Stanford University

Symsys Major - Core Courses

In order to graduate with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems, a student must complete the following core courses, plus a five-course concentration

Prior to declaring a Symbolic Systems major, students must take SYMSYS 1: Minds and Machines (same as LINGUIST 35, PHIL 99, PSYCH 35)

Students must have taken or have equivalent preparation in a Single Variable Calculus course. This requirement could be fulfilled in the following ways:

  • 10 units of Advanced Placement Calculus credit OR
  • Equivalent preparation in Single Variable Calculus, as judged by student OR
  • Completing the full Math 19 – 21 series: Math 19, Math 20, Math 21

One of the following or equivalent preparation, as judged by student:

Technical Depth
Two courses chosen from the list below (from either the same or different areas). Courses should be chosen in a way that is appropriate/helps prepare for those in a student’s concentration.

Note:  The following concentrations require specific courses to fulfill the Technical Depth requirement: Applied LogicAI, Computer MusicHCI. Please carefully review your concentration page to confirm your Technical Depth course options.

A. Computer Programming

B. Computational Theory

C. Logic

D. Decision Theory/Game Theory

E. Probability and Statistics


An upper division, limited-enrollment seminar drawing on material from other courses in the core.  

  • Courses listed under Symbolic Systems Program offerings with numbers between Symsys 200 through 209 are acceptable, as are the additional courses below. 
  • Total enrollment must not exceed 20 students for a course to be approved as fulfilling the Advanced Small Seminar Requirement. 
  • A course taken to fulfill this requirement can also be counted toward another requirement, as part of either the core or a student’s concentration, but not both. 
  • The courses must be taken for a letter grade and for 2 units or more in order to count for the advanced small seminar requirement. Courses taken to fulfill another major requirement must be taken for 3 units or more.


Advanced Small Seminar Requirement Options for 2019-2020:

Please note that courses on the list below may be subject to prerequisites and/or aimed at graduate students, and that enrollment limitations may favor students in the department in which a course is offered. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor to see whether their background is adequate.

Additional courses may be added as they are approved.




For 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 Advanced Small Seminar Requirements, please review this spreadsheet.