Concentrations (5 course versions)

Symbolic Systems Major Concentrations (5 course versions)

[Updated April 8, 2018 - Minor edits to preamble]

In addition to the core, SSP majors choose an area of concentration. For undergraduates completing the Generation 3 Core Requirements (versions 12 and later), a concentration comprises an approved list of five courses of three or more units each. Those who are completing the Core Requirements (version 11 or earlier) for Bulletin years 2001-2002 through 2010-2011 must complete a six course Concentration. The concentration lists linked below are five course versions, and only apply to majors doing the 2011-2012 and later Core requirements.

NB: A particular version of the requirement lists (Core or Concentrations) may only be used by students who declare prior to the date of the version that succeeds it. A student may use any version introduced after the date of their declaration prior to the completion of their degree.

There is far greater flexibility in the make-up of a concentration than there are in the core requirements, which are quite strictly upheld. Our primary concern is that students identify an area of particular interest within the general sphere of SSP's subject matter, and design a coherent set of courses around this. They can do so in consultation with the student Advising Fellows, their Faculty Advisors, the Director, or the Associate Director. Here you will find a list of suggested potential advisors for each concentration. To guide students in their selection, SSP faculty members have drawn up suggested concentrations, which students may elect to follow precisely or adopt with limited changes approved on an individual basis by the Director or the Associate Director. Alternatively, students may design their own concentrations from scratch (see the last paragraph below).

The possible concentrations are:

Applied Logic,

Artificial Intelligence,

Cognitive Science,

Computer Music,

Decision Making and Rationality,

Human-Computer Interaction,

Individually Designed Concentrations,


Natural Language,

Neurosciences, and

Philosophical Foundations.

For a list of applicable courses within each concentration, click on the links above. Frequently, courses listed under each concentration serve as examples only, so that unlisted courses, covering similar material, could be substituted for them. Students should discuss course selection with their advisors, and carefully look through the Stanford Bulletin for the most relevant current offerings.

Note: A course may not count toward both a core and a concentration requirement, unless it is applied to the Advanced Small Seminar area within the core. A course that is applied to the Advanced Small Seminar Requirement may also be counted toward a student's concentration or toward another core requirement, if appropriate, but not to both.

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