Declaring CS

Declaring CS

Declaring CS is fairly simple. To declare you must choose an advisor, email and print out your unofficial transcript, declare on Axess, print and fill out a declaration form CS Declaration Form, and come in to see the course advisor during office hours. You can read more about these steps below.

Step 1 - Choose an Advisor

The CS department lets students choose their own advisors, so students have the opportunity to pick someone who will be helpful for their academic, professional, and personal interests. Your advisor can be any lecturer or non-courtesy faculty member. Once you have a potential advisor in mind, meet with them to ask if they will be your advisor.

Many people put off declaring because they don't feel like they know who they want as an advisor. It's perfectly acceptable to declare early with an advisor (maybe a lecturer or a professor in a field you might be interested in) and then switch to another advisor later when you know more about your professional and academic interests. Changing advisors is very easy, so don't let this stop you from declaring. For more information about how to choose an advisor, see the choosing an advisor page and the list of faculty members available as advisors.

Step 2 - Fill out a declaration form

Once you've found an advisor within the department, you can fill out the CS declaration form. There are several steps you must take when filling out the form, also listed below: 

  • Email an unofficial copy of your transcript from Axess to the Course Advisor ( with the subject line containing "Unofficial Transcript <your first and last name>".
  • File a major declaration request on Axess. Go to Axess and click on "Declare Major/Minor". When presented with the option of choosing a major, choose CS. Put "no" when asked if you would like to pursue honors; the application for honors is a separate process at the end of your junior year. When you have finished this step, Axess should say that your major declaration is pending
  • Print and fill out a CS Declaration Form.

Step 3 - See the Course Advisor

When you have finished steps 1 and 2, come see the course advisor during office hours (no appointment necessary). It may take up to two weeks for your declaration to be processed, so if you need to be declared by a specific date for any purpose, please plan ahead accordingly. Also, please note that the course advisor does not have office hours during finals week, during breaks, or over the summer, and it is not possible to declare during those times.

Note: print a copy of your transcript, in addition to emailing it to the Course Advisor. 

The course advisor will do several things when you come in:

  • Take your declaration form.
  • Add you to the CS department's database, pedit.
  • Give you an @cs email alias, which is good for life!
  • Give you an account on the CS department machine named Xenon.
  • Take your picture for the CS undergraduate picture board.
  • With your consent, post your declaration to the Course Advisor's Facebook Page.

After Declaring

Once you come in and see the course advisor, it can take up to two weeks for your declaration to be processed. About two weeks after you declare, you might want to do the following things to make sure your declaration was successful. If there is a problem with any of these, please email or visit the course advisor.

  • Check that you have started to get mail from the bscs@cs and students@cs mailing lists. These are the main mailing lists for the department and they see a fair amount of traffic.
  • Check your official status in Axess. Your status should indicate that you are a CS major. The advisor listed should also be the correct undergraduate CS advisor you've chosen.
  • Once your declaration has gone through on Axess, ssh into xenon to verify that your account was created.
  • Finally, go to the faculty advisors page and check that your name is listed under your advisor's advising group. This indicates that the CS Department's database is up to date. If your graduation year is incorrect, use Pedit to change your profile or email the Course Advisor.
  • If you're interested, join the Stanford CS Facebook Group!
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