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Liberal Studies Program

The Liberal Studies major provides a rich, rigorous cross-disciplinary liberal arts program of study, with a focus on Education. There are two graduation pathways in the major: 1) the Bachelor of Arts Program (BA) is for students who seek subject matter preparation for elementary teaching as preparation for a post-baccalaureate credential program to be completed separately from the bachelor’s degree, and 2) the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) is for students intending to become teachers who wish to combine subject matter preparation for elementary teaching with coursework leading to an integrated Multiple or Urban Dual Teaching Credential.

Students in the Liberal Studies major first complete the Core Requirements, and then determine whether to finish the Bachelor of Arts degree (BA Pathway) or the Integrated Teaching Credential Program (ITEP Pathway). 


Liberal Studies Core Requirements

The Liberal Studies Core Requirements consists of 101 units.

All coursework must be completed with a grade "C" or better. Courses cannot be taken for CR/NC.

The Core Requirements are generally completed in the first three years of College (Freshmen-Junior year) through a blend of multidisciplinary general education and major coursework combined. The Liberal Studies program does not follow the traditional CSU-breadth pattern (general education requirements), due to following teaching standards from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Transferring? If you would like information on equivalent coursework at other institutions, please refer to the Transfer Credit Guide on our Documents and Forms page (link) and/or refer to (link). 

Area I: Language Arts (21 units)

  • Group 1. Written Communication: Choose one course from ASAM 100, AFRS 100, CHLS 104, ENGL 100

  • Group 2. Oral Communication: Choose COMM 130 or COMM 335

  • Group 3. Survey of Literature: Choose one course from CWL 100, ENGL 180, ENGL 250 A or B, ENGL 270 A or B, ENGL 375

  • Group 4. Applied Composition: Take ENGL 309

  • Group 5. Language Acquisition: Choose EDSP 454 or LING 329

  • Group 6. Children’s Literature: Choose AFRS 415 or ENGL 481 (ITEP Spanish BILA & UDCP Substitution*)

  • Group 7. Language Arts Capstone: Take L/ST 400

Area II: Mathematics (12 units)

  • Group 1. Real Numbers: Take MTED 110

  • Group 2. Probability and Statistics: Take MTED 205

  • Group 3. Geometry and Measurement: Choose MTED 211 or MTED 312

  • Group 4. Mathematics Capstone: Take MTED 402

Area III: Natural Science (14 units)

  • Group 1. Earth Science: Choose from GEOL 102 and GEOL 104, or only GEOL 106

  • Group 2. Life Science: Take BIOL 200

  • Group 3. Physical Science: Take PHSC 112

  • Group 4. Natural Science Capstone: Take SCED 401

Area IV: History-Social Science (19 units)

  • Group 1. American History: Choose HIST 172 or HIST 300

  • Group 2. American Institutions: Choose one course from POSC 100, POSC 391, or POSC 326* (*If taken outside CA)

  • Group 3. World History and Geography: Take either HIST/GEOG 250, or both HIST 211 and GEOG 100 

  • Group 4. Multicultural Dimensions: Choose one course from AFRS 215, AIS 215, ASAM 215, CHLS 215, AFRS 319, AIS 319, ASAM 319, CHLS 319, WGSS 319, ANTH 421 or LING 425

  • Group 5. California History: Take HIST 473 (ITEP Spanish BILA Substitution*) 

  • Group 6. History-Social Science Capstone: Take L/ST 471

Area V: Arts and Humanities (15 units)

  • Group 1. Music: Take MUS 180

  • Group 2. Dance or Theater: Choose one course from CWL 124, CWL 324, DANC 110, DANC 179, THEA 113, THEA 122, THEA 324

  • Group 3. Ethics, Values and Beliefs: Choose one course from PHIL 100, PHIL 160, PHIL 203, PHIL 204, PHIL 405, R/ST 100, R/ST 202 (ITEP UDCP Substitution*)

  • Group 4. Visual Art: Take ART 300

  • Group 5. Arts Capstone: Take L/ST 404

Area VI: Critical Issues in Teaching and Learning (20 units)

  • Group 1. Teaching and Learning: Take EDEL 100

  • Group 2. Information and Technology Competencies: Choose one course from ETEC 110, ETEC 444, or MTED 301

