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Liberal Studies

Course Requirements

The Liberal Studies Major

The Liberal Studies major is specifically for students who are interested in earning either the Preliminary Multiple Subjects credential for elementary teaching, or the Level I Education Specialist credential for teaching special education (mild-moderate), grades K-12. This major is designed as a nine-semester program: 8 semesters of coursework plus one additional semester for student teaching. With careful planning, it is possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a preliminary teaching credential in four years if they carry 18 units per semester and/or take courses during the summer and/or intersession.

This major fosters a holistic experience in the required multiple subjects and provides students with a strong foundational understanding of these subjects. It is a program of study designed to graduate well-educated teachers who understand significant ideas, structures, and values in a wide range of the liberal arts and sciences; teachers who can critically analyze and synthesize information from diverse disciplines, and who appreciate diverse perspectives.

The required coursework is divided into 3 distinct categories: core courses, concentration courses, and credential preparation courses. The core courses provide instruction in the content that is tested on the CSET (California Subject Matter Competency) exam. Within the core requirements, there are 10 specialized courses designed specifically for educators; many of these courses also introduce the content standards for that particular subject. Only grades of C or higher satisfy core and concentration course requirements. Only grades of B– or higher satisfy credential preparation course requirements. No courses can be taken pass/fail.  The CBEST must be passed before a student can complete their admission to the credential program (SOLES). The LBST 400 course includes the capstone requirement for the program and should be taken within the last 30 units and after completion of the advanced writing course ENG 304W. The CSET must be passed prior to student teaching.

Students are urged to declare the Liberal Studies major as soon as possible to ensure rapid and efficient progress through the degree. It is important to complete these courses in the freshman year, or as soon as possible: LBST 200, ENGL 122 and MATH 115. In order to complete credential requirements successfully, students should apply to the teacher credential program in the second semester of the sophomore year.

It is important for all Liberal Studies majors to meet regularly with their academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences to ensure that all graduation requirements are met in a timely manner.  Upon admission to the teacher credential program, students should meet regularly with their Credential Program Advisor in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

A Liberal Studies major can graduate without completing the credential coursework, as long as they meet all Liberal Studies core and concentration requirements as well as all other university graduation requirements.

Liberal studies majors are encouraged to save all major assignments and exams completed in core, concentration and credential courses for possible inclusion in their capstone project and credential portfolios.


LBST 200 Foundations in Liberal Studies (3)
This course provides an overview of the teaching profession and explores a variety of issues relating to the modern classroom and student success.  The course offers a variety of perspectives on education including historical, philosophical, social, legal, and ethical issues in a diverse society in addition to background knowledge in the organizational structure of schools.  Topics broadly explore the purposes of schools in society and what knowledge, dispositions, and performances required to be an effective teacher today.  Other topics may include academic policies and procedures; parents and community involvement in education; the role of technology in the classroom; study skills and content specifications and standards.

LBST 400 Senior Seminar in Liberal Studies (3)
The Liberal Studies major culminates in a capstone seminar in which the student will meaningfully connect the concentration area to course work taken and complete a semester-long research project.  The student will demonstrate the ability 1) to reason and write clearly and analytically; 2) to comprehend writings on key questions and complex problems in the education field from an interdisciplinary perspective; and 3) to reflect upon his/her educational experiences in the concentration area and on his/her role as future educator.  Each student will create an interdisciplinary research project that exemplifies an ability to integrate several disciplines (one of which must include the area of concentration) to examine a complex issue, problem, or phenomenon.  One or more class presentations are typically required in addition to a substantial written work.


The following core courses are designed especially for Liberal Studies majors to assist in passing the CSET (California Subject Matter Competency) Exam.  These courses also satisfy the general core requirements for the bachelor's degree.

Liberal Studies (6 units)
LBST 200        Foundations in Liberal Studies (3)
LBST 400        Senior Seminar in Liberal Studies (3)

Written Literacy (6 units)
ENGL 122       Composition and Literature for Educators (3)
ENGL 304W   Advanced Composition (3)

Mathematical Competency (9 units)
MATH 115     College Algebra (3)
MATH 200     Mathematical Concepts for Elementary Teachers I (3)
MATH 300     Mathematical Concepts for Elementary Teachers II (3)

Logic (3 units)
PHIL 101        Introduction to Logic (3) -or-

MATH 160   Logic for Mathematics and Computer Science (3)
(recommended for students whose concentration is in Mathematics)

Second Language (0-9 units)
Students must demonstrate third semester competency through coursework or examination.

