Guidelines for Individual Majors

Revelle College offers the capable and independent student an opportunity to create his or her own major. If you are an above average student who has a definite academic interest, for which a suitable major is not offered at UCSD, you may petition to develop your own major. Your Individual Major must be planned in consultation with a faculty advisor of your choice (see professorial title requirements below). The major must then be approved by the Revelle College Executive Committee. Your faculty advisor supervises your work, and the College Provost must certify that you have completed the requirements of the Individual Major before you graduate.

Please note: Approval of the Individual Major can be a lengthy process. It is recommended that you begin planning early in your academic career, no later than the beginning of your sophomore year.

Qualifications for Applying

  • You must have completed at least three full-time quarters at UCSD
  • Have at least a 3.0 UC GPA
  • Be in "Good Academic Standing"
  • Have completed no more than 150 units

If you qualify, you should first consult Revelle Advising. Then you must choose a suitable faculty advisor who agrees to supervise your major.

Qualifications for a Faculty Advisor

The Faculty member must:

  • have a professional title (Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor)
  • be a regular member of the UCSD faculty
  • agree to serve as your Faculty Advisor

Please consult the UCSD General Catalog to determine a faculty member's title.

Revelle Individual Major Petition

Use this link for the petition.

Submit the completed petition to Revelle Advising by the beginning of your junior year, with the following attachments:

  • Statement of Purpose defining the objective(s) and scope of your major, its relationship to your present and future goals, with reasons why the program cannot be accommodated within an existing major at UCSD;
  • Statement from your Faculty Advisor stating that there has been thorough faculty consultation in designing the program, that the faculty member concurs with your written statement, and that the proposed Individual Major is a coherent combination or courses, comparable in depth and quality to a traditional major at UCSD.
  • Quarter-by-Quarter Plan listing the courses proposed for your major in the appropriate quarter. Please consult department websites/advisors to determine the quarter(s) in which courses are offered.

Consult department advisors to make sure courses will continue to be offered by the department.

To allow for scheduling problems, unforeseen circumstances, or desired flexibility, alternative courses should be indicated.  You could propose, for instance, seven "required courses", plus five additional "electives" to be chosen from a longer list of possible courses.

Additional Information

  • The Individual Major must consist of a minimum of 12 upper-division classes (numbered 100-199).
  • Prerequisites to each upper-division course (if any) should be included in the lower-division courses section.
  • Generally, six courses selected from one department (but a minimum of three courses) will form the "core" of the major.
  • One course in Statistics will be required for all Social Science-oriented Individual majors.
  • Residency Requirement - At least 75% of the upper-division courses must be completed at UCSD. (You may want to consider completing part of your major while studying abroad, or on the "Visitor Program" at another UC.
  • In general, lower division courses for the individualized major must be taken for letter grade. However, some exceptions for P/NP grading option will be accepted.
  • All upper division courses for the individualized major must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Any changes to an approved Individual Major petition including studying abroad coursework, change in faculty advisor, or courses toward the major require the submission of an updated Individual Major petition to Revelle Advising.