Liberal Studies

The liberal studies major provides a broad course of study which serves as a foundation for meeting a wide range of future goals including graduate study, career development and community services. Because it is interdisciplinary, it is especially designed for students interested in teaching at the elementary school level. Courses for the major cover the content required for multiple subject teacher credential candidates.

Unique Features

Goals of the major are to build in students:

  • The ability and desire to understand, evaluate and communicate ideas
  • The ability and desire to discover ideas through disciplinary processes
  • The ability and desire to engage in intensive study
  • A sense of interrelatedness among knowledge, experience, responsibilities and values
  • A respect for diversity

Our Graduates

A Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies is versatile and can be applied to almost any desired career field because of its broad course of study. However, most graduates continue on in their education to become elementary school teachers because the liberal studies major provides the course content required for the multiple subject teacher credential.

Program Details

Students must choose an area of concentration. Concentrations permit the candidate to specialize in areas of interest and depth. All students must complete a concentration of 12 or more units in one discipline or area of study. Concentration requirements may overlap with a minor.

Are there additional requirements?

  • Students must prepare a portfolio in their last semester prior to graduation.
  • Students planning to enter the FPU teacher education program must maintain a 2.75 GPA or better during their baccalaureate program. Grades of D+ or below are not accepted in general education or major coursework.
  • Students are encouraged to take coursework leading to the BCLAD credential emphasis.
  • The state of California requires that all students admitted to multiple subject credential programs pass the CBEST to prove basic skills and the CSET to prove subject matter competency.
  • Find out more about becoming a teacher.


General Education Requirements

When choosing general education courses, liberal studies students should select the following:

  • BIOL-100 Principles of Biology (4)
  • HIST-150 American Civilization (4)
  • LIT-180 Introduction to Literature (3)
  • PE-120 Dance Movement (1)
  • PHYS-106 Physical Science (4)
  • PHYS-150 Earth Science (3)
  • PSY-120 General Psychology (3)

Required Courses (47 Units)

  • ART-300 Art for Elementary Teachers (3) 
  • DRA-355 Creative Drama (3) 
  • HIST-440 California History and Politics (4) 
  • ENV-150 Introduction to Environmental Studies (4) 
  • KIN-320 Theory of Physical Education (3) 
  • LA-180 Paths to Teaching (3) 
  • LA-380 Learning Communities (1) 
  • LANG-310 First and Second Language Acquisition (3) 
  • LANG-340 Introduction to Linguistics (3) 
  • LIT-465 Literature for Children and Young Adults (3) 
  • MATH-132 Arithmetic and Data Analysis (3) 
  • MATH-134 Algebraic Thinking and Geometry (3) 
  • MUS-305 Music in the Classroom (3) 
  • PSY-350 Child Development (3) 
  • SOC-410 American Ethnicity and Pluralism (3)

A concentration and/or minor must also be completed.


Traditional undergraduate programs are in a semester format. The fall semester begins at the end of August and the spring semester begins at the beginning of January. Application for admission will be accepted until July 31 or enrollment is full for the fall semester and until December 5 for the spring semester. Applications received later than these dates will be considered, but acceptance and registration are not guaranteed. Admission notification is handled on a rolling basis.

Why the Central Valley?

A fast-growing and culturally diverse city, Fresno serves as the business, financial, cultural and entertainment center of California's Central Valley. Because of our central location, students have easy access to the best of the rest of California including three national parks and the central coast. View more advantages to studying in Fresno.