“There is something at this school for everyone: tons of clubs and organizations, great food, nice residence halls, and awesome people. It’s gorgeous in all seasons, especially fall. If KSC doesn’t have the major you are interested in, you can design your own. There’s so much to love about Keene State!”– Jenny Stronk, Communication
Majors and Degrees
School of Arts and Humanities
The American Studies program offers students an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Students in American Studies engage in a challenging exploration of historical and contemporary American culture and the American multicultural identity, including its past and present values, conflicts, and experiences. Working closely with an advisor who is a core faculty member in American Studies, students design their course of study around three core courses; an individualized set of area requirements in American history, literature, and Arts and/or Social Sciences; and a thesis requirement. American Studies prepares students for career opportunities in elementary and secondary education; graduate school; law school; business; work in libraries, museums, and historic preservation; newspaper, magazine, broadcast journalism; film or media work; work in federal, state, and local agencies, both public and private; government and politics; nonprofit organizations; writing, editing, and publishing; international relations and diplomacy; public relations and advertising; and social services.
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The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program is designed to provide students with an intensely comprehensive course of study consisting of a minimum of 72 credits in visual arts courses. The B.F.A. degree can lead directly to graduate study (M.F.A.) or to professional careers in the Graphic Design field. To be eligible for the B.F.A. degree, students must first be accepted into the B.A. program in Art.
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The Bachelor of Arts degree in Art is designed to meet a variety of student needs through courses in art history, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, photography, and graphic design. Through the program's flexibility and rich variety, students are encouraged to develop their skills and broaden their knowledge in courses that can lead to graduate school or a variety of careers in visual art and graphic design.
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The B.M. in Music Composition prepares students for careers in composition, independent teaching, or graduate study in music. The degree conforms to standards in composition set by the National Association of Schools of Music, including the development of a composition from concept to finished product; the competency to work with both electronic and acoustic media; working with a variety of forms, styles, and notations; and applying principles of scoring appropriate to particular compositions. Students will achieve fluency in the use of tools needed by composers, including keyboard skills, spoken and written language, conducting and rehearsal skills, analytical techniques, and applicable technologies. Students will have opportunities to hear fully realized performances of their original compositions in workshop settings and public performances, culminating in a capstone Senior Recital.
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The Communication major is an interdisciplinary program combining courses in Communication and Philosophy. The major is designed to take a broad-based, humanities-centered view of the symbolic ways humans create meaning. The program will focus on the development of skills as students learn to work with various communication tools to improve their own ability to interact effectively with others. Students will also increase their critical awareness as they study the structure, patterns, and effects of communication on both themselves and society. Communication majors go on to graduate and professional schools, work as teachers, writers, and social activists, or work in a variety of fields utilizing a liberal arts education including human resources, media, advertising, public relations, politics, and many other fields.
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The English program encourages students to develop sophisticated ways of understanding, creating, and responding to texts. English majors and minors study the historical development of literary and rhetorical traditions, of literatures written in English, as well as world and European literatures in English translation. Students in the literature option read a wide range of literature from various cultures and historical periods. Students in the writing option also read a great deal of literature and study literary method, but focus their coursework on the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. English/Secondary Education majors must choose the Literature option and take one additional course, ENG 312 Descriptive Grammar.
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The Film Studies major balances theoretical and applied course work. Options offer opportunities to prepare for employment in a variety of fields; graduates most often go on to further study or careers in the analysis and/or production of film and television or to careers in areas of the business world such as personnel, counseling, advertising, public relations, and sales.
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This major allows students to acquire an active command of written and spoken French, with a knowledge of historical and contemporary issues in the French-speaking world. It is designed to complement programs such as Film Studies, Management, English, History, Music, and Education. French majors must study in Africa, France, or Québec through our exchange programs or through other approved programs. Students planning to study abroad must consult with the Global Education Office and French faculty before departure to arrange for program approval and transfer of credit and detailed study away requirements. Students seeking teacher certification in French or Spanish must also take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and attain a score of "Advanced Low" or higher.
