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When an existing, authorized Bachelor's degree, Minor, Certificate, or Non-Certificate Program of Study does not meet the needs of a student, a Special Major or Minor can be requested. The Special Major or Minor can be a first and only one or a second major or minor. In the latter case, students are encouraged to develop a program of study which complements the first major. In most cases, programs will be interdisciplinary in nature. Materials describing the procedures and requirements applying to special majors and minors can be obtained from the Dean's office in each of the colleges. All approvals should be obtained at least one year in advance of graduation date. Final special major program plans with appropriate signatures are submitted to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Sacramento Hall 234. The program does not qualify for special major authorization until all parties have approved the program.


To qualify for a Special Major or Minor a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • 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 coursework completed to that point.
  • Describe the educational and career objectives sought.
  • Identify and justify the relationship of the pattern of study requested to the objectives sought.
  • Outline the coursework and academic activity necessary to complete the objectives cited.
  • No more than 6 units may be in Independent Study (199 or similar courses) and Fieldwork (195 or similar courses).
  • Obtain the assistance and approval of two or more faculty advisors from the key instructional units listed in the Program of Study.
  • Obtain the approval of the appropriate college dean(s).
  • Submit all materials for review and approval to the Office of General Education, Sacramento Hall 234.


Requirements – Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science - Special Major

A minimum of 120 units are required for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Special Major. The unit requirements for the major are:

First BA or BS: 36 upper division units

Second BA: 24 upper division units

Double Major BA: 24 upper division units

Second BS: 36 upper division units

Double Major BS: 36 upper division units

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

Requirements – Bachelor of Science - Dietetics Special Major

The BS Dietetics Special Major, a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), is administered through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The DPD provides students with the academic coursework required to become a registered dietitian. Completion of the curriculum qualifies students for a dietetic internship or pre-professional program and a subsequent registration examination. The Didactic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association.

Students who plan to complete the curriculum and meet other Sacramento State requirements for a special major may apply for a Special Major: BS Dietetics.

For advising information contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, Mariposa Hall 3000, (916) 278-6393.

Requirements - Special Minor

Total units required for the Special Minor: 18, including a minimum of 12 upper division units in the field of specialization.

Contact Information

For Undergraduate Special Major:
Office of General Education
Sacramento Hall 234
(916) 278-5344


The Special Major for the Master’s degree provides an alternative for superior students whose special needs and interests cannot adequately be met by any one of the existing master’s degree programs of the University. The student may earn a Master of Arts or a Master of Science, as appropriate to the department in which the culminating experience requirement is completed. The special major is a coherent program directed towards a clear theme, not available within an existing graduate major. The courses are chosen from two or more departments and may bridge more than one college within the University. The courses must be carefully selected for their correlation and clear applicability to the objective of the unique major being proposed. The proposed program must be compatible with the objectives of the University and supportable by courses already offered within the degree programs and by the expertise of the faculty members.


The Special Major program is restricted to superior graduate students who are eligible for admission to classified standing in one of the regular master’s degree programs of the University.

Applicants must present evidence of overall undergraduate grade point averages of 3.0 and 3.0 in the last 60 semester units taken.

Courses taken to fulfill prerequisite requirements must be completed with a minimum GPA of 3.5, and they may not be counted toward the degree requirements.

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to the University as unclassified graduate students or directly into a Special Major program.

A Special Major application with department approvals must be submitted no later than the end of the first semester of attendance.

The applicant will need to obtain the assistance and approval of three or more faculty advisors. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Special Major, students are required to obtain the assistance and concurrence of faculty advisors from the key instructional units listed in the Program of Study. Obtain the detailed Graduate Special Major guidelines from the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6470. Prepare the program in consultation with the faculty committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure may begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of 200-level courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Requirements – Master of Arts/Master of Science – Special Major

Minimum upper division and graduate level units required: 30

  • At least 18 units must be in regularly established lecture or seminar courses at the 200 level (not to include 299 courses).
  • No more than six units may be in Independent Study (299 or similar courses).
  • No more than six units shall be in any one or in any combination of:
    (1) approved extension credit;
    (2) transfer credit, for work carrying graduate degree residence credit at another accredited institution. No more than half the units may be in any one department.

Contact Information

For Graduate Programs:
Office of Graduate Studies
River Front Center 206
(916) 278-6470