Feb 21, 2024  
University Catalog 2020-2021 
University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Programs

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Special Major for the Bachelor’s Degree

The Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with a Special Major allows selected students an opportunity to pursue individualized programs of study if their academic and professional goals cannot be met through existing degree programs, or combinations of programs (i.e., majors, minors, etc.), at Cal State LA or other CSU campuses. The Special Major consists of a program of study in two or more disciplines developed in consultation with faculty members from the respective departments.

The Special Major is not a means of bypassing normal graduation requirements nor does it provide an alternative means of graduating for students who have failed to complete requirements in a previously designated major. Students must apply for the Special Major when they have at least one full year (30) units of academic work remaining to complete minimum requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Special Major programs are considered on a case-by-case basis; approval is determined on the basis of academic merit of the proposed program, rationale, and the student’s potential for successful completion of the proposed program.

  • A minimum 2.50 grade point average is required.
  • Applicants must have no more than 90 units earned that are applicable toward another degree program by the end of the semester in which the application for the Special Major is submitted.

  • A total of 120 units are required for the BA/BS degree with a Special Major. A minimum of 45 semester units, of which at least 40 must be upper division, must be included in the Special Major program.

  • Neither lower nor upper division courses taken to satisfy General Education requirements may be counted toward fulfillment of minimum requirements for the Special Major.

  • All programs must include an upper division writing requirement, selected with adviser’s approval, from one of the approved upper division writing courses from one of the disciplines in the Special Major program.

  • A principal adviser must be selected from one of the disciplines proposed for the Special Major program.
  • Prepare a Special Major Preliminary Application obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Prepare a concise statement of the academic and professional goals you seek through a Special Major, indicating why these goals cannot be met through related existing degree programs and prepare a preliminary list of courses in the two or three departments that represent the kind of program appropriate to your goals.
  • Submit the Preliminary Application to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for review and approval for development of the Special Major. Upon approval, an Application for Special Major for Bachelor’s Degree will be provided to you. A faculty committee composed of a faculty member from each department on the proposed program may be recommended by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies to guide you in the development of your Special Major program.
  • Discuss your statement and proposed list of courses with advisers in each of the specific departments that comprise your Special Major. With the assistance of your departmental advisers, determine the courses that will become part of your final program. Obtain the signatures of departmental advisers and department chair for each area of study. Their signatures indicate that they have reviewed and approved the proposed course of study. A principal adviser must be selected from one of the disciplines proposed for the Special Major Program.
  • Obtain the signature of the college associate dean for each of the departmental course areas listed on your program and submit the completed application to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for university-level approval.
  • Upon University approval, the application will be sent to you and to each department listed on your program. A Change of Major Form will also be sent to you with instructions to change your major to the official title listed on your approved program. Be advised that pending final approval of your Special Major program, you proceed with projected course work at your risk.

Further information is available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, Administration 725.

CalState TEACH (CST)

Multiple Subject, CalStateTEACH (CST) is both a preservice program and an intern program. CalStateTEACH is an alternative path to a multiple subject preliminary teaching credential available to individuals residing in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties. CalStateTEACH is designed specifically to serve teachers who are interns or who can volunteer to practice teach in an elementary school (grades K-6). It is also designed for those who want to become teachers but are unable to access campus programs due to personal circumstances or because they live beyond commuting distance to a university. The program has been constructed to integrate the theory and practice of teaching with the daily experiences of teachers in the classroom.

CalStateTEACH is a Web-enhanced program in which students work in small groups, guided and supported by faculty of CalStateTEACH Los Angeles as well as by on-site school personnel. This flexible form of instruction allows part-time, home-based study and uses a rich mix of print, Internet, CD ROM, and video. There are no regular university classes to attend, although there are five Saturday seminars over the course of the program. After successfully completing the program, participants will have earned a Multiple Subject Credential and 40-49 semester units of credit.

The CalStateTEACH program is offered in four terms. Fees include the cost of instruction and all books, course guides, videotapes, CDROM, and computer software. Federal and state financial aid in the form of grants and loans are available for qualified students. For more information, contact Dr. Ernest Black ernest.black4@calstatela.edu.  The CalStateTEACH public website is www.calstateteach.net.

Credit for Prior Experiential Learning (CPEL)*

Through the CPEL program, Cal State LA grants undergraduate academic credit for prior learning, knowledge, or skills-based experience that has been documented and evaluated according to campus policy. Students should be aware, however, that policies for earning credit for prior learning vary among CSU campuses.

Cal State LA grants up to 3 semester units of resident credit for UNIV 2950 , a course in which the student enrolls and, in collaboration with a faculty sponsor, prepares a portfolio documenting the prior learning. In addition, a student may earn up to 6 units of nonresident credit, applicable to a bachelor’s degree, for learning, knowledge, or skills-based experience that has been documented and evaluated according to campus policy. To qualify, students must have  completed 30 semester units in residence at Cal State LA and not more than 111 semester units overall, and must demonstrate how the prior learning articulates with their present educational objectives. Credit is awarded for UNIV 2950  and for the prior learning based on faculty evaluation of the learning experience in terms of academic standards both within the discipline and university-wide. Applications for CPEL are available in the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Administration 725.

Cooperative Education*

Cal State LA offers a range of Cooperative Education courses carrying different unit values.

The following courses are offered through the Cooperative Education program.

  • 2980 Preparation for Cooperative Education (1 units)
  • 3980 Cooperative Education (1-3 units)
  • 3990 Cooperative Education Honors (1-3 units)
  • 4980 Advanced Cooperative Education (1-3 units)

UNIV 2980  is open to all students without restriction. Admission to UNIV 3980 , 3990 , and 4980  is arranged through the coordinator for the student’s major department, division or school. Admission to UNIV 3990 requires UNIV 2980 as prerequisite, as well as eligibility for a University or academic department or division honors program.

A minimum 2.35 overall grade point average is required and students must have completed 30 semester units of course work before requesting permission of their major department, division or school to enroll. Approved employment, periodic conferences, and written reports are required.

Internship in Public Service*

The Internship in Public Service program combines individual instruction with practical experience in government agencies and quasi-public enterprises. Although enrollment usually is restricted to Political Science majors, non-majors with appropriate background and preparation may apply. The program operates similarly to the Cooperative Education program, except that the maximum 4 semester units earned may apply only to upper division free elective credit rather than toward the major. A qualifying civil service examination is required for admission to some internship programs. Information about opportunities and qualifications may be obtained from the coordinator in the Political Science Department.

* NOTE: Students should note that a limited amount of unit credit is allowed toward the baccalaureate for each of these programs. Policies and regulations differ among various departments, divisions, schools and colleges. Each student should consult the appropriate major department, division, school or college for specific procedures and instructions.


University Programs

Special Major, Bachelor’s Degree  


Masters Programs

Interdisciplinary Studies Master’s Degree MA or MS 


    Degree - UndergraduateDegree - Graduate

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