Special Major : Degrees & Policies

Degrees Offered

Undergraduate: BA, BS


Students interested in the special major program should first consult with the special major advisor, who will describe the steps necessary to complete the application. These steps include drafting a statement of intent and purpose, identifying mentors, developing a curriculum, preparing the special major proposal, submitting the proposal to the Special Major Committee, and revising the proposal if necessary. Students having difficulty composing the statement of intent should seek assistance from their faculty sponsors and may choose to consult the Writing Place within the Thomas J. Edwards Learning Center in 209A Baldy Hall.

The ideal time to develop a special major is during the sophomore or junior year. Freshmen typically do not have enough experience and familiarity with campus resources to consider the special major option over existing majors and minors. Conversely, seniors and other students with advanced standing may be too far along in their studies to construct a preconceived and deliberately-formulated program of study. Submitting proposals in the last semester of the student's matriculation or after the completion of all coursework violates the special major's essential deliberative and consultative nature and may jeopardize a student's ability to graduate. The committee is not obliged to consider proposals that are submitted in the student's final year or ex post facto.

Acceptance Information

Application to the special major program is a multi-step process that begins with the development of an academic concept and a written rationale. The final step is the approval of the proposal by the Special Major Committee and the Dean. The proposal is presented to the committee by the special major advisor/chairperson on behalf of the student. Therefore, all prospective special major candidates must meet with the special major advisor prior to submitting a final application. Applications must be submitted no less than two full semesters before the expected graduation date. The Special Major Committee meets three to four times per semester (excluding summer sessions).

Acceptance to the special major does not guarantee access to major courses in departments that limit their enrollments to majors only. It is the student's responsibility to negotiate with the respective departments for enrollment in restricted courses which are integral to the proposed major's curriculum.

A special major student is one whose proposal has been approved by the Special Major Committee and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences or his/her designate. The committee evaluates proposals that have been submitted on the student's behalf by the chair of the committee, who is a senior academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement and Services office in 275 Park Hall. Students interested in this option may consult the special major web site at http://casadvising.buffalo.edu/majors/special_majors, where they may download the application and advisement manual.

Minimum 2.0 GPA overall required for acceptance and graduation
Minimum 2.0 GPA in major courses required for acceptance and graduation

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:02:18 EST