Definitions of Specialization and Emphasis


The language below was approved at the September 2005 UCCC meeting.

Specialization: term used for those subdivisions of a major that meet the requirement of 18 credits (12 credits for a master's degree) of sufficiently different coursework from other subdivisions. The specialization name will appear on transcripts.

Emphasis: term to be used for subdivisions of a major that contain a differing focus, but do not contain 18 credits (9 for master's degree) of sufficiently different coursework. The emphasis name will not appear on transcripts.

Committee members were encouraged to work with their departments to incorporate the new terminology throughout the catalog.

If the current program description includes course requirements supporting the claim that each subdivision of the program includes 18 or 12 credits of "sufficiently different coursework from the other subdivisions," catalog revisions that simply replace old terminology (option, track, etc.) with the new terminology (specialization) can be submitted to the Provost's Office as editorial revisions.

Since many graduate programs do not list course requirements in their program descriptions, the Provost's Office requests that programs seeking to adopt the term "specialization" (specializations DO appear on transcripts) provide catalog copy including course requirements to support the request.