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Liberal Studies, B.A.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

What is possible when your major challenges you to be critical and creative?

Liberal studies is tailor made for the student who wants to explore it all. From social science to physical education, Spanish to science, you’ll gain a broad education in the humanities and an ability to communicate effectively to a broad array of audiences.

In wide-ranging courses you’ll participate in creative drama and group improvisation, explore how California became a political-trendsetter among states, understand how to analyze data and learn the Kodaly method for teaching music in the classroom.

This interdisciplinary program is especially designed to prepare you for teaching at the elementary school level. Regardless of the concentration in science or in Spanish, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge required to enter a multiple subject teacher credential program.

Program Highlights

  • Choice of a concentration from an area of interest to you (see Concentrations below)
  • Fulfill the subject matter requirements for both a Multiple Subjects Credential and also a Single-Subject Authorization to teach through grade 9
  • Students who complete the required courses as part of our liberal studies program will have their CSET exam waived prior to beginning their CA Multiple Subject Credential
  • Engage in off-campus summer and study abroad programs
  • Work one-on-one with faculty to choose from a broad range of topics for your capstone research project


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. Concentrations may overlap with a minor.

Integrated Teacher Education Program Pathway 

In addition to the traditional pathway to teaching (4 year B.A.+ 1 year credential), FPU is now offering Liberal Studies students the opportunity to earn their Bachelor of Arts degree and multiple subjects teaching credential in four years (3 year B.A. + 1 year credential)! This takes at least one year off the current traditional path. A transfer option is also available. Learn more at



Within the context of the Fresno Pacific Idea, the liberal studies major at Fresno Pacific University exists to prepare people with a foundation of knowledge needed to become community builders, peacemakers and advocates for change in roles requiring broad liberal arts scholarship. The major seeks to build:

  • 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 and service.
  • A sense of interrelatedness among knowledge, experience, responsibility and values.
  • A respect for diversity.

The liberal studies major is an interdisciplinary major that provides the content background for multiple subject candidates wishing to enter teacher education programs for teaching at the elementary level in the state of California. Additionally, the liberal studies major provides a rounded course of study in the liberal arts appropriate for preparation in numerous vocations.

Students must prepare a senior project in their last semester prior to graduation that is reviewed by undergraduate faculty and professional educators. In addition, students planning to enter the FPU teacher education program must maintain a GPA of 2.75 or better during their baccalaureate program. Grades of D+ or below are not accepted in general education, major courses or concentration courses.

The liberal studies major meets the elementary subject matter requirement for entry into a credential program in the state of California. Therefore, liberal studies majors no longer must pass the CSET prior to receiving a multiple-subject credential.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will use background knowledge and value structures to interact critically, appreciatively, and interpretively with oral, written, symbolic, and artistic language, expressing themselves clearly, persuasively, and creatively.
  2. Students will apply various modes of inquiry and disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge to the pursuit of comprehension of linguistic, artistic, technological, mathematical, scientific, historical, political, philosophical, theological, sociological, psychological, literary, and physical modes of inquiry and world views.
  3. Students will engage in intensive and orderly study within their concentration through use of significant literature of a field, application of sound methodological procedures, and possession of in-depth knowledge of the contributions of their concentration to the community.
  4. Students will develop a personal philosophy of life that gives meaning and wholeness to learning and promotes a life of service, peacemaking, and responsibility.
  5. Through community engagement students will actively promote an understanding of and respect for ethnic and cultural diversity, demonstrating flexibility and effectiveness in relating to and communicating with a variety of people in a variety of situations.

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno

Liberal Studies Major: General Education Requirements (22 units)


  • BIOL 100 - Principles of Biology Credits 3
  • BIOL 100L - Principles of Biology Lab Credits 1
  • GEOL 151 - Earth Science Credits 3
  • GEOL 151L - Earth Science Laboratory Credits 1
  • HIST 150 - American Civilization Credits 4
  • LIT 180 - Introduction to Literature Credits 3
  • PE 120 - Dance Movement Credits 1
  • PHYS 106 - Physical Science Credits 3
  • PHYS 106L - Physical Science Lab Credits 1
  • PSY 120 - General Psychology Credits 3

Required Courses (46 Units)

