Many departments have peer advisors, students currently in the major who are trained to answer your questions about classes, declaring, opportunities within the major, and all sorts of other relevant topics.
Peer advisors will usually have open drop-in hours posted online, or you can shoot them a quick email to schedule a meeting. Feel free to ask them about their experience within the major, or to ask more specific questions about finding an advisor, picking classes within the major, and so forth. Reading the peer advisor bios can also give you a sense of the pathways within the major.
It’s Never Too Early to Visit a Peer Advisor
Peer advisors are a great starting point if you are curious about a major. You can go see one even during your very first quarter here! You can simply ask, “Why did you decide on this major? What should I know about it? What classes do you recommend? How did you decide among tracks? How do I get started with research?” and so forth. No preparation needed.
How Do You Find a Peer Advisor?
Not all departments have them, but if they exist, you should be able to find the information on the department website. Try searching “peer advisor [name of department]” from the Stanford home page, or other keywords as noted below.
Below are links to department websites that advertise peer advisors. Heads-up: this list is not exhaustive! Even if you don't see a department listed here, check to see whether they may have peer advisors, or student mentors, or a similar group.
- American Studies
- Architectural Design (included under Civil & Environmental Engineering)
- Art & Art History
- Atmosphere & Energy (included under Civil & Environmental Engineering)
- Bioengineering (look for the Peer Advisor mailing list address)
- Biomedical Computation (uses “Undergraduate Advisors”)
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Comparative Literature
- Computer Science (uses “Course Advisor”)
- Creative Writing
- Earth Systems (uses “Student Advisors”)
- Environmental Systems Engineering (included under Civil & Environmental Engineering)
- Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- Film & Media Studies (included under Art & Art History)
- German Studies
- Human Biology (uses “Student Advisors”)
- Iberian and Latin American Cultures
- International Relations
- Mathematical and Computational Science
- Philosophy (uses “Peer Mentor”)
- Political Science
- Product Design
- Public Policy
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Symbolic Systems (uses “Advising Fellows”)
- Urban Studies