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Liberal Studies Program

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College of Humanities


The Major

The Liberal Studies Program is a broad undergraduate liberal arts major leading to the B.A. Degree. It is an interdisciplinary major with a balance of studies in the language arts, natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, visual arts and performing arts. Courses are drawn from various Academic Departments throughout the University. The Liberal Studies major can prepare a student in the subject matter required for a Teaching Credential in elementary or special education (Teacher Preparation Options) or it can provide a general liberal arts degree (General Studies Option).

Teacher Preparation Options

Students interested in careers as elementary or special education teachers should select one of the Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation Option Programs. All provide a B.A. Degree in Liberal Studies, including preparation in the “multiple subjects” taught in self-contained classroom settings. Students in the Teacher Preparation Option Programs take courses in the language arts, natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts, human development, physical education and health. By the end of the Degree Program, students have a foundation of basic knowledge in all of these areas. Students pursuing the Teacher Preparation Option are not required to meet the University General Education and Title 5 requirements. By completing the Liberal Studies major, students are considered to have fulfilled those requirements.

There are 3 Teacher Preparation Options available: the Pre-Credential Option, Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) Junior Option and Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) Freshman Option.

  1. The Pre-Credential Option provides a B.A. Degree in Liberal Studies only and is best suited for students who wish to enroll in a teaching credential program after they earn their Bachelor’s Degree. This program requires 105 units of specified course work toward the B.A. Degree of 120 units. The Pre-Credential Option also is the gateway into the ITEP-Junior Option. In order to transition from the Pre-Credential Option to ITEP-Junior Option, students must gain admission to the CSUN Credential Program.
  2. The ITEP-Junior Option is a program for college juniors who would like to complete their B.A. Degree and Preliminary Credential simultaneously. Students planning to join ITEP-Junior Option, should first complete most of their Lower Division Pre-Credential requirements and then gain admission into CSUN’s Credential Program. ITEP-Junior Option students take professional methods courses that are blended and linked with subject matter courses to complete their Degree and Credential. The program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. In the ITEP-Junior Option, a B.A. Degree and Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential can be earned in 132 units.
  3. The ITEP-Freshman Option is a program for entering freshmen who are ready for college-level courses in mathematics and writing. It is designed for freshmen who are certain about their career choice when they begin college. ITEP-Freshman Option students remain with their entering cohort throughout their 4 years, including at least 1summer, taking some courses exclusively designed for them. ITEP-Freshmen students take approximately 16 units per semester. The program includes field experience in elementary classrooms every semester guided by education faculty, as well as the opportunity for participation in a close-knit learning community throughout the college experience. The ITEP-Freshman Option requires 132 units for a B.A. Degree and Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential.

Education Specialist Credential:

  • Mild-Moderate Disabilities: 136 units
  • Moderate-Severe Disabilities: 136 units

Students can earn 10 (Multiple Subject) or 15 (SPED/Mild-Moderate, Moderate-Severe Disabilities) units coded as Post-Baccalaureate units for credit only for a school district’s salary scale (if applicable) in the ITEP-Junior Option Program.

General Studies Option

The General Studies Option is designed for students interested in a broad liberal arts education with studies in many subject areas rather than concentrating on one field of study. Students selecting the General Studies Option may be interested in pursuing careers in business, law, government, social services, non-profit services, arts and many other careers. General Studies Option students complete the General Education and Title 5 requirements outside of the major.


The Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation Option programs are designed for students interested in teaching children in grades K-6 or special education students in grades K-12. Traditionally, elementary school teachers function in self-contained classrooms and teach a variety of subjects. The Liberal Studies major provides students with a broad undergraduate education to prepare them to teach “multiple subjects.” The General Studies Option is a broad liberal arts program that prepares students for a variety of career options. Students interested in the General Studies Option should discuss academic and career planning with their Liberal Studies Advisor.