  • ART 300 - Art for Elementary Teachers Credits 3
  • ENV 160 - Introduction to Environmental Science Credits 3
  • HIST 440 - California History and Politics Credits 4
  • KIN 320 - Theory of Elementary Physical Education Credits 3
  • LA 180 - Paths to Teaching Credits 3
  • LA 380 - Learning Communities Credits 3
  • LANG 310 - First and Second Language Acquisition Credits 3
  • LANG 340 - Linguistics & Modern Grammar Credits 3
  • LIT 465 - Literature for Children and Young Adults Credits 3
  • MATH 132 - Arithmetic and Data Analysis Credits 3
  • MATH 134 - Algebraic Thinking and Geometry Credits 3
  • MUS 305 - Music in the Classroom Credits 3
  • PSY 350 - Child Development Credits 3
  • SOC 410 - American Ethnicity and Pluralism Credits 3
  • THTR 355 - Creative Drama Credits 3


Concentrations permit the candidate to specialize in areas of interest and depth. All students must complete a concentration of 12 or more units, a minor, or a double major. Once declared, the minor or double major replaces the need for a concentration.

Each of the seven concentration options (art, English, math, physical education, science, social science, and Spanish) should prepare students to apply for a supplementary authorization in the subject area. This means that if the student goes on to apply for a multiple-subjects credential, these courses will allow the student to apply for an authorization to teach the chosen content area in a single-subject position through the ninth grade. 

Note: The supplementary authorizations are granted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Thus, FPU cannot guarantee that this authorization will be granted. 

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

Whether you're a high school student, transfer student or parent, you'll find all the resources you need including application steps, tuition & financial aid, transfer and orientation information.

First Steps to Admission

  • Submit an application for admission (online or printable mail-in)
    * Admission applications are free, no discount codes required.
  • Send official copies of your transcripts to FPU.
  • Complete the FAFSA. It can be completed starting October 1st. (FAFSA Code: 001253)
Recommended High School Courses for Admission
  • 4 years of college preparatory English
  • 3 years of college preparatory mathematics
  • 2 years of social studies
  • 1 year of laboratory science
  • 1 year of performing art
  • 3 years of the same foreign language with a C- or better
Things to Keep in Mind

Fresno Pacific University’s accepted students have average GPAs of 3.2-3.6. Please speak with an admission counselor to discuss your eligibility.

All application materials should be submitted online or mailed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admission
Fresno Pacific University
1717 S. Chestnut Ave. #2005
Fresno, CA 93702

Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Information

Elementary Teacher Education (AA-T) to Liberal Studies, B.A.

BA courses fulfilled through ADT:

  • All lower-division General Education requirements fulfilled
  • BA co-requisites and major courses fulfilled through ADT:
    • BIOL 100 - Principles of Biology (4)
    • HIST 150   American Civilization (4)
    • LIT 180   Introduction to Literature (3)
    • PHYS 106 - Physical Science (4)
    • PHYS 150   Earth Science (3)
    • LA 180   Paths to Teaching (3)
    • MATH 132   Arithmetic and Data Analysis (3)
    • PSY 350    Child Development (3) [Lower to Upper Division]
  • This program is offered as daytime traditional

ADT Guarantee is the completion of BA/BS degree in 68 units.

Non-traditional Admission

Steps for Re-application

For those students who have applied to FPU’s traditional undergraduate program within the past 2 years and did not attend. Students who applied more than 2 years ago will need to resubmit a full application for admission:

  1. Fill out the re-application form
  2. Submit any missing documents or updated transcripts
Steps for Re-admission

Former FPU students who have not been enrolled in and/or have not submitted a leave of absence form for the previous semester are required to re-apply for admission to FPU:

  1. Fill out the re-admission form
  2. Submit official transcripts from other educational institutions attended during absence from FPU
Steps for Non-matriculated Admission

Students interested in taking classes, usually for personal or professional development, or to transfer to another institution, and is not interested in a degree from FPU. Non-degree students are not eligible for federal, state or institutional aid. Other requirements, class limits and pre-requisites may apply. See the academic catalog for more information:

  1. Fill out the Application for Admission indicating Non Matriculating/Non-Degree status non-matriculation application
  2. Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent
  3. Some classes may require a pre-requisite course. If required, a college transcript will need to be provided
  4. Personal essays are not required
Auditing a class

Students wishing to audit a class at FPU may apply for audit status. Audit classes are not eligible for financial aid and students will not receive course credit.

  1. Fill out the Application for Admission indicating audit status
  2. Personal essays are not required

Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

Four-year graduation guarantee graphic

Earning a degree in four years allows you to get a head start on achieving your goals of entering the work force or starting graduate school. FPU guarantees graduation within four years in the traditional undergraduate areas of study. We commit to providing the courses, advising, instruction and preparation. If you fulfill your responsibilities and are unable to graduate in four years, you will receive the needed courses the following semester at no cost in tuition or fees.

