Overview

Office of the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Studies
University Hall, Room 368
(909) 537-5032    http://www-ugs.csusb.edu/

Occasionally, students with specialized educational or professional objectives may find that the existing degree programs offered at the university do not satisfy personal needs or career plans and that a carefully structured, interdisciplinary program of study is more appropriate.

The B.A. with Special Major is an interdisciplinary program intended for students with unusual interests and abilities who have the initiative and desire to design their own major with the aid of faculty advisors. The purpose of these individually-designed special majors is to provide a carefully controlled opportunity for exceptional students to design, with faculty approval, a flexible interdisciplinary course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Admission normally is limited to students who can design (with the aid of a faculty committee) individualized programs organized around a coherent topic or cross-disciplinary subject that involves two or more departments. Occasionally short-term interests in interdisciplinary programs may be served by more structure and degree plans organized by faculty for groups of students.

The B.A. with Special Major is not intended to bypass normal graduation requirements or to avoid certain requirements of a regular major offered at CSUSB or at other nearby institutions. The self-designed major should not substantially duplicate any existing degree offered at CSUSB. Likewise, a Special Major cannot be developed in areas such as architecture, agriculture, or engineering where the campus lacks the necessary faculty expertise to guide the student and supervise the culminating project. Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 including work taken at all institutions and must maintain a 3.0 average in the courses required for the self-designed major.

Although the Special Major is a unique program that suits individual goals, has potential to combine fields and functions, and can add distinction to the degree, such an interdisciplinary program may pose professional obstacles and be difficult to explain to graduate schools and employers. Career goals and prerequisites for higher degrees should be reviewed before proceeding with this major. In particular, students who will be seeking a teaching credential should consult with faculty in the College of Education to see how a Special Major might impact subject matter requirements for teachers.

Interested students should contact the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Studies to begin the application and screening process. Prospective majors should be prepared to present a one-page description and justification of the program which outlines the concepts, goals and objectives to be fulfilled by the Special Major. If, after discussing the tentative interdisciplinary interests of the student, the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Studies believes the student should be encouraged to prepare a formal application and proposal for a Special Major, a packet of information and forms for justifying and submitting the proposed interdisciplinary curriculum will be provided to the student. If the student has not yet found faculty members who are interested in helping the student develop the curriculum and guide their study, the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Studies will suggest possible faculty committee members.

For more information please visit our website. Office of Undergraduate Studies