Definition and Unit Limits of the BA Major

Reference Number: S78-033
Senate Approval Date: Monday, May 22, 1978


The Major in the Bachelor of Arts Degree - Definition:

The Bachelor of Arts degree is universally considered to represent a broad liberal arts education which prepares students to function as useful and responsible citizens in a variety of roles. It is less specialized than the Bachelor of Science degree, yet contains a depth component which permits advanced study in the many disciplines. It is less career-specific than most professional degrees, but provides an important foundation of skills and knowledge useful in many, if not most, careers.


Because it serves a variety of purposes -- academic, personal, citizenship, career preparation -- the Bachelor of Arts degree must reflect a balance among three components: the major, or depth, component; the general education, or breadth, component; and, electives chosen to fit the individual student’s background, preferences and needs. The elective component may be used, depending on the individual’s particular circumstances, to add strength to the major, to complement the general education, to explore or develop personal or career interests, or to qualify for advanced study in the major or an associated field.


Unit Limit

The Bachelor of Arts degree major shall not exceed 45 units. Majors which exceed 45 units at the time this policy is approved must, within one year, either be reduced to 45 units or present a justification for excess units before the Educational Policies Council. The EPC then will recommend that the major be exempted from the 45-unit limit or that the degree title be changed to a more appropriate one. In counting the units in a major all prerequisites will be included. Units which are permitted to satisfy general education requirements will not be included.