Incoming requirements

This guarantee is limited to basic graduation requirements of 120 minimum units including general education, upper-level and elective courses sufficient for a single major with no minor.

  • Where options between courses are available, students are not guaranteed their first choice.
  • This guarantee does not apply to “fifth-year” programs (teacher education credential requirements) or minimum units beyond graduation requirements (CPA qualifications, etc.) beyond the basic four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • The guarantee does not apply to transfer students or to FPU's degree completion programs.
  • Students not able to register for the courses needed within four years must complete the free course(s) within two terms of the end of four years (e.g. a summer and fall for those completing four years in the spring; or spring and summer for those completing four years in the fall).
  • The four-year period may be extended for students required to leave the university for up to one year (see the Leave of Absence section) for medical, military or personal reasons.
Student responsibilities
To qualify for the guarantee students must:
  • Meet with your mentor during the fall semester of the freshman year.
  • Finalize a major and begin prerequisite or lower-division major courses by the second semester of the freshman year and keep that major until graduation.
  • Complete at least 32 units per year (average 16 per semester) with passing grades in each course.
  • Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and remain in good standing behaviorally with the university.
  • Meet with the mentor each semester for advising before registration opens and take the courses approved by the adviser/mentor that complete general-education and major requirements, in the appropriate sequence and as they become available.
  • Register within the first week of registration every semester to gain a spot in the classes needed.
  • Notify mentor if unable to register for an approved course so that an alternative plan can be made.
  • Apply for financial aid and submit required documents by appropriate deadlines.
  • Keep student account up-to-date. (Accounts not up-to-date may be placed on hold, preventing registration for courses.)
  • Complete required courses successfully (see Academic Policies section for minimum acceptable grades) without dropping required or approved courses during a semester.

Two-Year Transfer Guarantee for ADT Pathways

FPU guarantees a student with an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) from the California Community College system, can complete their degree in just two years. If a student meets the qualification requirements, fulfills the responsibilities under the program, and are unable to complete their major in a 2-year period, FPU will assume all additional tuition costs needed to complete their undergraduate degree at FPU.

Incoming requirements
  • 60 transferable units [grades of C- or better] from the California Community College system with a completed ADT (Associate Degree for Transfer)
  • Selected an ADT matched (similar) pathway from FPU’s undergraduate degree programs
  • Have completed the necessary pre-requisites in the discipline specific to intended major
  • Have at least a 2.4 transfer GPA
Student responsibilities
To qualify for the guarantee students must:
  • Enroll in an average of 15- 18 units per semester; not including repeated courses.
  • Remain in good academic standing by maintaining an institutional grade point average of 2.0 or higher
  • Enroll in the required number of consecutive semesters: 3-4 semesters depending on number of units transferred in
  • Make up units for any failed or withdrawn courses during the guarantee period, which may require you to take more than 15-18 units per semester
    • For TUG you may have to enroll in a summer semester.
  • Fulfill all graduation requirements, including core curriculum, major requirements, and upper division course work requirements.
    • Two Year Guarantee: complete enough upper division courses to have at least 40 upper division units by the end of the 4-semester time frame.
  • Take all required courses during the semester recommended by your Academic Advisor.
  • Register for all upcoming courses during the registration period.
  • Any courses from a Community College with “D+” or lower are non-transferable and require additional courses and semesters to graduate.
  • This guarantee may not apply to students starting in a spring or summer semester start (TUG only).
  • This guarantee is limited to basic graduation requirements: 120 minimum units including general education, upper-level and elective courses sufficient for a single major.

Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition & Fees

Total Cost Item Amount
12-18 units (full time) per year $34,960
Student body fee $598
Total Tuition and Fees $35,548
Room $5,018
Board $5,130
Total Tuition, Fees & Board $45,696
Per-Unit Costs Amount
Per unit / Overload $1,248
Summer Session $500
Private Music Instruction $400
Total Cost Item Amount
12-18 units (full time) per year $33,614
Student body fee $574
Total Tuition and Fees $34,188
Room and Board $8,884
Total Tuition, Fees & Board $43,072
Per-Unit Costs Amount
Per unit / Overload $1,218
Summer Session $400
Private Music Instruction $400
Total Cost Item Amount
12-18 units (full time) per year $32,954
Student body fee $498
Total Tuition and Fees $33,452
Room and Board $8,710
Total Tuition, Fees & Board $42,162
Per-Unit Costs Amount
Per unit / Overload $1,177
Summer Session $300
Private Music Instruction $400

Room & Board Rates

Freshman / Sophmore Housing
Module* Fall Spring
Modules $4,313 $4,313
Jost Modules $4,619 $4,619 

