Liberal Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Description

The Liberal Studies program is an interdisciplinary major, which encompasses a wide variety of areas of knowledge in a multidisciplinary curriculum. The program provides a broad academic program that encourages academic excellence, diversity, community, and collaboration. There are two tracks in the Liberal Studies Program, the traditional program, and the nontraditional program. The traditional program is a multidisciplinary major designed for students who intend to become K-8 or special education teachers in California, and it has been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Its purpose is to provide beginning teachers with a strong grounding in the wide ranging subject matter that will be needed to be effective teachers. The nontraditional program is designed for students who are interested in a multidisciplinary major, but who do not necessarily plan to become teachers.

The largest portion of the major compromises the core section, with courses in reading, language and literature, mathematics, natural science, history and social sciences, visual and performing arts, physical education, human development, and health. In addition, the traditional program requires a concentration: a 12 unit area of focus in which the student can develop knowledge in a discipline of special interest. The nontraditional program requires a minor.

Advisors meet at least once each semester with students to provide a hands-on approach to learning. The Liberal Studies major is also an excellent preparation for careers in public service, management, counseling, law, librarianship, medicine, and professional or graduate education in business.

The Liberal Studies major is a complex program requiring early and continuing contact with an advisor. Students must complete 120 units and meet the University foreign language requirement in order to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students are urged to obtain advice as early as possible to avoid delays in the completion of these requirements. The Liberal Studies program director and faculty and staff advisors are located in Lassen Hall 2008, (916) 278-6342. Early planning is also strongly advised to prepare students to apply to the professional education program. Details about multiple subject credential programs and regular information sessions are provided by the Teaching Credentials Office in Eureka Hall 401, (916) 278-6639.


  • Linguistics/Composition / Foreign Language / Literature / Mathematics / Natural Science / World History / U.S. History / American Studies / California Studies / Multicultural Studies / Art / Theatre / Music / Physical Education / Human Development

Career Possibilities

The traditional program of the Liberal Studies major is specifically designed to prepare students in the multiple disciplines that teachers in the kindergarten through middle school grades must have studied. The nontraditional program of the Liberal Studies major is recommended as a general major for those who wish to pursue a variety of career fields (including teaching).

Contact Information

Timothy Fong, Program Director
Lassen Hall 2008
(916) 278-6342





Undergraduate Program

BA Degree in Liberal Studies

Units required for Major: 100-103
Minimum total units required for BA: 120
A minimum grade of "C-" is required in all courses applied to the Liberal Studies major.

Core Requirements for traditional program (88 Units) 1
Reading, Language and Literature
COMS 5The Communication Experience3
ENGL 5Accelerated Academic Literacies3
ENGL 16Structure Of English3
ENGL 20College Composition II 23
ENGL 116AStudies in Applied Linguistics3
ENGL 116BChildren's Literary Classics3
Mathematics 3
MATH 17An Introduction to Exploration, Conjecture, and Proof in Mathematics3
MATH 107AFundamental Mathematical Concepts3
MATH 107BFundamental Mathematical Concepts3
Natural Science
BIO 7Introduction to the Science of Biology4
CHEM 106Chemical Concepts3
GEOL 8Earth Science3
GEOL 8TEarth Science Lab for Teachers1
PHYS 107Conceptual Physics and Scientific Inquiry4
Social Science and Humanities
GEOG 100Themes In World Geography3
GOVT 1Essentials Of Government3
HIST 17AUnited States History, 1607-1877 3
HIST 50World Civilizations, Beginnings-16003
HIST 132Topics In World History3
HIST 187Topics in United States History 1600-19003
or ECON 104 Introduction to the United States Economy
LBST 110California Studies3
Visual and Performing Arts
ART 133Art Education for Children3
MUSC 101Experiences In Music3
THEA 118Children's Theatre3
Physical Education
KINS 172Movement Education3
Health Science
HLSC 136School Health Education2
Human Development
CHDV 35Child and Adolescent Development3
Integrative Study
HRS 162American Space and Identity3
or MATH 107C Elementary Mathematics and the Learning Process
Field Experience
CHDV 35FHuman Development and Elementary Field Experience2
Select one of the following:3
Cooperative Education Experience
Tutoring Children in Mathematics
Tutoring Children in Mathematics: Practicum
Tutoring Children in Reading
Tutoring Children in Reading Practicum
Summative Assessment Requirement
Students who complete the Liberal Studies major must pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) 4
Requirements for Concentrations (for traditional program) (12-15 Units)
Select one of the following concentrations:12 - 15
Foreign Language
United States History
World History
California Studies
American Studies
Multicultural Studies
Natural Science
Physical Education
Human Development
Total Units100-103

The Core Requirements for the nontraditional program are similar to the Core Requirements for the traditional program except there are a number of substitutions that can be made. Please see an advisor for more information.


