Guide to Declaring

Ready to declare? Congratulations! Here is your handy guide to get you through the declaration process.

STEP ONE: Find an Advisor
In order to declare, you need to have a member of the English faculty sign on as your advisor. Note that Jones lecturers, Stegner fellows, and visiting professors cannot act as advisors.

Already have someone in mind?
Awesome! First, check that s/he is indeed an eligible faculty member (here is the list of English faculty). Find out the professor’s office hours, and go by to have a chat. If you have never taken a class with the professor, but you think your interests align, introduce yourself and let the professor know you’re interested in him/her being your advisor. Ask about his/her research, find out exactly what they do.

No idea who to ask?
Don’t panic! Start here, with the list of faculty. These are the eligible advisors. On the left bar, there is a handy link, Faculty by Field, which lets you sort the faculty by their area of study. Each faculty member’s individual page has more detailed information about his/her research and area of study. Once you have a list of 2-3 potential advisors, stop by their office hours and get to know them.

But I’m terrified of asking. It feels like proposing.
It’s okay! We’ve all been through it, and we know it may be difficult to ask, especially if you’re not already good friends with the professor.  But the English faculty are really nice, and have advised countless students. They’re used to being asked this, and ready to advise. If you’re still nervous, you can come and practice with one of us. Just stop by during our office hours!

Foreign language, philosophy, or interdisciplinary emphasis?
Note that you will need a secondary advisor from that department.

STEP TWO: Fill out the Declaration Form
Here is the form you will need to fill out. After filling it out and getting a signature from your advisor, bring it to Katie Dooling, the Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator, on the 2nd floor of Margaret Jacks (Bldg 460).

The program proposal is designed to help you plan out how you will complete the requirements of the English major during your time at Stanford. It is not meant to be binding. If you deviate from your plan later on, you can just go back to Katie Dooling’s office and update your form.


You are now an English major! Make sure you ask Katie Dooling for a department t-shirt, and stop by during our office hours to say hi to us!


If I’m planning on writing an Honors Thesis, must my major advisor be my thesis advisor?
No. Your major advisor can be your thesis advisor, but does not need to be.

Can I change my advisor/emphasis later?
Yes. To change advisors, submit the Advisor Request form. To change emphasis, resubmit your program proposal. 

Other questions:
Check out the undergraduate section of the English department website, which features information on majoring and minoring in English, applying for departmental honors, etc.

If you can’t find your answer there, come by during our office hours or send us an email.

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