Natural Sciences (10 units)
CHEM/PHYS 105 Physical Science for K-8 Teachers (3)
BIOL 110        Life Science for Educators (3)
One of the following: (4 units)
ENVI 104 Natural Disasters, with lab (4)
ENVI 109 Introduction to Physical Geography (4)
ENVI 110 Introduction to Earth Systems (4)

Social Sciences (6 units)
Choose 6 units from two different programs: Anthropology, Communication Studies, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology

Philosophy (6 units)
PHIL 341        Ethics and Education (3)

Not Logic/Ethics (3) PHIL 110, 111, 112, 114, 175, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 276, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 461, 462, 467, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476, 480, 481, 483

Humanities and the Fine Arts (18 units)
HIST 117        U.S. History to 1877 (3)
HIST 389        History of California (3)
ENGL 231       Children’s Literature (3)
MUSC 200       Comprehensive Musicianship for Educators (3)
THEA 155      Theatre in Education (3)
ARTV 350       Art Fundamentals (3)

The concentration provides broad, primarily upper division study in a subject area that forms a part of the elementary school curriculum. Select one concentration.

Arts - Visual (15 units)

Select 3 of the following courses (9 units)
Artv 101 Fundamentals of Drawing
Artv 103 Design Foundations
Artv 105 Intro to Sculpture
Artv 108 Intro to Film/Video Art
Artv 160 Photography

Select 2 of the following courses (6 units)
Artv 300 Visual Communications (Pre-req Artv 103 and 108)
Artv 302 Intermediate Drawing
Artv 304 Intro to Printmaking
Artv 306 Special Topics in the Visual Arts
Artv 308 Web Art
Artv 320 Film/Video Art: the Cinematic (Pre-req Artv 108)
Artv 328 Fundamentals of Painting (Pre-req Artv 101)
Artv 344 Figure Drawing
Artv 353 Color Photography
Artv 354 Photo Strategies
Artv 361 Advanced Photography
Artv 362 Portraits in Photography
Artv 364 Intro to Sculpture: Form, Content, Context
Artv 369 Intermediate/Advanced Sculpture
Artv 370 Designing for Social Space
Artv 371 Sculpture/Landscape
Artv 382 Public Art Studio Seminar
Artv 401 Advanced Visual Communications
Artv 420 Digital Audio Composition or Artv 424 Art and the Soundscape
Artv 429 Intermediate/Advanced Painting

Communication Studies (15 units)

Required: Comm 203 Public Speaking  (3)

Select 1 of the following: (3)
Comm 101 Intro to Human Communication (3)
Comm 130 Intro to Media Studies (3)

Select 3 of the following (9 units)
NOTE: The following themes help organize student choices when they speak with the academic advisor, but are not intended to be required or exclusive.  Liberal Studies majors can satisfy the concentration with any upper division communication course.

Thematic Courses:

Media Literacy

Comm 330             Media Processes and Effects (3)  Pre-requisite Comm 130
Comm 422             Family Communication (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 462             Political Communication
Comm 463             Sports and Media
Comm 482             Children and Media (3) Recom. completion of Comm 130 and 330 before enrolling
Comm 483             Teen and Popular Culture (3) Recom. completion of Comm 130 and 330 before enrolling

Multicultural Awareness

Comm 326             Nonverbal Communication
Comm 336             Communication Criticism (3)  Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 338             Media and Conflict (3)  Pre-requisite Comm 130
Comm 380             International Media
Comm 445             Gender Communications (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 432             Film and Cultural Politics (3)  Recom. completion of Comm 336 before enrolling
Comm 433             American Independent Cinema
Comm 475             Intercultural Communications (3)  Recom. completion of Comm 300 before enrolling
Comm 480             Advanced Topics in International Media
Comm 488             Global/Virtual Teams Development

Strategic Communication

Comm 300             Human Comm Theory (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 325             Interpersonal Communications (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 350             Small Group Communication (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 353             Organizational Communication (3)  Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 370             Rhetorical Theory (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 403             Advanced Public Speaking (3) Pre-requisite Comm 203
Comm 455             Interviewing and Negotiating: Principles and Practices (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101
Comm 460              Persuasion and Propaganda (3) Pre-requisite Comm 101

