Stanford University

Graduate Advising

Program Advisors

Students are assigned to the Director and Associate Director as program advisors.

Project Advisors

It is the student’s responsibility to identify an acceptable project area and to find an appropriate project advisor.  Students who are admitted to the program without a Project Area Statement (PAS) and thesis advisor must find a thesis advisor during the first year of matriculation.

Note: At least one of the two thesis readers (primary advisor or second reader) must be a member of the Academic Council.

Primary Advisor Eligibility

Individuals holding the following titles are eligible to serve as primary advisors on a master’s thesis:

  • Faculty in the Professoriate (Chapter 2 of the Stanford Faculty Handbook)
  • Non-professorial academic staff-teaching or academic staff-research (Chapter 6 of Stanford Faculty Handbook)

Second Reader Eligibility

  • Faculty in the Professoriate (Chapter 2 of the Stanford Faculty Handbook)
  • Non-professorial academic staff-teaching or academic staff-research (Chapter 6 of Stanford Faculty Handbook)
  • Individuals whose instructional appointments at Stanford are designated as Acting, Visiting, Adjunct, and Voluntary Clinical Appointments (Chapter 9 of Stanford Faculty Handbook)
  • Faculty holding active appointments at other Universities may be proposed as a second reader, subject to approval from primary advisor and the Symbolic Systems Program. 

Tips on finding a primary thesis advisor

Changing your Advisor

You may change to a different advisor later if your research interests change. In these rare circumstances, the student must notify the SymSys Director, Associate Director, and Student Services Manager.