Undergraduate Minor Program

Reference Number: F79-050
Senate Approval Date: Saturday, September 01, 1979



Superseded by F10-255 (PDF)



At its meeting of October 23, 1979, the Academic Senate approved the following guidelines for the design and approval of undergraduate minors:



Presented below are the basic criteria and proposal submission guidelines applicable to the undergraduate minor at San Francisco State University. In recognition of the desire to maintain some flexibility in meeting unique program needs, academic units of the University may submit proposals to the Office of the Provost (for subsequent review by appropriate Academic Senate committees) which are in some way at variance with the stated criteria. When this is done, ample justification for the variance must be submitted as an integral part of the proposal.


A minor is an area of specialized academic training, disciplinary or interdisciplinary in character, which is typically undertaken by a degree candidate in order to supplement or complement the major field of study, or to provide academic training in a minor subject or alternative field of study. In comparison to a major field of study, the disciplinary minor is generally more narrow or restricted in scope while the interdisciplinary minor will typically exhibit a broader area of subject coverage. In both instances fewer course credits are required than in the major field of study.


A. The program is to consist of a minimum of 15 semester units and a maximum of 24 semester units. Exceptions to these minima and maxima may be considered for highly specialized programs.

B. A minimum of one-half of the units for the minor program should be in the upper division courses unless a specific exception has been granted.

C. Each minor program should include a core* which is a common requirement for all students. Such a core should consist of a minimum of nine units.

D. It is suggested that a minimum of 2/3 of the units for meeting the requirements of the program be graded on the A-F basis.

E. Normally, no more than one-half of the units used to meet the requirements for the program may be transfer units from other colleges or universities.

F. A maximum of nine units in the program may be devoted to internships and/or independent study unless a specific exception has been granted in advance.

G. Students may not earn both a major and minor in the same discipline or theme area.

H. Courses used to meet the requirements for the program may also be used to meet the requirements for a major or minor in another field; however, the dual use of courses in this manner should be kept as minimal as possible. Consistent with current University policy, courses for meeting the requirements of this program may, as appropriate, be used simultaneously to meet general education or credential requirements.

I. Program requirements must be completed with an earned 2.0 (C) grade point average.

*In a given minor, core is defined as individual courses required of all students or courses taken from a designated list of choices within required categories.


1. Proposals ordinarily shall be initiated by Departments, Programs or Colleges of the University, and following College approval shall be processed through the regular program review process of the University in the same manner as other new and revised curricular programs.

2. Proposals should be submitted in the format prescribed. Copies of the guidelines are available from the Office of the Provost.

3. The sponsoring unit (i.e., department, school interdisciplinary area) must designate an appropriate faculty member who will be responsible for coordinating the program. As may be appropriate, this may be the department chair.

4. All officially approved minor programs should be described in the University Bulletin.

5. All literature (brochures and the like) to be published and circulated in connection with such programs should have the prior clearance of the appropriate College Dean.

6. Upon satisfactory completion of an approved minor program, including making formal application for same, the Director of Admissions and Records, or his designee, shall enter an appropriate designation on the student's permanent record and shall maintain annual records of the names (and numbers) of all students completing minors in this manner. The Director of Admissions and Records should report to the Provost each year on the number and type of minors completed.