Course to meet critical thinking requirement. See advisor for specific options.


Students who complete a mathematics concentration may substitute MATH 30, MATH 31, and MATH 35 for the above requirements. In addition, there are other ways of completing a concentration in mathematics. For further information on a concentration in mathematics, please consult the mathematics advisor in Liberal Studies.


In compliance with California Commission on Teacher Credentialing standards, in order to receive subject matter competency certification, students who complete the Liberal Studies major must pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).

Note: Students will need to meet the foreign language graduation requirement in effect as per their catalog year.

Requirements for Concentrations (for traditional program)

Note: Students who are following the nontraditional program will complete a minor instead of a concentration. Please talk to an advisor for more information.

All concentrations require a minimum of 12 units, 3 of which may overlap with the core course requirements (except for concentration in multicultural studies). Students who wish to complete requirements for a supplementary authorization in any CCTC-approved discipline, which allows them to teach that subject in grades K-9, should see an advisor for important information.

Concentration in Linguistics/Composition

ENGL 116AStudies in Applied Linguistics3
Select three of the following:9
Traditional Grammar and Standard Usage
Second Language Learning and Teaching
English Grammar for ESL Teachers
Advanced Composition
ENGL 125BWriting and the Young Writer3
Total Units15

Concentration in Literature

ENGL 116BChildren's Literary Classics3
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to American Literature I
Early American Literature
American Romanticism
Select one from each of the following series:9
ENGL 165 series course (Literature of the English Speaking World)
ENGL 180 series course (Studies in the Literature of Ethnic Minorities)
ENGL 170 series course (Studies in Literary Genres and Modes)
Total Units15

Concentration in Foreign Language

Complete the minor requirements in a foreign language.

Concentration in United States History

HIST 17AUnited States History, 1607-1877 3
HIST 17BUnited States History, 1877-Present 3
HIST 100Introduction to Historical Skills3
Select one of the following:3
Colonial America
The Age of the American Revolution
Young Republic, 1790-1840
Civil War and Reconstruction, 1840-1890
20th Century United States, 1890-1940
California History, 1542-1860
Total Units12

Concentration in World History

HIST 50World Civilizations, Beginnings-16003
HIST 51World Civilizations, 1600-Present3
HIST 100Introduction to Historical Skills3
Select one of the following:3
The Ancient Near East: A Cultural History
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Early Medieval Europe
Europe in the High Middle Ages
The Renaissance and Reformation in Europe
Europe, 1648-1815, The Age of Revolution
History of Women in Western Civilization, Prehistory-Middle Ages
Evolution of Christianity to the Reformation
Middle Eastern History to 1800
China: Antiquity to 1600 AD
Total Units12

Concentration in California Studies

ECON 114The California Economy3
or GEOG 131 California
GOVT 180California State and Local Government3
LBST 110California Studies3
Select one of the following:3
California History, 1542-1860
California History, 1860-1970
Total Units12

Concentration in American Studies

HRS 161Multicultural America 3
HRS 162American Space and Identity3
HRS/HIST 168Images Of America 3
Select one of the following:3
The American Vision
Social History of the United States
Popular Culture
History of American Women
Hollywood and America
American West
Women in Film and American Culture
Total Units12

Concentration in Multicultural Studies

There is no overlap with core course requirements in this concentration.

