The Liberal Studies Major
The 46-unit Liberal Studies (LS) major has a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary curriculum that encompasses many areas of knowledge in the arts and sciences. This richly diversified major gives students skills and knowledge that will serve them well for work and life in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. It is specifically recommended for students who want to become elementary school teachers.
The LS curriculum gives students the tools and knowledge to thrive in and contribute meaningfully to 21st century circumstances. Students are taught to think across conventional boundaries, to write and speak clearly and effectively, to solve complex problems, and to work effectively with others as well as on their own. Our majors go on to work in a wide variety of fields, including government and public service, arts management, social work, community activism, and the tech industry. The major also prepares students for various professional and graduate programs such as business, counseling, law, librarianship, medicine and for disciplinary or interdisciplinary graduate programs.. The teacher preparation emphasis provides the broad academic background necessary for teaching in an elementary classroom and as part of a student’s preparation for the CSET Multiple Subjects (California Subject Examinations for Teachers).
General Requirements for the Liberal Studies Major
All Liberal Studies majors must complete 31 units of core courses, 12-15 additional units in a particular emphasis, and a 3-unit elective (for those doing 12-unit emphases). Many of our students choose the Teacher Preparation emphasis, which also recommends particular core courses that might be more useful to future teachers than others. Students are encouraged to consider completing a minor (in a discipline of their choice), which can double-count for the Liberal Studies emphasis requirement.
Each student should consult with an adviser to discuss the Liberal Studies major, selection of courses and preparation of a planning worksheet (available in the LS office).
Core Courses (31 units)
The Liberal Studies core includes two interdisciplinary seminars (the GWAR and capstone) and eight courses drawn from different academic disciplines. For some of these disciplines, students choose from a menu of courses. Before beginning the core courses, students should have completed ENG 214 or equivalent (e.g., AFRS 214, or ENG 1B at a community college).
- LS 300 (GWAR): An introduction to interdisciplinary study and writing, taken in the first semester of the major.
- Communication Studies
- Life Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- LS 400: An interdisciplinary approach to anthropology, psychology and sociology. Additional options for students with Teacher Preparation emphasis.
- LS 401: An interdisciplinary approach to history, geography, economics and political science. Additional options for students with Teacher Preparation emphasis.
- HUM 425: Thought and Image: Humanities
- LS 426: Thought and Image: Creative Arts
- LS 690: Senior Seminar, taken in the final semester of the Liberal Studies major.
Emphasis Patterns (12-15 units)
Elective (0-3 units)
For those doing a 12-unit emphasis pattern, you will need to choose one more course (upper or lower division) as your elective. Many students choose to choose one more course from their emphasis pattern.