Stanford University

Undergrad Advising

Upon your declaration approval as a Symbolic Systems undergraduate major, will be assigned to both the Program Director and Associate Director as major advisors.

  • Students will have until the Autumn quarter of their junior year to select a concentration advisor.
  • Juniors who declare the major after the Winter quarter registration opens (late October), must have a concentration advisor before their major declaration in Axess can be approved. 

In the Program, you will have three tiers of advising available to you

  • Tier 1. Undergraduate Advising Fellows (AFs)
    • AFs are upper division undergraduate or coterm students in Symbolic Systems, who have taken a substantial number of courses for the major and can advise from a student's perspective.
    • AFs can answer questions such as "What is this course like?", "How can I get involved in research?", and "How can I meet other Symbolic Systems students?"
    • AFs plan and host events for students, appear at majors fairs, perform declaration interviews, and serve as the official voice of students in policy making for undergraduate programs in Symbolic Systems.
  • Tier 2. Director, Associate Director, and Student Services Officer
    • Are all official administrators of the program.
    • Can sign forms and grant approvals on behalf of the program, depending on the exact approval required.
    • Will answer questions and provide advice about the program as a whole, particularly pertaining to the core requirements, degree requirements, and selecting an advisor.
    • To meet with Todd Davies, the Associate Director, please review his office hours.
    • To meet with Lisa Woodcock, Student Services Officer, please email to request an appointment.
  • Tier 3. Concentration Advisors
    • Juniors must select a faculty concentration advisor before registering for Winter quarter. If you have not done so, an enrollment hold will be placed on your registration for subsequent quarters. 
    • Once you identify a potential advisor, please email them, asking if they are willing to consider acting as your concentration advisor for the Symbolic Systems major.
    • After you have secured a concentration advisor, please email, as well as Lisa Woodcock (, copying your advisor. This information will be added to your profile in Axess.
    • Your concentration advisor provides advising specific to his/her area of research and teaching, which should fit your concentration area within the major.
    • Concentration advisors are not expected to provide advice about program requirements or areas of the major outside of their specializations.

Voices of SymSys

Voices of SymSys is the podcast of the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University. Each episode features an interview with current students, alumni, and/or faculty in Symbolic Systems discussing topics such as career paths, navigating Stanford, and academic/professional advice.