Special Studies Degree Program

Students studying in Davis Hall.

The Special Studies degree program at UB enables students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to design a unique academic path to an undergraduate degree. 

Special Studies majors are purposeful, coherent programs of study, sponsored and approved by the faculty, and allow students to achieve individualized academic goals. Students who have unique academic interests, not met by one of the established majors at UB, or who wish to create an interdisciplinary blend of majors, may want to pursue a degree in Special Studies.

Special majors cannot be proposed in any areas where certification or licensure is required by state or professional boards of accreditation.


The proposal process for a special major is extensive and may take a full academic term (15 weeks) or more to obtain approval.  First-year students cannot declare a Special Studies degree program, and it is strongly recommended students be in an accepted major by the start of their junior year. Therefore, the ideal time to submit a completed proposal is during the sophomore year. 

Students are required to secure two tenure-track faculty sponsors who are experts in the proposed field of study and to write a 5–15-page academic proposal in conjunction with their faculty sponsors. The proposal contains information such as the program description, program learning objectives, list of specific courses and requirements, and a curricular plan, along with letters of support from the two faculty sponsors. The proposal is then reviewed and approved by a faculty committee and the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

All university degree requirements must be met, including (but not limited to):

  • Minimum of 120 and maximum of 126 total credits.
  • Residency requirement of 30 credits.
  • At least 45 credit hours at the upper division (at least 300-level), including at least 24 credits within the Special Studies major.
  • The number of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) credits varies by degree type. B.A. degrees require 90 LAS credits, B.S. degrees require 60 LAS credits, All UB Curriculum (general education) requirements completed. The Liberal Arts and Sciences comprise the disciplines of the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. 
Advising Contact Information

Jessica L. Seabury
Senior Assistant Director
University Honors College
University at Buffalo
106 M Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY  14260-1660