Completion of a major is a graduation requirement. A major is a focused area of study that requires the student to take a specific set of courses that lead to a deep understanding of a particular subject matter. At SF State there are over 100 undergraduate majors. Choosing a major involves declaring this choice at the time of admission or consulting with faculty advisors and then submitting a Change of Major form to the department office of the intended major.
Typically, students declare their major during their sophomore year after completing most of their lower-division General Education requirements. Lower-division students who are undecided about their major may identify themselves as undeclared. Being undeclared provides the opportunity to explore a variety of courses in different areas of interest. Students who enter SF State as freshmen must declare a major by the time they complete 70 units.
Some majors are identified as impacted. These majors are in high demand and more students than can be accommodated want to declare these areas of study as their majors. An impacted major may include supplemental admission requirements. Requests to declare impacted majors must be received by the end of the initial filing period for the term for which new majors are being accepted. Continuing students who have earned 96 units or more may be prevented from changing into an impacted major.
Some majors require that students meet specific prerequisites before gaining admission.
The following rules apply to all undergraduate majors:
- Double Major
With careful academic planning, it may be possible for students to complete two majors. When possible, students are encouraged to complete both degrees without exceeding 120 units. Students who are significantly over 120 units may be monitored and required to meet with an academic advisor to track their degree progress. Students who complete two majors may apply for both degrees in a single commencement by submitting one degree application with approval from both major departments. No additional fee is required for the second application.
- Duplicate Use of Credit Between Majors
Students who complete two majors may count the same courses for both majors where there is a clearly stated overlap in the Bulletin requirements. While these courses may be used to satisfy requirements for two majors, the units shall be counted only once in fulfillment of the minimum units required for award of the baccalaureate degree.
- Duplicate Use of Credit Between the Major and GE
If applicable, an unlimited number of courses used to meet General Education requirements may be used to fulfill major requirements. While these courses may be used to satisfy both major requirements and GE requirements, they shall be counted only once in fulfillment of the minimum units required for award of the baccalaureate degree.
- Change of Major
Students who change their major after being admitted, or who declare a major after being admitted with an undeclared major, must fulfill the major requirements in effect at the time they declare or change their major. Students requesting to change their major after 96 units must complete a special change of major form found here. Students who have earned 96 units or more may be prevented from changing into an impacted major.
- Residence Units
A minimum of 12 units in the major must be completed in residence.
- Grade Point Average
Students must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in their major. Some majors have additional minimum grade requirements. Consult with the major department.
- Time Limit to Complete Requirements for Undergraduate Degree
There is normally no statutory period for units required for an undergraduate degree at SF State. However, if any course required for the major, minor, or certificate was taken more than seven years prior to graduation, then departments and programs may require students to retake that course or demonstrate currency in that subject. Consult with the department for more information.