Feb 29, 2024
Can’t find a major you love at UB? Don’t worry-you can create your own. (Yes, really!) The special studies program is the perfect choice if you want everything UB has to offer, but we don’t have your exact major, or maybe you want to combine different areas. It’s not for everyone-but that’s the point. If you’re resourceful, determined and enjoy making your own path, then take a closer look at what special studies offers.
Visit the Special Studies academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.
The Special Studies degree program at UB enables students to design a unique academic path to an undergraduate degree. Students create an individualized academic major, from the vast curricular and faculty resources available at UB, which reflects a student’s unique academic interests and aspirations. Special Studies majors are purposeful, coherent programs of study, sponsored and approved by the faculty, and allow students to achieve individualized academic goals.
Students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA to propose a Special Studies major. Students develop a special major proposal that includes support from two faculty sponsors. The proposal is then reviewed and approved by a faculty committee and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. A well-constructed proposal clearly outlines the rationale for the special major, shows a deliberately formulated plan of study that defines and reflects the student’s educational objectives at UB.
Course requirements are determined based on the Special Studies major proposal, developed by the student and their faculty sponsors and approved by a faculty committee and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. The curriculum should lead to mastery of the area of knowledge described in the program description. Coursework should provide both breadth and depth in the area of knowledge being pursued. Most Special Studies majors contain between 32 and 50 credits of requirements drawn from across university offerings.
The special major may not duplicate any existing degree program in the university. Special majors cannot be used to propose academic concentrations similar to existing university programs with the intention of circumventing specific requirements.
Approval of a special major does not guarantee access to courses from departments that limit their enrollments to majors only. It is the student’s responsibility to negotiate with the respective departments for those restricted courses which are integral to the proposed major concentration.
Special majors cannot be proposed in areas where certification or licensure is required by state or professional boards of accreditation (e.g., nursing, engineering). Special majors may also not suggest that the student is acquiring professional competence as a therapist (programs titled Art Therapy, Psychotherapy, etc. are prohibited).
In addition to the requirements set forth in the Special Students major proposal, all university degree requirements must be met, including (but not limited to):
- Minimum of 120 and maximum of 126 total credits.
- Residency requirement of 30 credits.
- All UB Curriculum (general education) requirements completed.
- At least 45 credit hours at the upper division (at least 300-level), including at least 24 credits within the Special Studies major.
- B.A. degrees require 90 Liberal Arts and Sciences credits. The Liberal Arts and Sciences comprise the disciplines of the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences.
Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120-126
Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.
Students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, at the time of application. A minimum 2.00 GPA in both the major and the overall academic record is required for graduation.
The Special Studies proposal consists of the following:
- Degree title: The title should reflect the purpose and content of the major.
- Program description: This describes the academic purpose of the special major, including a description of the area of knowledge to be mastered through the special major.
- Program Learning Objectives: Statements describing what the student will know and be able to do as a result of completing the degree requirements.
- List of specific courses and curriculum requirements. The curriculum should lead to mastery of the area of knowledge described in the program description. Coursework should provide both breadth and depth in the area of knowledge being pursued. Most Special Studies majors contain between 32 and 50 credits of requirements drawn from across university offerings.
- A Curriculum Map showing the connection between the required courses and the Program Learning Objectives.
- A curricular plan outlining the specific courses (both major and degree requirements) to be taken across 8 semesters.
- Letters of support from two faculty sponsors.
Any tutorial work (496, 498 or 499) should be briefly described indicating the sponsor of the activity, the faculty person who is responsible for grading, and the process of evaluation for the tutorial work. Letters of support should be included from any external site sponsors (i.e., for internships or similar field placements). Independent study courses must be described and approved using the standard independent study form. Study abroad programs and courses should be specifically identified and described.
All major courses transferred to UB from other schools must be formally designated and identified. Transfer courses may comprise no more than 50% of the major curriculum.