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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies Program Overview

On this page: Read a general overview of the Liberal Studies program, with descriptions of preparation for the major, for teaching, and general coursework.

The Liberal Studies major prepares individuals for teaching at the elementary or middle school level. It also is a major for those seeking jobs that require an interdisciplinary background.

Preparation for the Major

Preparation for the major consists of approximately 60 units including math, science, language arts, social science, visual and performing arts, PE/human development, and the humanities.

Courses directed toward the teaching profession include ED 200 and Math Ed 212. In Math Ed 212, students examine the learning process by studying how elementary school children learn mathematical concepts. In the interdisciplinary course ED 200, students explore their readiness for a career in teaching and learn about the various pathways available through the Liberal Studies major.

Preparation for Teaching

The Liberal Studies major satisfies the Senate Bill 2042 requirements for Elementary Subject Matter programs approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in September 2001. The major includes a number of courses specifically designed for future elementary teachers including children’s literature, linguistics, mathematics, inquiry-based science, early world and United States/ California history for teachers, hands-on art and performing arts courses, physical education of children, and child development.


The program includes a specially designed core of courses. During the second or third semester, students take Education 200, Teaching as a Profession. In this course, they complete 30 hours of fieldwork during which they critically assess issues related to teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse school settings, learn about career paths, and evaluate their occupational fitness for the teaching profession. During the junior year, they take Liberal Studies 300, Introduction to Liberal Studies. This course focuses both on the nature of the disciplines—goals, processes, and evaluation—and how the knowledge being learned will ultimately be used in the classroom. Throughout the first 3 years, students work on critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

During the senior year, students complete Liberal Studies 498, Assessment in Liberal Studies. This course supports students as they complete the Liberal Studies writing, research, and reflection assessments; the CSET; and the application process for their credential program. (Note that the assessment is completed in Liberal Studies 498; students no longer complete a large, separate portfolio.) They are strongly encouraged to save both syllabi and written work (exams, projects, and other materials) from all their courses in preparation for the CSET and the senior-level assessment.


Photo: Student walking through campus archway

 The SDSU Liberal Studies degree is a sound investment of time and money, and an investment in your future. Here's how to apply.

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