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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.


Please note: The program reviews major declarations at a minimum of twice a month. Major declarations are currently being held during the summer quarter. To declare prior to summer, you must have your curriculum form approved by a Peer Advisor before the end of Week 9 during spring quarter


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 MCS Honors:

Please read through the Honors requirements before meeting with MCS Student Services Officer

  • Students must first submit the Honors proposal form and summary to their advisor no later than the Preliminary Study List deadline of the quarter you expect to graduate.
  • Once your proposal has been approved, submit your Honors declaration through Axess.
  • You may declare Honors once your proposal has been approved by your Faculty Advisor.  This can be anytime prior to the quarter of graduation.


The MCS Honors Approval Form must be submitted to the Student Services Officer no later than final study list deadline of the quarter in which you intend to graduate. You will receive an email letting you know upon approval.

Note: Departmental honors must be declared and approved no later than the application to graduate deadline for the term in which the student intends to graduate.

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 Comparison of Minors offered by the Statistics department.