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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

Coursework: Liberal Studies Major

On this page: Learn about upper-division coursework required for the Liberal Studies major, including core coursework and fieldwork, as well as choosing an emphasis, focus, and option.

In the right place? For information about pre-major coursework, see Pre-Major Requirements.

Advising sheets 

After declaring your major, you will use an Advising Sheet to guide your way through the degree program. Each sheet details all upper-division coursework necessary to complete the emphasis, with suggested course sequence for junior and senior years.

Core coursework

Certain core coursework is required of all Liberal Studies majors. Note that these upper division courses are not open to Liberal Studies pre-majors. (Footnotes in the Class Schedule contain information on enrollment restrictions for courses. Please read them carefully when searching for classes.)


Courses offered throughout the major will give you fieldwork experience in local schools or via video. Students observe teaching and learning at multiple grade levels and in multiple environments (e.g., general and special education).

About the Emphasis

Students in the Liberal Studies major will follow one of several pathways toward the degree. Each pathway, or emphasis, involves specific coursework and is geared to a specific professional purpose.

About the Focus

All Liberal Studies students complete a focus in literacy, mathematics, or science.  (Note that a minor or second major may not be substituted for a focus.)

About the Option

Optional courses are 6 to 7 units that you can choose to take based on your interests and professional goals. Option courses will help you meet prerequisites to a credential program or to the TESL certificate.

Q: How do I know which courses do I need to take?

A: Review the Liberal Studies Advising sheets, graduation requirements / DAR, and the catalog. If you have questions, contact Michelle Xiong, the Liberal Studies advisor. (Please be sure that your questions are focused and specific.)

Q: Can I substitute courses?

A: Course substitutions are only allowed in special situations such as when a student's graduation is at risk, when courses are not available, etc. Course substitution as a common practice is not ideal. Substitutions are not recommended and are only approved by Michelle Xiong and Dr. Loh-Hagan.

Q: Can I add a minor?

A: Please see Michelle Xiong to discuss your academic progress and options. The LS program is an intense major with many required courses. Students need to think carefully about adding more to their already full plates.

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