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How to Declare

What step of the process are you on?


Developing your Course of Study

  • Think about topics presented in the Core or elsewhere on which you might be interested in focusing. We encourage you to discuss your ideas early on with faculty, other students, and with the Student Advisors.
  • Look through the Stanford Bulletin and compile a list of all the classes that you would be excited about taking. Come into the Student Advisors' office and talk with a Student Advisor ("SA") about your selected classes and what you want to do with your Human Biology major. You also may want to explore the binder with sample Areas of Concentration.
  • Revise your list and divide your chosen classes into Foundation, Area of Concentration, and Upper Division courses, being sure to fulfill all of the Requirements for the HumBio Major. Then go to our new HumBio electronic course of study tool, "SFACT":  Enter your Course of Study (“COS”) and have a Student Advisor look it over.  If it doesn't require changes, an SA will approve it. This COS indicates that you agree to fulfill all Human Biology requirements. (Changes can always be made to your COS later. However, they require approval by an SA or the Student Services Coordinator.)

Writing your Proposal

  • Write a proposal (minimum 3 pages) explaining why you chose this Area of Concentration, being sure to follow the guidelines here. You can view a sample proposal here. For a set of exercises to get you started, see our pre-writing strategies here.
  • Leave your proposal with an SA to read.  S/he will let you know if any revisions are necessary.  When the proposal is in finished form it can be uploaded to your SFACT COS and approved by the SA.

Finding your Faculty Advisor

  • When your proposal is ready, work with an SA to settle on a suitable Faculty Advisor.
  • Make an appointment to meet with the Faculty Advisor to discuss the proposed coursework for your HumBio major and your area of interest.  The Faculty Advisor may be able to suggest courses that would enhance your area of interest.  Once the Faculty Advisor agrees to be your HumBio major advisor, ask the SA to enter your Faculty Advisor’s name in your SFACT COS.  This entry will forward an email asking the Faculty Advisor to approve your COS in SFACT and “sign on” as your HumBio major advisor.  When s/he approves, the final check can be processed in SFACT by the Student Services Coordinator.

Final Check

  • Print out an unofficial transcript (via Axess).  Bring a printed copy of your SFACT COS, unofficial transcript and proposal to the Student Services Coordinator who can then approve the final check in SFACT.
  • In Axess apply for your HumBio major;  your major declaraton will be approved in Axess by the Student Services Coordinator. Congratulations! You are now a "declared major" with HumBio and with the University.

Things to remember after declaring:

  • Be sure to meet at least once in your Junior year and once in your Senior year with your Faculty Advisor. In these meetings, you should inform him/her of any changes to your COS.
  • All changes to your COS must be approved by either an SA or the Student Services Coordinator. If you both agree on a suitable substitute, the change/s can then be entered and approved via SFACT. More than one change to the Area of Concentration additionally requires a revision of your original proposal to include the added courses that need approval before the close of the quarter PRIOR to the graduation quarter.
  • If you decide to revise your entire Area of Concentration, you must discuss these changes with an SA before you begin taking the classes. After the SA approves the new Area of Concentration, you must rewrite your proposal to reflect this revision and submit it for SA approval. Then, set up an appointment with your Faculty Advisor to discuss the changes and show him/her your new proposal. As stated before, s/he may have suggestions that would enhance your COS. Depending on the degree of the change, you may need to consider switching to a Faculty Advisor who is an expert in your new area.