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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

The Liberal Studies Major

On this page: Learn about pre-major and upper-division coursework and requirements, how to move from pre-major to major, graduation and commencement, and more.

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies provides students with a multidimensional education in a variety of disciplines. Liberal Studies is one of the largest majors at SDSU and provides a foundation for meeting a wide range of future goals. Many students choose a major in Liberal Studies as undergraduate preparation for subsequent careers in elementary and/or middle school education. Others choose to pursue graduate studies, non-teaching careers in education, and a variety of other career pathways.

Program Overview

A general overview of the Liberal Studies program, with descriptions of preparation for the major, for teaching, and general coursework.

Pre-Major Requirements (Impaction Criteria)

Before you can advance to the major (declare yourself as a Liberal Studies major), you must fulfill a number of preliminary requirements, known as impaction criteria. Until you have completed these steps, you remain in pre-major status, preparing yourself to be ready for the major.

Major Coursework

Upper-division coursework required for the Liberal Studies major involves core coursework and fieldwork, as well as choosing an emphasis, focus, and option.

Catalog Years

It is important to be aware that there will be different requirements for Liberal Studies majors based on the catalog year when they entered the program.

  • Learn about catalog years, including specific requirements for years 2011-2013.

Moving from Pre-Major to Major

After you have completed all pre-major requirements, you must officially declare the Liberal Studies major in order to advance to the major (moving to the major does not happen automatically).

Satisfactory Progress

The Liberal Studies program expects that all majors will make reasonable academic progress towards the degree. Liberal studies premajors who have completed major preparatory courses and earned 60 units, but have less than a 2.7 GPA, may be removed from the premajor and placed in undeclared. Students who have been placed on academic probation should take the university's academic probation tutorial and then see the Liberal Studies advisor to discuss their individual situation.


How and when to apply for graduation with the SDSU Liberal Studies degree, including next steps.


California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C). I

Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the Office for Student Success (

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