The Special Major is an individually designed, interdisciplinary course of study leading to a BA or BS degree when academic or professional aims are not adequately met by existing degree programs. It is not to be used to bypass normal graduation requirements nor to substitute for a major in which a student is having academic difficulty.
The proposed course of study must be a coherent program organized around a sound academic theme. Students who complete a Special Major shall be able to demonstrate: "the ability to analyze an issue or problem, integrating at least two disciplinary perspectives." In addition, students identify two or more student learning outcomes related to their specific areas of study in consultation with a major faculty advisor. They demonstrate their attainment of the learning outcomes through a portfolio completed in a capstone course.
Applicants must have both a cumulative and SJSU GPA of at least 2.75 and have at least one full year of academic work still to be completed to meet minimum degree requirements. Special Majors are considered on a case-by-case basis. Approval is based on the academic merit of the proposed course of study, the applicant's proposed rationale and potential for successful completion of the program, and the ability of the university to support the proposed program. Students apply for consideration for the Special Major through the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, ADM 159.