History (12 units)

Choose one:
HIST 102         The Ancient World (3)
HIST 103         The Medieval World (3)
HIST 108         The Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (3)
HIST 109         The Pacific World, 1500-1800 (3)

Choose one:
HIST 346         Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (3)
HIST 347         Topics in Modern Europe (3)
HIST 358         Topics in Modern World History (3)

Choose two:
HIST 359         Modern Middle East (3)
HIST 360         Colonial Latin America (3)
HIST 361         Modern Latin America (3)
HIST 364         Topics in Asian History (3)
HIST 365         History of China (3)
HIST 366         History of Japan (3)
HIST 368         History of Africa (3)
HIST 384         History of Mexico (3)

Life Science (13-15 units)

BIOL 190         Introduction to Evolution (3)
BIOL 221         Introduction to Organismsal Diversity (3)
BIOL 221L       Introduction to Organismsal Diversity Laboratory (1)
BIOL 225         Introduction to Cell Processes (3)
BIOL 225L       Introduction to Cell Processes Laboratory (1)

Choose one:
BIOL 344         Plant Systematics (4)
BIOL 346         Vertebrate Natural History (4)
BIOL 350         Invertebrate Zoology (4)
BIOL 361         Ecological Communities of San Diego County (2)

Literature (12 units)

ENGL 222        Poetry (3)
ENGL 358        U.S. Ethnic Literature (3)

Choose two:
ENGL 348        Nineteenth Century Novel (3)
ENGL 356        U.S. Literature from 1900 to 1940 (3)
ENGL 357        Modern U.S. Nonfiction (3)
ENGL 359        Modern U.S. Fiction (3)
ENGL 360        Modern Poetry (3)
ENGL 362        Modern Drama (3)
ENGL 364        Postcolonial Studies (3)
ENGL 366        Modern European Literature (3)
ENGL 368        Modern British Literature (3)
ENGL 374        Gender and Literature (3)

Marine Science (12 units)

ENVI 121         Life in the Ocean (4)
ENVI 331W     Coastal Environmental Science (4)
MARS 220       Introduction to Physical Oceanography (4)

Mathematics (13-14 units)

Note: Other choices are possible for students with advanced standing in mathematics. Please consult with the mathematics concentration coordinator before selecting courses.

MATH 120      Introduction to Statistics (3)
MATH 150      Calculus I (4)

Choose two:
COMP 150       Computer Programming I (3)
MATH 112      Investigations in Modern Mathematics (3)
MATH 151      Calculus II (4)
MATH 160      Logic for Mathematics and Computer Science (3); also satisfies the CC logic requirement
MATH 320      Linear Algebra (3)*
* MATH 151 is a prerequisite

Multicultural Studies (15 units)

Sociology (6 units)
SOCI 101D      Introduction to Sociology (3)

Choose one:
SOCI 311         Popular Culture (3)
SOCI 320         U.S. Society (3)
SOCI 331D      Race and Ethnic Relations (3)
SOCI 350         Social Institutions (3)
SOCI 357         Inequality and Stratification (3)
SOCI 363         Urban Sociology (3)
SOCI 370         Sociology of Education (3)

Anthropology (3-6 units)
ANTH 102      Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
Optional for 3 additional units:
ANTH 320D   North American Indian Cultures (3)
ENTH 321D   California and Great Basin Indian Cultures (3)
ANTH 323D   Southwest Indian Cultures (3)
ANTH 327      South American Indian Cultures (3)
ANTH 328      Caribbean Cultures (3)
ANTH 370      Indigenous Religions (3)
ANTH 380      Cultural Diversity (3)

Ethnic Studies (3-6 units)
ETHN 100D   Introduction to Ethnic Studies (3)

Optional for 3 additional units:
ETHN 220D   Introduction to African-American Studies (3)
ETHN 230D   Introduction to American Indian Studies (3)
ETHN 240D   Introduction to Chicano/Latino Studies (3)
ETHN 250D   Introduction to Asian American Studies (3)
Upper-division choices may be possible in consultation with the concentration coordinator.

