Office of the President

Approval for Revised Special Major Program; Supercedes EA 80

Executive Memorandum 90-017 May 1, 1990

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: Approval for Revised Special Major Program, Supercedes Executive Action 80

The revisions of the Special Major Programs were reviewed and approved by the Faculty Senate and the Provost. I approve the revised Special Major Program effective fall 1991.


It is the policy of California State University, Chico to support the efforts of well-qualified students to design and pursue rigorous courses of study which cross disciplinary lines in such a way that no existing degree pattern is appropriate. The primary consideration in the approval of such a course of study is the quality of the program. In order to gain approval, the student must show that, as a graduate, having completed the proposed course of study, she/he will reflect well upon the University. The Special Major Program has been established to evaluate proposals and administer courses of study which meet the intent of this policy.


The Special Major Program is a component of the Institute for Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies. The organizational structure includes the Coordinator of the Special Major Program and the Special Major Committee.


The Coordinator of the Special Major Program is appointed by the Provost in consultation with the Director of the Institute for Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies.


The Special Major Committee is structured as follows:

  1. The Coordinator of the Special Major Program is a voting member and serves as Chair of the Committee.
  2. Five faculty are appointed by the Director of I. L. l. S. after consultation with the Coordinator. These faculty serve staggered three year terms. No two are from the same college. All are voting members.
  3. One student is appointed by the Associated Students from a list of acceptable Special Major students provided by the Coordinator. The student is a voting member.
  4. Ordinarily there are only seven members, but the Chair of the Faculty Senate or the Provost may appoint ex-officio voting members to the committee as deemed necessary for the evaluation of individual proposals.


It is the responsibility of the Special Major Program to evaluate proposals and administer special majors.


The Coordinator administers the Special Major Program in consultation with the Special Major Committee and the Director of l.L.l.S. In addition, the Coordinator chairs the Special Major Committee and submits a report each April* to the Educational Policies Committee. At a minimum, this report must include the names of special programs under which students graduated the previous year and names of the special programs that were approved for students to pursue since the last report.


The Special Major Committee is responsible for the evaluation and approval or rejection of individual proposals. It may also initiate proposals for changes to this document.

The A.O.A. of the Faculty Senate will send a reminder each March.


An acceptable student proposal must include:

  1. Ordinarily, satisfactory evidence of a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 with a minimum of 45 semester units completed prior to entry into the program.
  2. Satisfactory evidence of unity, coherence, presence of intellectual principle and practicality.
  3. Satisfactory evidence that the student's goals cannot be adequately met by an existing major.
  4. A list of upper and lower division courses including an approved writing proficiency course and 30 upper division units. The list should not exceed 60 units.
  5. An appropriate title for the proposed special major including approval by all department chairs/school directors of units which offer courses that include important words from the proposed special major title in their course titles or course descriptions.
  6. At least two signed faculty evaluations of the student proposal. By signing, the faculty indicate their willingness to serve as sponsors. Sponsors should be faculty with appointments in the two departments/schools from which the largest numbers of units have been selected for the proposed special major.
  7. A recommendation and supporting statements from the Coordinator regarding the appropriateness of a B.A. versus a B.S.
  8. A statement, signed by the student signifying understanding that :
  • Approval of a Special Major does not constitute waiver of any code requirements.
  • Ordinarily, courses used to meet General Education requirements may not also be used as a part of the special major.
  • Thirty two units, not necessarily in the major, must be completed at California State University, Chico after the submission of the proposal.
  • Changes to an approved special major require the approval of all sponsors and the Coordinator.


Modifications to the Special Major Programs are made in the same way as other programs except that the Special Major Committee acts as the equivalent of a department curriculum committee.