor cannot double-count courses for completing major and minor requirements.  Exceptions can sometimes be made if a course satisfies an introductory skill requirement or a school requirement, but this is at the discretion of both your major and minor departments. If you have any questions, be sure to contact the relevant Student Services Officers for your chosen major and minor.

You must declare your minor no later than the deadline for your application to graduate. Note that some departments or programs set earlier deadlines for declaration; verify dates with the department.

Note that some Stanford programs do not offer an undergraduate major, but may offer a minor or another credential. Some examples include: Dance, Education, Human Rights, Statistics, Sustainbility, and more. 

Notations, Certificates, and Interdisciplinary Honors Programs

Some programs offer notations and certificates, which are similar to a minor but generally less intensive. These credentials denote the development of a skill or the mastering of a body of knowledge. Some examples include the Notation in Science Communication, the Notation in Cultural Rhetorics, and the Certificate on Poverty and Inequality.

Interdisciplinary honors are another route to building an expertise outside your major. These programs allow students from any major to pursue an independent research experience in a different area.

The current Interdisciplinary Honors programs are:

Like majors and minors, notations and interdisciplinary honors programs appear on the university transcript, but certificates do not.

See Also

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