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As a field of study, History provides students with many of the necessary skills for a productive professional career and an intellectually fulfilling life. Toward these ends, the History major attempts to provide students with the ability to think and read critically and analytically, to form sound opinions and support them with logical arguments based on documentary evidence, to communicate ideas effectively, and to conduct historical research. The History major further attempts to provide students with a body of historical knowledge that will enable them to understand contemporary events of local, national, and global importance, as well as to understand and appreciate the various cultures and civilizations that make up the world community. Above all, the History major helps to provide students with the means for lifelong learning.
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Students examine both the Holocaust and the broader topic of genocide. The graduate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies is prepared to support curriculum development in the social studies and history and to pursue careers in social and governmental service. The major also prepares students for graduate studies in history, as well as Holocaust and genocide studies, and for other postgraduate work, such as law.
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The Journalism major at Keene State College provides and maintains an intellectual environment dedicated to the investigation of the roles of the mass media in contemporary society within a liberal arts perspective. The major provides students with a theoretical understanding of the media and prepares them for careers in the field by enabling them to build both print and electronic media skills in an applied setting. The curriculum emphasizes the concepts of press objectivity, fairness, accuracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, as well as the development of analytical writing, research, production, and presentation skills.
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This program provides a broad foundation in music and is also appropriate for students planning on graduate study. Following an audition for acceptance into the Music degree program, the choice of specialization is determined in consultation with a Music faculty advisor, but all students should begin the theory/aural skills sequence in the first year. All students must pass a piano proficiency exam, a basic aural skills proficiency exam, and complete the Mid-Level Review before the end of the sophomore year. All B.A. Music candidates are required to complete ten (10) electives beyond the core degree requirements. Students have the option of specializing in either Music Composition or Music Technology, but a specialization is not required. The Music Composition specialization requires two (2) additional electives. Participation in at least one large ensemble appropriate to the student's program (chosen from MU 172, MU 173, MU 174, MU 175, MU 177, or MU 178) is required each semester of applied music study. Additionally, students are required to take at least one semester of a small ensemble (MU 171). A grade of C or higher must be earned in each music course counted toward the major. A minimum of 40 total credits must be at the 300-400 level (Music and non-Music courses).
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The Music Education curriculum prepares teachers and supervisors of music for kindergarten through grade 12. This major presupposes a high level of interest in and aptitude for music. An audition is required before admission to the program. Upon entering the program, students declare a primary instrument or voice. All students must pass a basic piano proficiency test and a basic aural skills test before the end of the sophomore year or they will not be permitted to enroll in junior year courses in Music Education. Students must work closely with their advisors in planning for completion of this tightly structured program.
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This major emphasizes performance proficiency and applied study of a major instrument or voice. It prepares students for careers in performance, independent teaching, or graduate study leading to the Master of Music degree.
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This major allows students to acquire an active command of written and spoken Spanish, with a knowledge of historical and contemporary issues in the Spanish-speaking world. It is designed to complement programs such as Film Studies, English, History, Management, Music, and Education. Spanish majors must study in Spain or Latin America through our exchange programs or through other approved programs. Students planning to study abroad must consult with the Global Education Office and Spanish faculty before departure to arrange for program approval and transfer of credit and detailed study away requirements. Students must meet with Modern Language faculty for preapproval and additional proficiency requirements. Students seeking teacher certification in French or Spanish must also take the Oral Proficiency Interview and attain a score of "Advanced Low" or higher.
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The Department of Theatre and Dance is dedicated to providing a comprehensive course of study that balances theory and practice within a sound liberal arts education. Because of the collaborative nature of these disciplines, our students gain practical experience in all facets of production and critical engagement. As artists and teachers, our primary focus is to encourage and guide our students as they experience and question the world through theatre and dance.
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The B.M. in Music Technology prepares students for careers in audio engineering, sound design, or graduate study in music. The degree conforms to standards in music technology set by the National Association of Schools of Music, including audio recording, audio engineering, and studio sound. Students will achieve fluency in microphone technique and develop a knowledge base of other peripheral equipment. The program emphasizes fundamentals of recording equipment and practice, including equipment calibration, alignment, and testing, and studio set-up for recording in various professional settings. In addition, students receive advanced practica in professional recording studio operation.
