Specialized Studies

Specialized Studies

Courses & Curriculum

As with any major, Specialized Studies requires a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. However, the specialized program can include more than 120 credits. As with most undergraduate degrees, this major is designed to be completed within the typical four-year time frame.

Students may start the advisement and proposal creation process as early as their second semester. Proposals may be submitted to the Dean of Arts & Sciences for approval when the student has demonstrated a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, and is familiar enough with at least two faculty members who will support their plan. Proposals should be submitted no later than midterm of a student’s fourth semester to ensure successful completion of the plan and availability of courses. Special exceptions may be made for a student with a unique academic situation.


  • All approved Specialized Studies majors must include the college Core Curriculum:
    • Foundations: FYS 101, ENG 101, PHI 101, & RST 101 (12 credits). *Students in the All College Honors Program will follow honors requirements.
    • Breath of Knowledge: Seven fields (21 credits)
    • Core Capstone: one course (3 Credits)
    • Cross-disciplinary Knowledge and Skills Requirements (six designated courses): Courses designated for Field or courses that satisfy major or elective credit may carry these designations. Some courses may carry more than one designation. Students must take as many courses as necessary to achieve all six requirements.
  • Specialized Studies Courses (36 minimum credits):
    • 21credits must be upper level courses (300-400 level; graduate courses may also be considered).
    • 3 credits: Senior Project (see below for details).
  • Free electives
    • 48 or less.  Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation.

Note: if a chosen course requires a pre-requisite the student must include this in the plan. No pre-requisite courses are to be waived.

Senior Project

Under the direction of a faculty member, the student must undertake a significant independent scholarly or creative senior project that is submitted, exhibited, completed, or performed no later than the last day of classes. Projects may take any form deemed acceptable by the faculty advisor and directly related to the area of study including internship experience, significant research, experimental project etc. The final project will be subject to peer and professional review in methods appropriate for the fields of endeavor as required by the advisor and faculty member (it is recommended that projects be highlighted during Ignation Scholarship day if possible).  The advisor shall choose a small (3) panel of faculty members related to the field of study to formally review the completed project and weigh in on scholarly relevance and level of academic work prior to assigning a grade. The student should work with the faculty member to develop a project proposal no later than week six of the semester prior to degree completion. Student may propose projects earlier and should be encouraged to utilize the summer months if special internship/research opportunities etc. are available.