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The Bachelor of Science in a Special Major

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Admission to the Bachelor of Science in a Special Major is currently suspended. Please contact the Undergraduate Education Department for more information.


A Special Major in certain professional fields may not be accredited by that professional field. See the appropriate campus advisor for any professional field for information.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

Consult with major advisor.

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Specific writing proficiency for this major will be determined by the nature of the Special Major proposal. Students, in consultation with faculty sponsors, will propose a course (that is an approved upper-division writing proficiency course for the semester in which it is taken) to satisfy the literacy requirement. The Special Major committee will review the proposal to ensure that the Literacy Requirement is met. For further information on the Literacy Requirement, consult the Coordinator of the Special Major program.

Criteria for Applying to the Special Major Program

1. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.

2. A minimum of 30 semester units completed prior to application.

Course Requirements for the Major

At least 30 upper-division units are required for the major.

Procedures to Develop a Special Major

Students who wish to propose a Special Major should follow these procedures:

1. Determine the feasibility of pursuing a Special Major by reviewing the requirements and examining available programs and majors to see if your needs could be met through any of these. You must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA in order to apply.

2. Consult with the Coordinator of Special Majors and a faculty member with expertise in your area of interest.

3. If you decide that a Special Major is appropriate, pick up the guidelines and forms from the Coordinator of Special Majors and select at least two faculty to act as the advisors of your Special Major. Your advisors should be from different disciplines within your proposed Special Major. The Coordinator of Special Majors will assist you in the selection of your advisors.

4. In consultation with your faculty advisors, define your proposed Special Major program. Include the following: 1) the title of your proposed major; 2) subject matter; 3) logic and unity of your proposed program; 4) other justifications you feel appropriate; and 5) why standard University programs cannot be used to satisfy your needs.

5. List the courses you wish to include in the Special Major, including a Writing Proficiency course and courses you have already completed. A Special Major must include at least 30 upper-division units. These units will be distributed among at least two disciplines. You must complete 30 units after your program is approved. These units need not be in the major. Units taken the semester the proposal is approved may be counted toward the 30.

6. You may not use courses listed in your Special Major to satisfy General Education requirements.

7. Your Special Major proposal must be accompanied by a signed statement from your advisors. This statement should include a brief evaluation of your proposal.

8. Turn your Special Major proposal and copies of your academic transcripts in to the Office of Special Majors for evaluation by a faculty/student Special Major Review Committee. The proposal must be submitted before the deadline in order to be considered in that semester. See "The Academic Calendar" in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for semester deadlines.

9. The Special Major Review Committee may invite students to discuss their proposal with the Committee.

10. The Coordinator of Special Majors will notify you of the Special Major Review Committee's approval, disapproval, or conditional approval.

11. Upon approval of your Special Major proposal, you will declare your major to be a Special Major.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Catalog Cycle:21