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Individual Studies Major

The Individual Studies (IS) Major in the Leavey School of Business has been established to meet the needs of students who wish to design their own major in Business with a multidisciplinary perspective.

If you are considering proposing an Individual Studies major in Business, please read the requirements (below) carefully to make sure that you qualify and that the major is right for you. Then visit the following pages for more details and links to the downloadable forms:


Steps for Declaring an IS major in the School of Business  »


Frequently Asked Questions »


Requirements for the major

A student majoring in Individual Studies in the Business School must be enrolled in the Leavey School of Business. In addition to fulfilling the University Undergraduate Core Curriculum and the core requirements for the bachelor of science in commerce (BSC) in the School of Business, the student must complete the requirements in her or his approved plan of study.

To declare the IS major, the student must submit and obtain approval of a Petition for an Individual Studies major in the Leavey School.

Requirements for the petition and approval

At the time of application, the student must: 

  • have been a full-time student at Santa Clara for at least one year, and
  • have a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average

The petition must include:

  • A clear description of the proposed program, including its unifying theme(s) and overall learning objectives;
  • A well-developed argument, supported by appropriate evidence, showing that (1) no existing academic major(s) and/or minor(s) can meet the student's educational objectives, and (2) the proposed major is not merely a combination of existing programs that could feasibly be completed by the student;
  • A plan of study listing the courses or menus of courses, seminars, internships, etc., that meet the student's educational objectives, which should include a minimum of eight (8) upper-division courses in addition to those required by the Undergraduate Core Curriculum and the School of Business Undergraduate Core, at least four (4) of which should be courses offered in the Business School (IS major courses may also count toward a student's selected Pathway);
  • The signed approval of a designated faculty advisor for the IS major, normally a tenured or tenure-track member of the Leavey School of Business.

The petition must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Leavey School of Business, in consultation with faculty in affected departments and programs if necessary. Reasonable modifications of the above guidelines may be approved by the Faculty Director.