The Special Major Program was developed to provide capable students with an opportunity to create their own academic majors. Students initiate and develop their own programs under the guidance of two faculty members and an advisor and then obtain approval from the Special Major Committee.
Although the special major is individualized and often completely original, there are several concentrations or themes that have emerged over the years. Whereas these themes do not yet correspond to existing academic majors, there are nonetheless impressive curricular and faculty resources to support them. Such concentrations include religious studies, Japanese Studies, animal science, comparative literature, language and linguistics, journalism, and nutrition, among others.
Because each special major is unique, the learning outcomes will differ by program design and are best thought of as the synthesis of the learning outcomes of individual courses within the major curriculum.
The special major program is not an academic department and offers no classes of its own.
The special major program offers no classes of its own and therefore has no facilities related to course offerings.
The special major program offers no classes of its own and therefore has no teaching faculty.
Career opportunities for special major graduates are as varied as the special majors that are proposed and approved. Students are advised to seek guidance from their faculty sponsors and Career Services to develop strategies for a successful transition to relevant employment or graduate study in a related field.
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.
The ideal time to develop a special major is during the sophomore or junior year. Students with advanced standing may be too far along in their studies to construct a 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 obligated to consider proposals that are submitted in the student's final year or ex post facto.
Senior Academic Advisor
College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement and Services
275 Park Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260