PM 78-04 


President Donald R. Gerth





The Undergraduate Special Major provides an opportunity for selected students to engage in individualized programs of study leading to a degree when appropriate academic and professional goals are not accommodated by standard degree majors.


The Special Major is not to be used to achieve breadth in an educational program, to substitute for a recognized degree program which the University is not authorized to offer, to bypass normal graduation requirements, nor as an alternative to completion of the degree requirements for a program in which the student is in academic difficulty.


Administration of the Special Major is governed by the following additional guidelines:  (1) A student working toward the Special Major is subject to university-wide policy relative to admission, scholastic standards, and graduation requirements;  (2) In order to be admitted to the Special Major Program, a student is required to have more than one full year of academic work still to be completed to meet minimum degree requirements;  (3) The minimum requirement for a Special Major degree is a program of at least thirty-six quarter units* of upper division work;  (4)  Neither lower division nor upper division courses used to meet General Education requirements nor professional education courses can be applied toward minimum degree major requirements;  and (5)  The minor requirement is applicable to all Special Major undergraduate students.


A student who wishes to undertake such a program should contact a faculty advisor either on his/her own or through the assistance of the Coordinator of Academic Advising.**  The student and the advisor then prepare a proposal for a Special Major undergraduate program.  This proposal should include:  (1) a written statement giving reasons for pursuing the Special Major in terms of academic and professional goals, and also why these goals cannot be met through the standard programs of the campus; and (2) a tentative listing of courses and/or competencies which would, in the opinion of the student and the advisor, lead to the accomplishment of the stated goals.


The two-part proposal is then forwarded by the advisor to the appropriate Academic Dean(s), who appoints two faculty members from the studentís major fields of interest to serve with the advisor as the Special Major Committee.  The Committee reviews and approves the two-part proposal and also has the general charge to oversee and monitor the studentís progress in the Special Major Program.  After the studentís committee approves the proposal, it is forwarded


*36 quarter hours = current requirement of 24 semester units of upper division work.

**Current title is Director of the Advisement Center

***Current title is Vice President for Academic Affairs


in succession to the Coordinator of Academic Advising** for commentary, to the appropriate Dean(s) for approval, and to the Vice President for Program and Planning*** who will be responsible to resolve any conflicting recommendations.  Upon final approval, the proposal is returned to the Coordinator of Academic Advising** whose office will serve as a repository for all program proposals.


** Current title is Director of the Advisement Center

*** Current title is Vice President for Academic Affairs