BS Liberal Studies

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Program Learning Objectives

Upon graduating, Liberal Studies students will:

  1. Examine the importance of the physical, social and cognitive development of children and their application to learning.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of the conceptual foundation of each core subject area: Reading, Language and Literacy, History and Social Science, Mathematics, Science, Visual and Performing Arts, and Physical Education and Health.
  3. Experience how knowledge is created and organized through best teaching and learning practices specific to each core subject area with a focus of metacognition.
  4. Demonstrate effective oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in a variety of contexts including the use of appropriate technology.
  5. Integrate the content of one discipline into another through the development of projects across subject matter areas.
  6. Synthesize information and integrate experiences that promote personal and professional growth in the field of education.
  7. Demonstrate engagement as an agent for change in diversity and inclusion using principles of social justice, equity and ethical practice.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:

  • 60 units of upper division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

Note: Up to 4 units of credit/no credit grading may be selected for courses in major, support, or concentration.

LS 201Orientation to Liberal Studies1
LS 211Visual Arts in the Elementary Classroom4
LS 214Constitutional Issues in the History of U.S. and California Education4
LS 230Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom I2
LS 250Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom II2
LS/ENGL 260Children's Literature4
LS 301Liberal Studies Career Preparation1
LS 310Storytelling: Modern Applications of Traditional Narrative4
LS 370Performing Arts in the Elementary Classroom4
LS 410Subject Matter Seminar4
or LS 411 Advanced History/Social Sciences Integration for the K-8 Classroom
or LS 412 Advanced Arts Integration for the K-8 Classroom
LS 461Senior Project Seminar4
or LS 462 Senior Project Research
ASTR 101Introduction to the Solar System (B3) 14
BIO 111General Biology (B2&B4) 14
BIO 211Biology of Plants and Animals4
ENGL 391Topics in Applied Linguistics4
GEOG 308Global Geography (D5) 14
HIST 208Survey of California History (USCP)4
HIST 210World History I (D3) 1, 24
KINE 310Concepts and Applications in Elementary Physical Education3
KINE 443Health Education for Teachers4
MATH 227Mathematics for Elementary Teaching I (B1) 14
MATH 328Mathematics for Elementary Teaching II4
MATH 329Mathematics for Elementary Teaching III4
MATH 330Algebraic Thinking with Technology4
PHIL 230Philosophical Classics: Knowledge and Reality (C2)4
or PHIL 231 Philosophical Classics: Ethics and Political Philosophy
PSC 101Matter and Energy (B3&B4) 14
PSC 102Atoms and Molecules4
PSC 103The Physical Environment: Earth4
PSY 201General Psychology (D4) 14
or PSY 202 General Psychology
STAT 130Statistical Reasoning (B1) 14
or STAT 217 Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Methods
Concentration or individualized course of study18-22
CD/EDUC 207Children's Learning and Development in Educational Settings4
EDUC 427Theories, Methods, and Assessment of First and Second Language Acquisition in Schools 34
EDUC 428Foundations of K-8 Literacy Teaching and Learning in Schools with Diverse Populations 34
(See GE program requirements below.)28-36
Free Electives 41-9
Total units180

Required in Major; also satisfies GE.


Students in the History/Social Sciences concentration, may substitute with HIST 221.


Prerequisite for Multiple Subject Credential program at Cal Poly. For a credential program elsewhere, check the prerequisites for that institution.


If GE courses are used to satisfy Concentration requirements, additional units of Free Electives may be required to meet the 180 total units requirement for degree.


Students may select one of the following concentrations or the individualized course of study.

Individualized Course of Study

With department chair approval, students may pursue a course of study which meets their individual needs and interests; this must be initiated early and all courses must be pre-approved. The individualized course of study consists of 18-20 units with at least one course at the 300-400 level. Courses are selected by the student in consultation with an advising faculty member. The list of courses is a contract between the student and the department.

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 32 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area A Communication
A1 Expository Writing4
A2 Oral Communication4
A3 Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area B Science and Mathematics
B1 Mathematics/Statistics (8 units in Major) 10
B2 Life Science (4 units in Major) 10
B3 Physical Science (4 units in Major) 10
B4 One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course
B5 Area B elective (select one course from B1-B5) (4 units in Major) 10
Area C Arts and Humanities
C1 Literature (may be in Concentration)0-4
C2 Philosophy0
C3 Fine/Performing Arts 34
C4 Upper-division elective (may be in Concentration)0-4
Area D/E Society and the Individual
D1 The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement) 24
D2 Political Economy4
D3 Comparative Social Institutions (4 units in Major) 10
D4 Self Development (CSU Area E) (4 units in Major) 10
D5 Upper-division elective (4 units in Major) 10
Area F Technology
F Upper-division elective4
Total units28-36

Required in Major; also satisfies GE.


Recommended HIST 201 be taken to satisfy GE Area D1 for individuals planning to pursue a teaching credential.


Recommended courses to satisfy GE Area C3: MU 101, DANC 221, or TH 210 for individuals planning to pursue a teaching credential.

 Courses Needed for Multiple Subject Credential

EDUC 429Learning to Teach K-8 Literacy in Schools with Diverse Populations4
EDUC 431Learning to Teach K-8 Social Studies with Diverse Populations4
EDUC 435Learning to Teach K-8 Mathematics with Diverse Populations4
EDUC 436Learning to Teach K-8 Science with Diverse Populations4
EDUC 438Multiple Subject Clinical Practice I4
EDUC 439Multiple Subject Clinical Practice Seminar I2
EDUC 440Educating Individuals with Exceptional Needs4
EDUC 450Teaching Performance Assessment Seminar1
EDUC 454Multiple Subject Clinical Practice II8
EDUC 455Multiple Subject Clinical Practice Seminar II3
EDUC 456Multiple Subject Clinical Practice III12
EDUC 457Multiple Subject Clinical Practice Seminar III3
Total units53