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School of Sciences and Social Sciences
The Bachelor of Science program in Biology is designed to stimulate intellectual and personal growth through an examination of the fundamental properties of living systems, the application of experimental and descriptive methods of discovery, and the consideration of the social, ethical, and aesthetic aspects of biological knowledge. The B.S. program also provides undergraduate preparation for technical employment or post-baccalaureate study in graduate school or for professions such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, teaching, and natural resource management. A Biology major considering graduate or professional school should confer with a Biology advisor to plan a program to meet the student's specific needs and assure entrance into such a school.
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The Bachelor of Arts in Biology provides an introduction to the discipline and an opportunity to integrate the study of Biology with another field. In contrast to the B.S. program, the B.A. requires fewer credits in both biology and related sciences, permitting a student to complete a second major or additional courses in another discipline such as Chemistry, Psychology, Elementary Education, Journalism, Art, Management, or Computer Science; thus, it satisfies the needs of students with a combination of interests.
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The B.S. in Chemistry should serve as a general preparation for a professional scientist. The major was designed according to guidelines from the American Chemical Society (ACS) to be rigorous, yet flexible enough to allow for preparation for immediate employment, graduate study, or work in an allied profession.
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In today's changing job market, competency in two or more basic fields of science enhances opportunity for employment and professional growth potential. This major fulfills such a need. This interdisciplinary major provides grounding in two related sciences, with balance in both.
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Broadly based in the liberal arts tradition, the B.A. in Chemistry has been designed for students interested in careers in areas that use chemistry as a base, such as the health-related professions, pharmaceutical marketing, secondary science education, chemistry-related industry, and/or entrance to graduate school. By combining this major with any one of a number of majors or minors, considerable flexibility is provided to the student. A specific articulation with the Education department (secondary option) is available and allows students to complete a dual major (B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Education) with Chemistry certification.
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The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science provides students with a thorough grounding in a set of core courses in computer science (CS) and other related areas, followed by the opportunity to hone their CS education in certain areas of specialization. The anticipated end result is a set of graduates who are adequately prepared for their chosen vocation, be it graduate school or employment.
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The B.A. in Economics combines rigorous training in economic theory with application to contemporary issues such as globalization, financial market volatility, and the environment. The Economics program is a tight-knit community, and majors and minors can expect to work closely with faculty and with each other. The economic honors society, Omicron Delta Epsilon, organizes field trips to conferences and brings in visiting speakers and alumni. Recent graduates have gone on to careers in business and government, to law school, and to graduate programs in economics and politics, as well as M.B.A. programs.
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The Environmental Studies (ENST) major provides students with a conceptual framework and set of skills needed to make effective, relevant, and sustaining contributions to society with respect to environmental issues, both as professional practitioners and as individual citizens. Through field and inquiry-based projects in the regional setting, students gain knowledge and develop skills in investigating environmental issues and formulating solutions.
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The Anthropology/Sociology Major prepares students for the social and professional demands of living in an increasingly multicultural world. Our students examine what it means to be human, how we evolved physically and developed culturally over time, how society and culture influence behavior and how culture provides a lens through which people understand and interpret their world. While we in anthropology and sociology teach about particular cultures and societies, this is accomplished by examining patterns of behavior using a comparative method. Learning is based on empirical investigation which emphasizes observation skills, participation, and critical analysis to create knowledge necessary for understanding these differing behaviors and worldviews. A primary focus of the major is its ability to help students develop a set of practical skills and conceptual tools necessary for continuing to learn about other cultures, sub-cultures, and societies after they leave college.
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The B.A. in General Science provides a broad-based foundation in three major areas: Earth/Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. This major would provide general science knowledge for working in science museums, zoos, science camps, or state or national parks. It is an ideal major for the preservice elementary or middle school teacher as it addresses national recommendations for improving science education with an activity and hands-on focus. The middle school option meets N.H. state certification requirements for grades 5-9.