Music (15 units)

Theory/Composition (3)
MUSC 120       Fundamentals of Music Theory (3)

History/Culture (6)
Choose two: 
MUSC 101D    Introduction to American Music (3)
MUSC 102D    Introduction to Jazz (3)
Musc 109       Introduction to Sonic Art (3)
MUSC 130       Music in Society (3)
MUSC 140       Music in World Cultures (3)
MUSC 420       Digital Audio Composition (3)
MUSC 424       Art and the Soundscape (3)

Performance Studies and Ensembles (6)
MUSC 105       Class Piano I (1)
MUSC 107       Class Voice (1)
MUSC 108       Class Guitar (1)
MUSC 150       Chamber Music Ensembles (1)
MUSC 153       Concert Choir (1)
MUSC 154       Opera Workshop (1)
MUSC 155       Jazz Ensemble (1)
MUSC 157       Gamelan Ensemble (1)
MUSC 158       Mariachi Ensemble (1)
MUSC 160-181     Individual Music lessons (1)          
MUSC 205       Class Piano II (1)
MUSC 180       Conducting (1)

Other choices may be possible in consultation with the concentration coordinator.

Psychology (15 units)

Required (6 units)
Psyc 101 Intro to Psych (3)
Psyc 230 Research Methods (3)

Required (3 units)
Psyc 314 Developmental Psych: Childhood and Adolescence(3)

Electives  (select 2 courses from below) (6 units)
Psyc 322 Social Psych(3)
Psyc 324D Cross-Cultural Psych(3)
Psyc 332 Learning and Behavior (3)
Psyc 336 Cognitive Psychology (3)
Psyc 355 Abnormal Psych(3)
Psyc 354 Behavior Disorders of Childhood(3)
Psyc 357 Health Psych(3)
Psyc 359D Health Psych of Women/Minorities(3)

Spanish Language and Latin American Cultures (15 units); (recommended for Bi-Lingual Authorization)

ANTH 102      Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)

HIST 383        Chicano History (3)

SPAN 301       Grammar and Composition (3)
SPAN 303       Introduction to Cultural Analysis (3)
SPAN 304       Cultural History of Latin America (3)

Theatre (13 units)

THEA 305      Technical Theatre with Lab (4)
THEA 230      Acting I (3)

Choose one:
THEA 220      Fundamentals of Theatrical Design (3)
THEA 302      Acting II (3)

Choose one additional course from the following:*
THEA 220      Fundamentals of Theatrical Design (3)
THEA 302      Acting II (3)
THEA 303      Costume Construction (3)
THEA 320      Scenic Design (3)
THEA 330      Costume Design (3)
THEA 340      Voice and Speech (3)
THEA 350      Movement for Actors (3)
THEA 360W Theatre History (3)
THEA 365W Playwriting (3)
THEA 369      Contemporary Theatre (3)
THEA 375C    Theatre and Community (3)
THEA 435      Acting III (3)
THEA 445      Producing and Directing (3)
THEA 455      Stage Management (3)
THEA 494      Special Topics in Theatre (3)
*Some upper division courses may have prerequisites

Teaching Credential Requirements

Credential Option 1: Preliminary Multiple Subject
(33 Units)

The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in a self-contained classroom such as the classrooms in most elementary schools. However, a teacher authorized for multiple subject instruction may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom (preschool, K–12, or in classes organized primarily for adults). In addition, the holder of a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may serve in a core or team teaching setting.

Foundations Block
(must be taken before beginning the Methods Block; these courses may be taken before admission to the Credential Program.

ENGL 318       Development of the English Language (3)
EDUC 381C    Multicultural and Philosophical Foundations in a Global Society (3, ~10 practicum hours)
EDUC 382       Psychological Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (3, ~ 8 observation hours)

Methods Block
(must be completed before beginning Student Teaching; candidates must be admitted to the credential program.

