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Academic Structure and the Stanford Bulletin


Students should be able to use the Stanford Bulletin to understand the structure of a major (i.e., what PeopleSoft calls a "plan") including any subplans identified in Axess as well as the various ways of achieving a degree in the major. Thus, the goal is to standardize language concerning majors in the Bulletin. Departments are responsible to make relevant changes to the language of your department's Bulletin requirements section prior to the opening of Autumn Quarter enrollment. Contact Stephen Arod Shirreffs <> with questions.


The following language should be associated with subplans. Subplans always print on the transcript, but only print on a diploma when so requested by a department or school.

  • Undergraduate: "Undergraduate fields of study are declared on Axess; they appear on the transcript [but not / and] on the diploma."

  • Graduate: "Consult the department for information on how to declare a graduate field of study; fields of study appear on the transcript [but not / and] on the diploma."

Other Degree Ways or Paths

There are many ways to achieve a degree which do not involve declaring a subplan. Because these ways are not subplans, they are not declared on Axess and do not appear on a transcript. There is no special language describing them in the Bulletin.

The following terms are appropriate in describing different ways to earn a degree in a major:

  • specialization; functional or area specialization

  • concentration

  • emphasis (should be used when a student has wide latitude to craft a program, with faculty consent, relating to a specific part of the subject area)

  • track (should be used to indicate a structured path to the degree)

  • program

  • field

Current Plans and Subplans

Degree-granting schools, departments, and programs are responsible for making certain that the plans and subplans in PeopleSoft are accurate and identical to what is printed in the Stanford Bulletin.

To run a report of current plans and subplans, use the Codes for Student Admin Report in Business Intelligence (BI) available via this path:

  • Student Administration --> Student Records --> Student Admin Setup --> Codes for Student Admin Report

To get the latest information, click on the "Optional: Process" button, and then click on the relevant Report Sections. Use the blue forward and back buttons in the upper right corner to navigate back and forth. To create an Excel spreadsheet, navigate this path: "File / Export / Section ..."; change the "Save as type" to Excel; and Save to your hard drive.