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How to Declare MCS

Information about declaring MCS or MCS with Honors

Undeclared students looking for an introduction to MCS may take Data Science 101 (STATS 101).  If the MCS major is declared, STATS 101 may be used for elective credit toward the major.

Students should have taken 2 of the required Math courses (51-52-53) and either have taken or are currently enrolled in STATS 116 (or another Statistics core course) prior to declaring MCS. If you do not yet meet these criteria, please meet with a peer advisor and email the MCS SSO.

Note that students are required to have a GPA of 3.0 to graduate.  Students with less than a B average upon declaration will be asked some additional questions and may have their major declaration held. Major declarations will not be approved if a student has an outstanding Incomplete on their transcript.

Prospective students may meet with MCS Peer Advisors during office hours in Sequoia Hall room 227 and can request to be join the mailing list.

Declaring MCS:

  1. Explore the Curriculum - To start, learn a little more about the MCS major's requirements including the core required courses and electives.
  2. Talk to a Peer Advisor - the MCS Peer Advisors know the program well and can help you plan a course of study that suits your interests and strengths.  They have weekly office hours held in Sequoia Hall room 227 and general questions can be emailed to
    • If you have a started a proposed study plan, bring it with you to our peer advising office hours or you may create your proposed study plan in the same visit with a Peer Advisor.
      • When your proposed plan meets all MCS preliminary requirements, the peer advisor tell you to schedule an appointment with the MCS Student Services Officer.
  3. Schedule an appoinment to meet the MCS Student Services Officer - Bring your proposed study plan and any questions you may have.
    • Once approved, you will be instructed to submit the major declaration in Axess.


At any time, you may meet with MCS Director, Prof. Guenther Walther. Just email a brief introduction along with your availability to to set up a meeting.



Notify MCS of changes - As you go through your remaining quarters at Stanford, we understand that plans may need to change.  Please keep the MCS SSO apprised of course changes you make when satisifying MCS program requirements



Declaring Honors


  1. Submit a MCS program Honors Proposal form to their faculty advisor by the final study list deadline at least two quarters prior to the quarter the student expects to graduate.

  2. Once the form is signed, declare honors in Axess and submit to the MCS student services officer at or in person, Room 124 to ensure their honors declaration is approved.

  3. Final report is due by the last day of classes of the quarter the student expects to graduate (Minimum 1 page).

  4. Once coursework and final report are completed, have the student’s faculty advisor sign the second page of the MCS program Honors Proposal form.

  5. Students should verify that honors appears on their unofficial transcript.

For more information, please visit the University Registrar's website on Undergraduate Honors programs.


Declaring MCS - MINOR:

Students must fill out a MCS Minor form and submit it to the Student Services Officer (may also need approval from a Faculty Advisor, if necessary) at the time of your declaration request via email or by scheduling an appointment by sending an email. MCS student services will inform you of their decision whether to accept you into the minor. You should contact the department directly to determine if any other requirements must be fulfilled to process your minor declaration request.

MCS student services will respond within 5 business days. You are welcome to bring your list of courses to our office before declaring.

Once your minor form has been approved, you may declare on Axess. 

More information on undergraduate minors can be found on the University Registrar's website.

If you are interested but unsure if MCS is the right minor for you, check out the omparison of Minors offered by the Statistics department below.

 Comparison of Minors