Stanford University

Symbolic Systems Honors Program

Past honors projects in SymSys have been very diverse, ranging from philosophical analyses to studies involving human subjects to programming/design projects. Many projects combine two or more methodologies, drawing on different disciplines represented within the major. An honors project is an opportunity to pursue work over multiple quarters, often an entire academic year or more.


  • Declared major in Symbolic Systems with junior or senior credit standing
  • Good academic standing, with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Submission of acceptable project proposal

Program Requirements

  • Approval and submission of your final project (in hard copy and pdf) before the University Dissertation and Thesis Submission Deadline for the quarter you are graduating. Details about the honors thesis and submission process is available on the Honors Thesis page
  • Participation in Symbolic Systems Forum, featuring 10 minute oral presentations by senior honors candidates, in Spring Quarter. 
    • Students considering applying to the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to attend the Forum

Honors Courses

  • Honors Students may enroll in SymSys 190 (Senior Honors Tutorial) during any quarter they are working on their thesis for a grade and 1-5 units
  • Honors Students may enroll in Symbsys 191 (Senior Honors Seminar) during the Fall Quarter following admission to the honors program. In the seminar, students working on honors projects meet, under the coordinator's leadership, to discuss and present their work. Symsys 191 is offered for 2 units, S/NC only.

Getting Started


  • Application deadline for 2020-2021 is September 27, 2020

Timeline for Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

  • Find a faculty honors advisor and a second reader.  The second reader should be a Stanford faculty member or researcher familiar with your general area of inquiry.

Application Submission

Send a plain text (ASCII only, no attachments) message to by the deadlines above with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Tentative title for the project
  • The name of your honors advisor
  • The name of a second reader
  • A Description (500-1,000 words) of what the objectives and methods of the project are, and research that you have done on it to date.