  • Group 3. Critical Thinking: Choose one course from A/ST 190, COMM 131, ENGL 102, ETEC 171, HIST 101, L/ST 111, PHIL 170, POSC 105, PSY 130

  • Group 4. Introduction to Education: Take EDEL 200

  • Group 5. Child Development and Learning: Take EDP 301

  • Group 6. Family and School Partnerships: Take EDSP 355A (ITEP UDCP Substitution*)

  • Group 7. Physical Education: Take KIN 476 (ITEP UDCP Substitution*)

  • Group 8. Health Science: Take H SC 411A (ITEP UDCP Substitution*)

*Alternate course offered and/or omitted based on ITEP option (for Spanish BILA or UDCP students). See an Academic Advisor or refer to the Liberal Studies Core Requirements page (pdf link) for special notes.

Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies: BA

120 Units

4 Year Degree

Formerly referred to as the "TRACK I" pathway.

The BA Pathway is our traditional teacher education program where students complete their Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and then after graduation, may choose to apply post-bac to complete their teaching credential either at CSULB or at another university if desired. The BA option includes completion of the Core Requirements and a concentration, which consists of 12 units in a specific subject area. This program is an approved pre-professional program of subject matter preparation consistent with the standards established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an approved Elementary Subject Matter Waiver Program.

For more information regarding the Concentration requirement, refer to the Liberal Studies Concentration page (link).

Bachelor of Arts & Post-Bac Teaching Credentials at CSULB

For those who wish to earn their teaching credential after earning their Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, they may complete the traditional post-bac credential programs. Refer to the appropriate credentialing webpages for reference, if attending CSULB.

Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies: ITEP

135 Units

4-5 Year Degree

The ITEP Pathway (integrated BA and Credential) combines the study of academic subject matter for elementary school teaching with professional preparation and student teaching. Successful completion of ITEP includes both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Teaching Credential.  Students must complete the Core Requirements and a Teaching Credential Program in order to graduate under the ITEP pathway. This program follows standards established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an approved Elementary Subject Matter Waiver Program.

Bachelor of Arts & Integrated Teaching Credentials at CSULB

The ITEP Pathway is for students who wish to earn their teaching credential concurrently with their Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. Students may complete one of the integrated teaching credential programs for Liberal Studies students. Refer to the appropriate credentialing webpages for reference.

​Choosing a Program Option: ITEP or BA?

As of Fall 2016, students may no longer choose a specific program pathway for admission to CSULB, and by default are admitted to the Liberal Studies Bachelor of Arts Program (BA) Pathway. In accordance with the Timely Graduation Policy at CSULB, students must be on their appropriate graduation program/pathway upon Senior Year.

Graduating under the Bachelor of Arts Program (BA Pathway)

If a student is interested in graduating in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) Program for Liberal Studies, the student will remain on the BA Pathway by default. No special actions are taken aside from meeting with an Academic Advisor for graduation planning, including choosing a concentration.

Graduating under the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP Pathway)

If a student is interested in graduating from the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for Liberal Studies, the student will be required to apply and be accepted successfully to an integrated Teacher Credentialing Program by Senior Year. Inability to apply or be accepted successfully into the Teacher Credentialing Program by the appropriate timeline will result in a student remaining on the BA Pathway by default for graduation. Once a student is admitted to an Integrated Teacher Education Program and is switched to the ITEP pathway, they must remain on the plan accordingly until graduation. 

General Steps for Switching to ITEP Pathway

  1. Acceptance to CSULB and Liberal Studies or Pre-Liberal Studies Program.
  2. Complete a majority of the Core Requirements for the Liberal Studies Program.
  3. Apply to an Integrated Teacher Credential Program and mark 'ITEP' on Application by Senior Year.
  4. Acceptance into an Integrated Teacher Credential Program. 
  5. Academic Advisor sends a request to Enrollment Services to have the student changed to the ITEP Pathway per their University's Academic Requirements Report and Program Plan.

Note for ITEP Admits Prior to Fall 2016: Previously, students could be admitted to the ITEP or BA pathways upon their first semester at CSULB. For continuing ITEP students who wish to switch to the BA/TRACK I pathway for graduation, you are recommended to schedule an advising appointment online with a Liberal Studies Advisor and/or email