EDUC 385P    Elementary Curriculum Methods for Global Classrooms (6 units, 50 hour practicum)
EDUC 383P    Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts (3, 50 hour practicum)
EDUC 384C    Methods of Teaching English Language and Academic Development in Crosscultural Contexts (3, 20 hours)
EDSP 389       Healthy Environments and Inclusive Education in a Global Society (3, 5 hours)

Student Teaching Block
(courses taken concurrently)

EDUC 490P    Student Teaching for the Multiple Subject Credential (9 units, full-day, full-time assignment in K-12 school)
EDUC 490S     Student Teaching Seminar for the Multiple Subject Credential (3)

Credential Option 2: Level I Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate

The Preliminary Education Specialist Level I (Mild/Moderate) Credential Program prepares future teachers to serve children, youth, and adults who have special learning or emotional needs. The Education Specialist credential may be used in K-12 resource rooms, special day classes, or alternative settings. The Level I Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities, which authorizes teachers to instruct individuals in grades K-12 and adults who have specific learning disabilities, mild/moderate mental retardation, other health impairments, and/or serious emotional disturbance.

Prerequisite Foundations Coursework
EDSP 389       Health Environments/Inclusive Education in a Global Society (3)                                
ENG 318         Development of the English Language (3)

Foundations Block
(should try to complete before beginning Methods Block; The following courses may be taken before admission to the Credential Program)

EDSP 373       Diverse Family Systems and Transitions (3) Fall only
EDSP 374       Global Perspectives and Foundations in SPED (3) Fall only                          
EDSP 379       Legal, Ethical and Professional Practices in a Diverse Society (2 units) Intersession only

Methods Block Special Education Coursework
These courses can be taken concurrently with Foundation Block and in any order. Must complete prior to Student Teaching

EDSP 370       Assessment Identification to Transition in Special Education (3) Spring only
EDSP 371       Management Behavior and Instruction (3) SS August                        
EDSP 372       Language Variance and Assistive Technology (3) Spring only                         
EDSP 375P     Evidence Based Inclusive Practices Mild/Moderate 5-22 (3) Spring semester only.y

Methods Block General Education Multiple Subject Content Coursework          

EDUC 383P    Methods of Teaching Reading & Language Arts (3, 50 hours field work) Fall, Spring
EDUC 384C    Methods of Teaching English Language & Academic Development in Crosscultural Contexts (3, 20 hours field work) Fall, Spring
EDUC 375P    Inclusive Curricula for Learners 5-22 (3) Fall semester only.

Student Teaching Block
(courses taken concurrently)

 EDSP 490P    Student Teaching Mild to Moderate Disabilities (6 units, full-day) Fall, Spring

Liberal Studies Major

Recommended Program of Study

This Program of Study is specifically designed for majors pursuing the multi-subject teaching credential


Fall Semester (18)                                                                                      Spring Semester (18)

LBST 200 (3)                                                                                                 Thea 155 (3)

Math 115 (3)                                                                                                  Phil 101 (3)*

Chem/Phys 105 (3) Fall only                                                                         Bio 110 (3) Spr only

Elective LD THRS (3)*                                                                                  ENG 122 (3) 

Lang 101 (3)*                                                                                                  Lang 102 (3)*

Hist 117 (3)*                                                                                                   Elective Social Science (3) *

Meet with Credential Program Advisor-                                                        Take CBEST
Dr. Nancy Hanssen (SOLES)



Fall Semester (16)                                                                                     Spring Semester (18)

Elective LD THRS (3) *                                                                                 Eng 318 (3)

Math 200 (3) Fall only                                                                                   Math 300(3) Spr only

Lang 201 (3)*                                                                                                  Educ 381 (3)

Phil LD elective (3)*                                                                                     Thrs UD elective (3)

Envi 104, 109 or 110 w/Lab (4)*                                                                Eng 231 (3) Spr only

Apply to the SOLES Credential Program                                                  Concentration (3)


Fall Semester (18)                                                                                     Spring Semester (18)

Educ 382 (3)                                                                                                    Educ 385 (6)

Phil 341 (3) Fall only                                                                                       Hist 389 (3)

Artv 350 (3) Fall only                                                                                      Eng 304W (3)

Elective Social Science (3) *                                                                           Concentration (3)

Concentration (3)                                                                                           Concentration (3)

Musc 200 (3)                                                                                                   CSET Testing


Fall Semester (15)                                                                                     Spring Semester (12)

LBST 400 (3)                                                                                                 Educ 490P (9) Student Teaching &

Concentration (3)                                                                                         Educ 490S (3) Seminar

Educ 383 (3)

Educ 384 (3)

Edsp 389 (3)                                     

CSET Testing                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

* May petition to take at a community college; one of these courses must satisfy the "D" requirement             

* To avoid taking 18 units per semester, students must take one or more summer school courses.