Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Liberal Studies

College of Education

Program Description

Liberal Studies (LBS) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major for students who intend to become elementary and special education teachers or to pursue related graduate work. Courses leading to the B.A. in Liberal Studies focus on the subject areas taught in elementary schools as well as professional preparation and early fieldwork. LBS is a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Program (ESM). LBS also offers two Integrated Teacher Education Programs (ITEP) in which students earn a B.A. and a credential for teaching elementary school (multiple subjects) or special education (education specialist mild/moderate support needs).

Highlights of a Liberal Studies Degree

Balanced Learning and a Focus on Social Justice and Racial Equity

The Liberal Studies curriculum covers a broad spectrum of liberal arts and sciences to give future teachers a solid foundation of knowledge and ideas to use in diverse Multiple Subject classrooms. Our curriculum is grounded in theoretical frameworks and sustaining pedagogies that foster critical thought around equity, access and justice.

Depth of Study

Students pursue an area of deeper learning in an approved option within the Liberal Studies Program. This allows them to add more specialized knowledge in a particular area to their well-rounded liberal arts education.

Accelerated Completion of a Credential Program

  • The program is an approved Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Program (ESM) meaning that students who successfully complete the Liberal Studies major requirements with a grade of “C” or better will not need to take the CSET.
  • Liberal Studies students complete the multiple subject credential program in two semesters instead of three and may also complete requirements towards a credential in special education.
  • Liberal Studies also offers three Integrated Teacher Education Program Options (ITEP). Students may earn a B.A. and a credential for teaching elementary school (multiple subjects), teaching elementary school in a dual language setting (multiple subjects with bilingual authorization) or special education (education specialist mild/moderate).

Responsive Curriculum

Faculty in the Liberal Studies department are continuously addressing the curriculum to meet the needs of students while also maintaining quality standards, high expectations and relevant, required content in all of our courses.


Students preparing to enter the Liberal Studies major should focus on building a strong GPA to facilitate their future entry into credential programs. Community college students planning to transfer should know that several GE courses "double-count" in the Liberal Studies major. These courses are listed at

Academic Advisement

Liberal Studies students should see an advisor each semester. Advising is available throughout the year. Students requiring information should email or call (310) 243-3832 to confirm advising schedules. Students on academic notice are required to attend STEPS (Strategies Toward Educational Progress & Success) workshops provided by the University Advisement Center (UAC). Academic notice holds will be lifted by UAC after satisfactory completion of STEPS. In addition to program and professional advising, advisors may refer students to other university services on campus.

All students applying to the Liberal Studies major (or current CSUDH students changing their majors) must attend a Liberal Studies Advising Meeting. The meeting includes information about: creating a LBS student file, registration for courses, important university policies, community

Graduation with Honors

Undergraduate majors are eligible to graduate with honors in Liberal Studies if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete a minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills.
  2. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in all upper-division coursework (300 and 400 level) used to satisfy the requirements for the Liberal Studies major (Core and Option).

Overall Program Structure

The major consists of two parts:

  1. Core Course Requirements. Students take specific courses in each of five areas: Language and Literature; Mathematics and Science; History and Social Science; Visual and Performing Arts; and Professional Development. These specific courses provide the subject matter background for elementary and special education teachers.
  2. Option or Depth of Study Course Requirements. Students study a subject area within the major in depth and may choose any approved option. (Integrated Option also requires Depth of Study).