Advising in Liberal Studies

Please Note: During this period of remote instruction in response to COVID-19, academic advising remains available via email, phone and Zoom. Reach out to us for continued support!

The Liberal Studies office is currently not offering drop-in advising. To make an appointment with an LS advisor, please call or email Andrea Olson. Andrea can be reached by phone at (415) 338-6927 or by email at You can also reach out to the Chair of the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies, Prof. Jose Acacio de Barros, at or contact any LS major faculty. 

Undergraduate Advising

Majors in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts (LCA) should consult with two advisors each semester:

  1. Advisor in the major (Andrea Olson, Jose Acacio de Barros, or any LS faculty) and
  2. General education and university requirements advisor in the ARC (Advising Resource Center for LCA).

Students who are completing a minor, certificate, or an additional major should see an advisor in those programs as well.

General Education Advising

  • The Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) advises First-year Students. We encourage first-year students to talk to an adviser at the UAC. 
  • Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are advised about General Education by the Advising Resource Center (ARC). When speaking to an adviser at ARC, be aware of the possibilities expressed above for completing your GE. 

General Education met in the LS major

For General Education and University Requirements

  • Liberal Studies students can complete almost all their upper-division GE requirements within their major (except for UD-D). This possibility means you can double count some of your LS classes for your major and your GE. For upper-division GE, you can take the following LS courses:
    • UD-B: Physical Life Science: take LS430 or LS440
    • UD-C: Social Sciences: take LS401, LS402, or LS404.
  • For SF Studies upper-division GE, you can take the following courses:
    • Environmental Sustainability: LS401 or LS430
    • Global Perspectives: LS401, LS402, LS404, or LS430
    • Social Justice: LS402, LS403, or LS404
  • Students can complete the following lower-division GE requirements within the LS major. 
    • Area E: take LS200
    • B3: take LS209
  • We are constantly developing new courses, including a future UD-D option. Stay tuned and talk to an adviser to ensure you have the latest info on GE and LS. 

Before You Meet With an Advisor:

  1. Download a Liberal Studies Advising Worksheet, either Teacher Prep or General, and fill out as much as you can, using your unofficial transcript.
  2. Retrieve copies of your transcripts from SF State and other colleges (unofficial is fine). You can get your SF State transcripts from the Student Center link via SF State Gateway

General Advising FAQs

The Advising Resource Center (HUM 112) should be your first stop for GE advising.

A current unofficial transcript, your updated planning worksheet, and any forms that you might need signed.

No, you do not need to take one class before the other. You can also take the classes concurrently.

No. A minor, certificate, or double major can be used instead of an emphasis pattern. You should inform a Liberal Studies adviser and work directly with the department where you'll be doing the minor, certificate, or the other major. However, if your minor is only 12 credit units, you will need to take an extra class with an LS prefix (in addition to the ones you took for core). 

You should definitely see an adviser. The DPR does not give you enough information to know which courses better match your needs, nor does it provide the flexibility that an adviser can offer you. For example, there may be a new and fantastic course approved for LS, but because your DPR may use an older version of the bulletin, this course would not show up on it. When you talk to an adviser, they will not only be able to inform you about this new course but also approve it as part of your LS requirements. So, please contact an adviser before planning which classes to take in a given semester. 

Future Teachers

No. However, the Teacher Prep emphasis was designed to give you exposure to as many disciplines as possible that are in the California standards, and we believe it prepares you better (content-wise) for your career as an elementary school teacher.

No. A BA in Liberal Studies satisfy the subject matter competency requirement for a multiple-subject credential program. If you graduate in LS, you do not need to take the CSETs for multiple-subjects.

As for an elementary school teacher, there are many routes for you to pursue. One is to take coursework that allows you to get an introductory or supplementary subject matter authorization from the state of California. This works the following way. Once you obtain your multiple-subject credential, depending on the coursework you took in college, you can apply for a either an introductory or a supplementary credential to teach a single subject (e.g. math). This credential authorizes you to teach, on top of your K – 5 original multiple-subject credential, K – 9 single subject. Check the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for more information.

There are many different ways, depending on the authorization you’re interested in. The Liberal Studies faculty is working on suggested courses that can be used for your emphasis. For example, for an authorization in sciences, you could combine your GE Segment II science courses (6 credits), Area II Liberal Studies core (6 credits) and your 15 credits from an emphasis to get close to the required 32 credits.

Yes. Liberal Studies has many courses that we recommend for future elementary school teachers. Please check the Liberal Studies Teacher Prep Worksheet on this page, where those courses are listed. 

Liberal Studies Career Outlook

Although many students choose this major because they want to become elementary school or special education teachers, the possibilities are endless! Many of our students go on to graduate or professional school and pursue an advanced degree in a specific area. View our comprehensive list of what our graduates are doing now and some of the degrees and certificates they have earned.

Liberal Studies graduates amass skills that allow them to fill many different roles, either in the private, public, or not-for-profit sectors. Among our graduates, many find fulfilling careers in the following. 

  • Teaching in
    • Elementary school
    • Special education
    • High school
    • College/university
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Writing and doing research
  • Running their business
  • Project managing for software companies
  • Coordinating information for computer companies
  • Working for nonprofit and government
  • Working as
    • Admissions/outreach
    • Cemetary broker/maintenance operations manager
    • Columnist
    • Customer relations
    • Photographer
    • Psychologist
    • Research associate in public policy firm
    • Sales and consultation
    • Wire service editor

In addition to teacher credentials when looking for a career in education, Liberal Studies students have earned post-baccalaureate degrees in the following fields. 

M.A./M.S. in:

  • Biostatistics
  • Computer graphics
  • Counseling
  • English
  • Education
  • Human behavior
  • Policy, Planning, and development
  • Special education

Ed.D. in:

  • Educational Leadership

Ph.D. in:

  • Clinical psychology
  • J.D.
  • Linguistics

Other post-bac degrees:

  • Acupuncture
  • Midwifery
  • Software