Undergraduate, Professional, and Graduate Areas of Emphasis
Academic Affairs Policy Statement No. 5 (.pdf)
Proposal Form for Undergraduate, Professional, and Graduate Area of Emphasis (.docx)
Undergraduate, Professional, and Graduate Area of Emphasis Approval Routing - Flow Chart (.pdf)
Academic Affairs Policy Statement No. 5
Areas of Emphasis policy statement recommended by the University Curriculum Committee, June 1992; revised by the University Curriculum Committee, October 1994, January 1999, April 2004, and February 2017.
The following implementing policy and guidelines have been developed by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost to assist academic units in developing and/or submitting for approval undergraduate, professional, and graduate areas of emphasis.
The objective in instituting areas of emphasis at the University of Georgia is to officially acknowledge the attainment by students of a fair measure of expertise and knowledge of a specific nature within the major field of study.
a. The option to create an area of emphasis within a major or certificate and the formulation of requirements for the area of emphasis are curriculum decisions; therefore, they should originate from the faculty of the academic unit offering the major or certificate. Although graduate study by its very nature focuses on specialized areas of study, students may benefit from the formal recognition of specialized study that the official Area of Emphasis provides.
b. The official designation shall be "area of emphasis."
c. Only approved areas of emphasis will be included on the student’s official transcript and appear in the bulletin.
The process outlined in 6.a-d of this policy must be followed when establishing the requirements for an area of emphasis.
a. Undergraduate Area of Emphasis:
An undergraduate area of emphasis is a specialty within a major or certificate. It requires 12 or more semester-credit hours of upper-division courses (numbered 3000 or above) acceptable for satisfaction of the major degree requirements.
b. Professional Program Area of Emphasis
A professional program area of emphasis is a specialty within a major or certificate. It requires 9 or more semester credit hours of professional-level courses acceptable for satisfaction of the major degree requirements.
c. Graduate Area of Emphasis
Requirements for an area of emphasis within a graduate major or certificate will be established within the individual academic departments.
a. Establishment of an area of emphasis should begin with the department or academic unit offering the major or certificate. After approval of the curriculum committee and dean of the appropriate school or college, proposals for Undergraduate and Professional Areas of Emphasis should be submitted to the University Curriculum Committee for review and approval. Proposals for Graduate Areas of Emphasis should be submitted to the Graduate School for consideration after approval by the appropriate dean and curriculum committee. After approval by the Graduate School, proposals for Graduate Areas of Emphasis should be submitted to the University Curriculum Committee. Approved areas of emphasis will then be forwarded to the Board of Regents for information only. Proposals for areas of emphasis should be submitted using the area of emphasis program form.
b. When a proposed area of emphasis affects another school, college, or department (by, for example, listing a course offered by another unit), the proposal should be circulated to that unit for sign-off prior to submission to the University Curriculum Committee.
c. Undergraduate or professional students who wish to pursue an area of emphasis should consult with their major advisor. Upon agreement on the area of emphasis to be studied, the student's dean will make the appropriate update to the student data base. When the student's dean certifies the student for graduation, the registrar will add a notation to the transcript indicating the area of emphasis. In those cases where the emphasis was not completed, the student's dean will delete the emphasis from the student data base prior to certifying completion of the major or certificate.
d. Graduate students who wish to receive designation for an area of emphasis should consult with the graduate coordinator in the academic department. Upon agreement on the area of emphasis to be studied, the academic department will make the appropriate update to the student database. When the Graduate School certifies the student for graduation, the registrar will add a notation to the transcript indicating the area of emphasis.
7. Point of Contact
Academic units contemplating the development of an area of emphasis should consult with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost for information or assistance.
Policy last revised February 2017