Sac State University Policy Manual

Program For Bachelor Of Arts/Bachelor Of Science: Special Major

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Effective Date:1/99
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: FSP00020.htm

The Special Major for a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree is designed for those students whose needs and goals cannot be met by existing degrees authorized by this University. The special major degree can be a first and only major, or a second major. In the latter case, students are encouraged to develop a program of study which complements the first (existing) major. Special majors will be approved only in academic areas where sufficient course work exists to provide the necessary depth and breadth for planning a comprehensive academic program. Approved programs must meet specific educational and career objectives that are set forth by the student and approved by the student's advisers for the major, the appropriate Department Chairs and Associate Dean(s), and the Director of General Education in the Office of Academic Affairs. In most cases, programs will be interdisciplinary in nature and will require review and approval by at least two faculty members (chosen from instructional units in which courses will be taken). Programs are not to duplicate existing University degree programs, minors or certificates, and the requirements are to equal or exceed those for other campus degree programs.

IMPORTANT: A program does not qualify for Special Major designation until it has received the approval of all individuals (advisers, chairs, associate deans, and the Director of General Education.) All approvals should be obtained at least one year in advance of graduation date.

Specific Grade Point Average Requirement:

Before submitting the application to begin work on the Special Major, the student must have a combined grade point average of 2.5 on all course work completed to that point.

Specific Unit Requirements:

A minimum total of 120 units are required for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Special Major. No more than 6 units may be in Independent Study (199 or similar courses) and Fieldwork (195 or similar courses). The unit requirements for the major are:

first BA or BS C 36 upper division units
second BA C 24 upper division units
double major BA C 24 upper division units
second BS C 36 upper division units
double major BS C 36 upper division units

NOTE: All other University requirements for a Bachelor's degree, such as State Code, General Education, upper division requirements, etc., must be met.

In all cases, at least two-thirds of the upper division units must be taken in residence at CSU Sacramento.


1. Type , date and sign a carefully prepared statement setting forth the rationale for requesting the special major. Include the specific educational or career objectives that the major is to fulfill. Clearly explain why the proposed major is more appropriate in fulfilling the stated objectives than existing authorized degree programs, minors or certificates. If the proposed special major is a second major, the rationale should indicate the degree to which the two majors are distinguishable from one another.

The completed statement is to be submitted to at least two faculty advisers who will determine if the requirements of the proposed major and the degree objectives can be met reasonably at this University. If so, the faculty advisers should assist you in developing a course of study.

2. With the assistance of the faculty advisers, list your proposed course of study on the attached program planning sheet. The advisers must sign a copy of the program planning sheet recommending approval or disapproval of the proposed program. Then the program must be approved by the department chair/program coordinator in which courses will be taken.

3. Special major programs must also be reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean of each College for which your special major is undertaken.

Arts and Letters

Nancy Tooker

MND 5000

Business Administration

Sharon Padilla-Alvarado*

TAH 1030


Virginia Dixon

EUR 206

Engineering and Computer Science

Mary Jane Lee

RVR 2014

Health and Human Services

Patricia Clark Ellis

SLN 5002

Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Laurel Heffernan

SQU 334

Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

Otis Scott

AMD 255

4. Submit the rationale statement and six copies of the signed proposed plan of study to the Director of General Education, located in SAC 230, who will review and approve or disapprove the course of study. If the program is approved, copies will be distributed to the student, the advisers, the Registrar, and the Associate Dean(s). The original will be retained by the Director of General Education.

5. Subsequent changes in the course of study must be requested on the "Revision to Program for Special Major," Form E, and be approved by the advisers, the Department Chair/Program Coordinator, and the Associate Dean(s), and be submitted (six copies) to the Director of General Education.

*Coordinator for the College of Business Degree Program Center