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Geography is an empowering discipline that examines the Earth through the lens of human-environment interaction. Geography is recognized for both its physical and its cultural attributes. The physical realm examines the Earth's dynamic systems and landscape evolution while the cultural realm focuses on human interaction to the constantly changing forces of nature. Major topics of study include population distributions, climate change, technology, language, urbanization, globalization, resource management, and environmental impacts. Geospatial technologies, including GIS, remote sensing, and computer mapping, form an integral component of analysis.
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Geology is the study of the Earth and its environs. It involves detailed consideration of planet Earth's interior and its surface, as well as consideration of the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and setting in space. These studies are central to an understanding of the Earth's past, present, and future environments and the interrelationship between Earth and humanity. Students graduating from this program are prepared for traditional positions with oil and mining companies and state and federal geological surveys; for positions in the rapidly growing fields of environmental geology, hydrogeology, resource planning, and engineering and consulting firms; or to enter graduate study. By completing the Educator Preparation option, students are prepared for certification as Earth Science Education teachers in secondary schools.
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The Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics provides students breadth and depth through an integrated approach to the study of mathematics. The program prepares students for either an immediate career, especially teaching, or graduate school.
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This program is designed to prepare candidates for grades K-8 elementary school teaching with a specialization in mathematics. In addition to meeting all the degree requirements set by Keene State College (mathematics, education, and integrative studies) and the certification requirements for elementary school teaching by the state of New Hampshire, graduates of the program will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful elementary teachers who could also serve as elementary school mathematics specialists in school districts.
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This career-oriented program, emphasizing management skills and building on a solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, is designed to prepare individuals for management careers in industrial or public organizations and for graduate work.
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This interdisciplinary program provides sufficient groundwork in both mathematics and physics for employment in industry, the commercial sector, or further study in graduate school. In order to complete the program within four years, the student should begin the Physics sequence in the spring of the first year of studies. Calculus I should be selected as soon as possible.
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The Political Science major provides students with an understanding of politics and government as practiced in the United States and throughout the world, a knowledge of global political relationships, opportunities to develop skills that are useful both in the course of participating first-hand in politics and in the rigorous analysis and communication of complex information, familiarity with methods used in the study of political science, and preparation for professional careers in law, government, international affairs, and the teaching of politics and the social sciences.
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The psychology program prepares students for success in a graduate program in psychology and/or a career in a psychology related field. The program exposes students to the methodologies, problems, bodies of knowledge, and broad range of perspectives found currently in psychology.
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The Sociology program offers students knowledge and resources to search systematically for answers to questions about society. Sociology students develop a sociological imagination, which is the ability to grasp the close relationship between personal experiences and the larger social world. Our majors study social and cultural forces that shape individual and group behavior using a variety of scientific methods such as surveys, interviews, observation, and content analysis. By studying and critically assessing sociological theories, sociology students also describe, interpret, and explain how the world works.
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This program is currently under administrative review. Consequently, there is an administrative hold on all admissions. Contact the Dean of Sciences and Social Sciences for further information.
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Criminology/Criminal Justice is a broad field of study that includes the contributions and approaches of many of the social and behavioral sciences, as well as areas of study such as law and ethics, as they relate to the phenomenon of crime. The criminal justice studies major prepares students for employment in a wide variety of criminal justice agencies, under local, state and federal jurisdictions, as well as the private sector. This major can also serve as a foundation for graduate study in criminology, law, social work, sociology, psychology, and government including public administration.
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Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines feminist and queer theoretical perspectives on the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, and other identities. This major teaches students to think critically about the social construction of identity and the politics of knowledge production. Students will use these critical-thinking skills to understand people's lives within a global context and analyze the systems of oppression that contribute to continuing economic, political, and cultural inequalities. Women's and Gender Studies majors will be encouraged to apply theoretical knowledge and work toward social justice by engaging in a number of experiential educational opportunities.
