College of Environmental Design

Individual Major

Bachelor of Arts

Major handbook:

NOTE: The CED Individual Major is undergoing a significant curriculum revision and will not be available for declaration after October 1, 2019. Students who submit a successful application by this deadline will be allowed to complete the major. 

Program Description

The undergraduate individual major is a program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in an area of study that is appropriate to the College of Environmental Design but that cannot be accomplished through the other existing majors.

Some examples of individual majors include structures, architectural journalism, visual design, computer applications in architecture, urban planning, community development, and the social basis of design. Students may also wish to use an existing CED minor as a foundation for a major.

Students proposing an individual major must be in good academic standing, have completed at least one semester in the College of Environmental Design, and must be sponsored by a member of the college faculty. The major must be proposed no later than the first semester of the junior year.

The student must propose a detailed program developed in consultation with a faculty member in the college who agrees to serve as a sponsor (the sponsor must be a member of the Academic Senate) and will be the "instructor of record" for the required ENV DES 199 course. The individual major proposal includes a written statement of support from the faculty sponsor and conforms to the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA.
  2. The proposal must include a student statement describing the content and focus of the proposed major and thesis.
  3. The faculty sponsor’s statement includes the educational objectives of the major and shows support for the student.
  4. The proposed program does not exceed the college’s semester limit and includes all college and University requirements, including ENV DES 1, 11A, and 11B; one Calculus or Statistics course; all breadth requirements, unit requirements, etc. ENV DES 11A and 11B may be waived for proposed majors that are not design-oriented.
  5. The 36 required upper-division units may be drawn from any department relevant to the field of study but at least 24 units must be in the College of Environmental Design.
  6. Approval of courses for the major does not guarantee acceptance into the courses; this is especially true for courses outside of CED. Course prerequisites must be met and regular enrollment procedures must be followed. The student must present documentation from the relevant academic departments that s/he will have access to all courses outside CED that are specified in the proposal.
  7. A senior thesis is a required part of the major program. ENV DES 195 (senior thesis preparation) followed by 4 units of ENV DES 199 (supervised thesis research and writing) must be included in the major. When ENV DES 195 is not available, a student may petition to use an alternate thesis preparation course as a precursor to the independent study. The thesis must be approved by the faculty sponsor and submitted to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies by the last day of instruction in the term in which the thesis is completed. The faculty sponsor must grade the thesis, present a final written evaluation, and certify completion of the individual major requirements to the Associate Dean. See the section on Thesis Guidelines in the CED Individual Major Handbook for more information.

The proposal, together with the sponsor’s written statement, and graduation plan must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Advising (250 Wurster Hall). If the proposal meets the general guidelines listed above, it will be forwarded to the Associate Dean for review.