New Options, Concentrations, and Minors


Curricular Process


  1. Department & College Approval 
    Proposals for new subprograms (such as options, concentrations, special emphases) or minors are submitted to the Office of Academic Programs only after approval by the department chair, the college curriculum committee, and the college dean. 
  2. University Educational Policies Comittee or Graduate Council 
    The proposal will be forwarded to the University Educational Policies Committee (for undergraduate proposals) or the Graduate Council (for graduate proposals) for review and approval.  
  3. AVP for Academic Affairs
    When the proposal has been reviewed and approved at the committee level, the document is returned to the Office of Academic Programs for review and approval by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  
  4. The Office of the Chancellor
    The proposal will be forwarded to the Office of the Chancellor for final review to ensure compliance with Executive Order 1071 (EO 1071), requiring subprograms curriculum must constitute less than one half of the units required in the major program.
  5. Final Notification of Proposal
    The proposing department will be notified by the Curriculum Specialist if the proposal has been approved. 

Proposal Format


Requests for approval of a new subprogram (such as an option, concentration, special emphasis, or minor) should follow the format provided in the following document:

Procedure for New Options, Concentrations, Special Emphases, and Minors


Policy Overview 


While the CSU does not have systemwide definitions for options, concentrations, emphases, and special emphases—and definitions will vary by campus—in practice, these are considered “subprograms” that are minimal requirements relative to the major core.  In order to ensure what WASC calls the “meaning, quality, and integrity” of degrees, approved campus degree programs maintain consistent requirements that reflect the approved title and that ensure sufficient opportunities for students to achieve the degree-program’s learning outcomes.  Additional requirements occur within subprograms, including options, concentrations, special emphases, tracks, threads, and so on.  Assessment of student learning outcomes in subprograms is encouraged.  Presidents have the authority to approve the implementation of minors per Executive Order 1071 (EO 1071), which is delegated to the AVP for Academic Affairs at Stanislaus State.  

  1. An option, concentration, special emphasis (or similar subprogram) or a minor may be approved under the authority delegated by this executive order only if the requirements comply with CSU policy and applicable law and if adequate faculty, physical facilities, and library holdings sufficient to establish and maintain that subprogram already exist, or where such support can reasonably be expected to become available.
  2. To ensure valid reporting to the National Center for Education Statistics through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, an option, concentration, or special emphasis (or similar subprogram) must constitute less than one half of the units required in the major program.
  3. There is no requirement to notify the Chancellor’s Office of new, modified or discontinued minors.