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This program is designed to prepare candidates for teaching Earth/Space science in grades 7-12. In addition to meeting all of the degree requirements set by Keene State College (Earth/Space, education, and integrative studies), this program will result in certification for secondary school teaching by the state of New Hampshire in a nationally recognized science education program. Graduates of this program will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful secondary teachers who can fill the critical shortage in this teaching area not only in New England, but across the country.
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School of Professional and Graduate Studies
The Architecture major at Keene State College is a pre-professional four-year program designed to give students a solid foundation in the artistic, scientific, and technical aspects of architecture. The curriculum offers a range of courses in studio design, building science, sustainable design, history/theory, digital technology, and practice.
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Keene State College offers a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited undergraduate athletic training education program designed for those students who wish to pursue certification as an athletic trainer. Students who graduate with a degree in Athletic Training are eligible to take the BOC (Board of Certification) Athletic Training Certification Examination. The program prepares students for athletic training positions in educational, professional sport, military/law enforcement training, performing arts and clinical settings, as well as for graduate programs in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics or other Medical and Allied Health fields.
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The Education major has four options:
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Health Science is an interdisciplinary program grounded in the liberal arts. The major is comprised of courses in Health Promotion, Nutrition, Addictions, Physical Activity, Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology. Students learn how environmental, socioeconomic, and personal factors influence the health of individuals and populations. All Health Science majors complete the Health Science core, which focuses on health and health promotion. To complete the Health Science major, students select one of three options: Health Promotion, Nutrition, or Addictions. Prospective students should meet with a faculty advisor during their first semester to review the application process that is required for each of the options within Health Science. Specific requirements and standards are listed for each of the options.
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This interdisciplinary program provides students with multidimensional professional preparation in Physical Education. The Physical Education major is completed by selecting one of the following two options: Teacher Certification or Exercise Science. An application process is required for each of the options in the major. Specific requirements and standards are listed for each of the two options.
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This major prepares students for a variety of occupational safety and health program management positions in the private and public sector. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, hazard identification and prioritization, problem solving, cost effectiveness, professional skills in programmatic management, and safety and environmental regulatory compliance. Graduates will have the capacity to pursue graduate study, participate in applied research, or transition directly into careers in loss control, risk management, organizational safety, and consulting.
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The Sustainable Product Design and Innovation major at Keene State College is a pre-professional four-year program offering a cross-disciplinary curriculum to give the student a solid foundation in the artistic, scientific, and technical aspects of product design and the social and scientific aspects of sustainability concerns. Product Design involves the synthesis of consumer needs and production capabilities in the creation of new products and their affiliated services. The integrated sustainability issues link the multitude of human factors, environmental, and resource depletion concerns to the decision-making process. The curriculum draws from five disciplines: art, management, mathematics, safety, and industrial/product design to build the student's capacity in design theory and practice, material sciences, production processes, digital technology, and the quantitative and qualitative issues of sustainability and business practices.
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Nursing is an interdisciplinary program grounded in the liberal arts. The major offers two options: a Pre-Licensure option and an RN Completion option. Pre-licensure students are undergraduates who do not have an RN license. RN Completion students are those who hold an associate's degree in nursing from a community college and a license to practice as a registered nurse. The integrated curriculum is designed to provide meaningful learning experiences for Pre-Licensure students and RN Completion students and to ensure that graduates possess the knowledge, skill, and attitude reflecting the standards of the State of New Hampshire Board of Nursing (BON) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The program of study in nursing, with the identified course learning outcomes, expectations, and cumulative semester competencies, is designed to reflect the academic integrity expectations of all Keene State College programs while also achieving the requirements of state and national accreditation for our nursing graduates.
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An individualized major is composed of an interdisciplinary program of studies, appropriately designed (1) to enhance the student's ability to integrate and synthesize content and/or method from two or more academic disciplines and (2) to satisfy an individual student's educational interests or career objectives. It must be identified by a title and a combination of courses that is different from existing undergraduate majors and program outcomes.
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Please note: All early childhood, elementary, elementary/special and secondary/special education majors must incorporate an additional major into their programs of study