EDUC 170Bilingual Education: Introduction to Educating English Learners3
ETHN 11Introduction to Ethnic Studies 3
or ETHN 100 Ethnic America
Select two from any of the following categories or one from each of two categories: 16
Chicano/Latino Emphasis
Culture and Personality of the Chicano Child
Introduction to Chicano/Latino Studies
Chicano/Mexican-American Experience
La Raza Studies
La Mujer Chicana
Mexican-American History
Asian American Emphasis
The Asian American Experience
Southeast Asians in the US
African American Emphasis
Pan African Studies
The African-American Experience, 1603-Present
Native American Emphasis
Native American Experience
HIST 171
Women's Studies Emphasis
History of American Women
Introduction to Women's Studies
Gender, Race, and Class
Women Of Color
Total Units12

If planning to pursue a multiple subject credential with a Bilingual Emphasis (BCLAD) in Spanish or Asian languages, students must take two courses from Chicano/Latino Emphasis or Asian American Emphasis, respectively.

Concentration in Mathematics

MATH 102Number Theory3
MATH 107CElementary Mathematics and the Learning Process3
MATH 121College Geometry3
MATH 190History Of Mathematics3
Total Units12

Note: The courses given above are one path for completing a mathematics concentration. There are other ways of completing a mathematics concentration - please consult the mathematics advisor in Liberal Studies for more information.

Concentration in Natural Science

CHEM 106Chemical Concepts3
Select three of the following:9
Primate Behavior
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology
Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology
The Natural History of Plants
Plants and Civilization
Genetics: From Mendel to Molecules
Introduction to General Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry
Elements Of Meteorology
United States and Canada
History of the Physical Sciences
Science and Pseudoscience
Musical Acoustics: Science and Sound
Total Units12

Concentration in Art

ART 1AArt in the Western World: From Stone Age to End of Middle Ages3
or ART 1B Art in the Western World: From Renaissance to Baroque
ART 133Art Education for Children3
ART 137Art for Exceptional Children3
Select one of the following:3
Beginning Drawing
Beginning Hand-Built Ceramics
Two-Dimensional Composition
Form, Space Vision
Beginning Sculpture
Barrio Art for Ethnic Groups
Total Units12

Concentration in Music

MUSC 5Beginning Theory3
MUSC 18Music Appreciation3
MUSC 101Experiences In Music3
Select one of the following:3
World Music: Asia
World Music: Africa
World Music: Latin America
Total Units12

Concentration in Theatre

THEA 1Introduction To Theatre3
or THEA 9 Appreciation Of Acting
THEA 115Puppetry3
or THEA 115A Multicultural Puppetry
THEA 118Children's Theatre3
Total Units9

Concentration in Physical Education

Fundamental and Creative Movement Skills (6 Units)
KINS 138Teaching Strategies in Physical Education3
KINS 172Movement Education3
Human Movement, Motor Development and/or Motor Learning (3 Units)
Select one from the following:3
Exercise and Sport Physiology
Perceptual Motor Development
Introduction to Adapted Physical Education
Team Sport (3 Units)
KINS 145Pro Act III - Team Sports3
Individual, Dual, Nontraditional, Global Sport and Games (1-2 Units)
Select one from the following:1 - 2
PRO ACT I - Dual Sports
PRO ACT IV Individual Sports
ProAct V - Nontraditional Games and Sports
Professional Activities of Health and Skill Related Fitness
Total Units13-14

Students must complete the above classes for this concentration. A total of 10 upper division units (one in each category) must be completed for the supplemental authorization credential for Physical Education. (This allows teachers to teach physical education in grades K-9.) A grade of "C" or higher is required in every course to meet this requirement for a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved Supplementary Authorization (if still available).

Concentration in Human Development

CHDV 35Child and Adolescent Development3
CHDV 133Quantitative Methods in Human Development3
CHDV 136Developmental Experiences, Methods and Curriculum3
Select one of the following:3
Crosscultural Child Development
The Family and Social Issues
Family Stress and Coping: Multicultural Focus
Changing American Family
Total Units12

Note: Students who are following the nontraditional program will complete a minor instead of a concentration. Please talk to an advisor for more information.

How to Read Course Descriptions

LBST 110.     California Studies. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GOVT 1 or equivalent.

Multidisciplinary, analytical view of California that identifies its ethnic and racial diversity within the political, economic and social development of the state. Examines the environmental and geographic dimensions of the state as well as the demographic and land-use trends that have contributed to California's uniqueness.

LBST 194.     Liberal Studies Cooperative Education Experience. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Upper division status, and instructor permission.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) relates academic theory to professional practice by providing paid work experience in schools or related settings. Students gain field experience through supervised employment in school districts and other education-related settings.

Note: May be repeated once for credit.

Credit/No Credit