Intensive Programs of Study

UC Santa Cruz offers opportunities for students who wish to add more breadth to their study by pursuing a combined or double major, or who wish to add more depth by writing a senior thesis or pursuing a senior project to fulfill the comprehensive requirement for their major.

Combined Major

A combined major allows students to complete a course of study involving two disciplines offered as regular programs at UC Santa Cruz.

A combined major is designed by faculty representatives from both disciplines. In general, fewer courses are required than for a double major, and students complete the comprehensive requirements as specified for each combined major. Combined majors currently include:

  • Earth Sciences/Anthropology
  • Economics/Mathematics
  • Environmental Studies/Biology
  • Environmental Studies/Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Studies/Economics
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Global Economics
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Literature
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Politics
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology

The diploma of a student who has completed a combined major in environmental studies and economics, for example, would read “Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Environmental Studies/Economics.” 

Senior Thesis or Project

Typically, in the senior year students must satisfy the comprehensive requirement for their major by satisfactorily completing a comprehensive examination or an equivalent body of work that is defined by the unit supervising the major. For some major programs, a written thesis or other project that involves extensive work and reflects comprehensive understanding of a subject matter may be accepted in place of a comprehensive examination.

Double Major

To complete a double major, students must fulfill all of the requirements for both majors declared, including the comprehensive requirement for each major. In general, a single thesis may not be used for more than one major. There are limitations on the number of upper-division courses that can be counted toward the requirements of more than one major. A double major may include an individual major or consist entirely of established majors.

The diploma of a student who has completed a double major in history and music, for example, would read “Bachelor of Arts with Majors in History and Music.”