* Full Access Meal Plan Included in Cost (Full Access Required)

Junior / Senior Housing
Suites & Houses Fall Spring
Room only $2,068 $2,068
Room-70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $2,719 $2,719
Room - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,276 $3,276
Room - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $4,400 $4,400
Jost Hall (4 person), Willow Gardens (4 person) & Kriegbaum Apartments (3 person) Fall Spring
Apartment - Room only $2,694 $2,694
Apartment - 70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,345 $3,345
Apartment - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,902 $3,902
Apartment - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $5,026 $5,026
Willow Gardens & Jost Hall  Apartments: 3 Person Fall Spring
Apartments - Room only $3,306 $3,306
Apartments - 70 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $3,958 $3,958
Apartments - 140 Block Meal Plan (included in cost) $4,514 $4,514
Apartments - Full Access Meal Plan (included in cost) $5,639 $5,639
Stand-Alone Meal Plans Fall Spring
70 Block $651 $651
140 Block $1,208 $1,208
Full Access Meal Plan $2,332 $2,332

* Residents living in the Houses or Willow Gardens Apartments may stay over Christmas break at no extra charge providing they are returning for spring semester. Otherwise, residents must check out at the regular fall check-out dates.

Notes about housing
  • For housing placement purposes only, class standing for the fall semester will carry throughout the entire year (both fall and spring semesters).
  • Residents living in the houses or Willow Gardens Apartments may stay over Christmas break at no extra charge providing they are returning for spring semester. Otherwise, residents must check out at the regular fall check-out dates.
  • Meal plan contract dates will follow the traditional semester.

If you have questions that pertain specifically to housing or what housing you qualify for, please contact Residence Life at (559) 453-5696. Or visit our website at

Financial Aid

Freshman Scholarships

Based on a student’s academic GPA. Academic GPA’s are calculated by FPU on a weighted, 4.0 scaled and based on core academic classes in grades 10-12. Renewable if a minimum GPA is maintained.

Name GPA Amount
Paragon   Full Tuition
President's 4.00 GPA and above $18,000
Dean's 3.75-3.99 GPA $15,000
Heritage 3.50-3.75 GPA $14,000
Faculty 3.25-3.49 GPA $12,000
Founder's Below a 3.0 GPA $8,000

Transfer Scholarships 

To be considered for a Transfer Academic Scholarship, you must have 12 or more transferable, post-high school units. GPA’s are based on transferable units and calculated by FPU.

Name GPA Amount
Transfer Scholar 3.50 GPA and above $14,000
Transfer Achievement 3.0-3.49 GPA $10,000
Transfer Academic 2.40-2.99 GPA $7,500
Transfer Partnership Below a 2.4 GPA $6,000

Performance-based Scholarships

Name Amount
Athletic $500 to Full Tuition
Music $400 to $10,000
Theatre Arts $500 to $4,000
Art/Design $500 to $4,000

Other FPU Grants and Scholarships

Name Amount
FPU Possibilities Scholarship Full Tuition
Church Match $500 to $1,500
International Scholarship up to $6,000
Mennonite Brethren Award $4,000
Out of State Student Scholarship $4,000
Other Awards $100 to $10,000

Federal and State Grants

Name Amount
Cal Grant A $9,358
Cal Grant B $1,648
Pell Grants $750 to $7,395
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant $1,000

Federal Loans and Work Study

Name Amount
Federal Direct $3,500 to $7,500
PLUS Loan Up to remaining cost
Workstudy Contingent on employment

Private Scholarships

Alumni, parents, friends, businesses and foundations have generously provided a special set of scholarships available to students attending Fresno Pacific.

View Private Scholarships

Photo of Alexandra Green

Alexandra Green


The grants, the academic awards, the transfer scholarship – all of it makes it so much more affordable to attend FPU. I know that school isn’t cheap for anyone, but FPU helped me realize that I could actually come to this school because they were going to help me so much financially.

Net Price Calculator

Now that you’ve seen the financial aid opportunities available to FPU students, we can estimate what your true cost may be to attend Fresno Pacific. Please keep in mind that this is just a computer generated, general estimate and may not capture all aid available, please work with your FPU Student Financial Services advisor to discover your true net price.

Calculate for First-Time FreshmanCalculate for Transfer

Career Opportunities

With a degree in liberal studies, you'll gain the versatility to apply your studies to almost any desired career field. However, you'll also be well equipped to continue in your education to become an elementary school teacher, having met the course content required for the multiple subject teacher credential.

Career Possibilities

  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Educational counselor
  • Researcher
  • Communication specialist

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center