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Program Title
Mathematical and Computational Science (BS)
Degree Type
BS - Bachelor of Science
Mathematical & Computat'l Sci
Program Overview

This interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program in MCS is sponsored by Stanford's departments of Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Management Science & Engineering, providing students with a core of mathematics basic to all the mathematical sciences and an introduction to concepts and techniques of computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling, and statistical inference.

Utilizing the faculty and courses of the departments listed above, this major prepares students for graduate study or employment in the mathematical and computational sciences or in those areas of applied mathematics which center around the use of computers and are concerned with the problems of the social and management sciences. A biology option is offered for students interested in applications of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to the biological sciences (bioinformatics, computational biology, statistical genetics, neurosciences); and in a similar spirit, an engineering and statistics option.

The mission of the Mathematical and Computational Science Program is to provide students with a core of mathematics basic to all the mathematical sciences and an introduction to concepts and techniques of computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling and statistical inference. The program is interdisciplinary in its focus, and students are required to complete course work in mathematics, computer science, statistics, and management science and engineering. A computational biology track is available for students interested in biomedical applications. The program prepares students for careers in academic, financial and government settings as well as for study in graduate or professional schools.

The Program in Mathematical and Computational Science (MCS) offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical and Computational Science. Eligible students may also pursue a Bachelor of Science with Honors.

How to Declare the Major

To declare the major, a student should first meet with an MCS peer advisor to create a proposed study plan and then with the MCS student services officer to discuss the major. Students ordinarily have taken two of the required MATH 50 series courses and a core Statistics course prior to declaration. Once the student has created a proposed study plan, they should connect with the MCS student services officer and declare the major through Axess. Students should have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to declare.

Suggested Preparation for the Major

Students ordinarily would have taken two of the required Math courses (course Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Modern Applications/course Integral Calculus of Several Variables/course Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra) and one of the required Statistics core courses (course Theory of Probability, course Introduction to Applied Statistics) before declaring MCS during their freshman or sophomore year.

Program Learning Outcomes

The program expects undergraduate majors to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  1. understanding of principles and tools of statistics.

  2. command of optimization and its applications and the ability to analyze and interpret problems from various disciplines.

  3. an understanding of computer applications emphasizing modern software engineering principles.

  4. an understanding of multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and algebraic and geometric proofs. 

External Credit Policies

Course transfer credit is subject to department evaluation and to the Office of the Registrar's external credit evaluation. These courses may result in a replacement course for MCS required course or may establish placement in a higher-level course. Transfer requests must first be submitted to Student Services Center prior to being evaluated by your advisor.

Transfer Credit for MCS Declared Students

Transfer credit must be approved first by the University Registrar's Office* (and listed on your Stanford transcript), and then by the department before it can be used towards your MCS major requirements. It is the student's responsibility to compile the documents required for course transfer evaluation form.

  1. Complete an MCS Course Equivalency Petition for each course and attach all necessary documentation (course description, syllabus, and unofficial transcript).

  2. Submit the above documents to the program administrator in Sequoia Hall, Room 124

  3. Ask the Student Services Center to send a copy of the specific course approval paperwork (Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation form) to the department program administrator: Sequoia Hall, room 124 - MCS program or by email

Degree Requirements