Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies is to produce socially responsible, informed and engaged individuals who value diversity.

About the Department

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies offers two distinct undergraduate degrees: a B.A. in Liberal Studies that is a multidisciplinary multiple subject teacher preparation degree; and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies that is an interdisciplinary degree that promotes the understanding of complex problems and global challenges that go beyond a single area of study.

Liberal Studies, B.A.

The B.A. in Liberal Studies provides state-approved subject matter programs for the multiple subject teaching credential required for elementary K-6 and special education teachers. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies works closely with many departments from across the University, especially with the Department of Elementary Education and the Department of Special Education, to prepare students to receive their B.A. and teaching credential in either Elementary Education or Special Education for mild/moderate and extensive support needs.

Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A.

The department also offers a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies for students interested in a degree that approaches complex problems that are best addressed by integrating several academic schools of thought, specialized knowledge from multiple research areas, or methods and perspectives from different disciplinary fields. This degree emphasizes the practice and methodology of interdisciplinarity to enable students to merge different scholarly areas and fields. With a selection of courses drawn from a variety of departments (from the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities) focusing on quantitative, qualitative and cultural approaches, the degree prepares students to produce college-level cross-disciplinary work and provides the flexibility to design a major around their intellectual interests and professional goals. This degree includes core courses, methodological courses and disciplinary expertise in at least two disciplines from two existing majors or minors across the university.

Sustainability Minor

The minor in Sustainability is available to students interested in learning current and best practices for planetary sustainability on an individual, institutional, regional and global level. This minor offers a broad education in sustainability from many perspectives. Core courses seek to educate students in the concepts of sustainability, the best practices in sustainability, and to teach students to consider all factors: economic, environmental and social—both in the short term and in the long term—in making decisions. Elective courses are chosen from an individual’s field of interest where the emphasis is on issues relating to sustainability. The minor in Sustainability complements many academic majors, and many of the courses offered within the program satisfy requirements or electives for other degree programs.

Academic Advisement

General Procedures for Making an Appointment

Students interested in the B.A. in Liberal Studies must attend an online Teacher Preparation Information Session in order to make an appointment to meet with an advisor. Students interested in teaching multiple subjects (kindergarten through 6th grade) or special education must complete this information session.

Students interested in pursuing the Interdisciplinary Studies degree should schedule an appointment with an advisor by calling the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies office at (818) 677-3300. When scheduling an appointment, please identify as a student interested in a declaring the Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Online academic advisement is available by appointment Monday through Friday.

Late Policy: Those who are five minutes late to their appointment will be asked to reschedule. To ensure that all students are served in a timely fashion, please be on time.

For the Pre-Credential Option, the ITEP-Junior Option, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree

It is strongly recommended that students seek academic advisement at least once per academic year. For students on academic notice, advisement is required to clear registration holds and to discuss a plan to guide the student back to good academic standing. Subsequent appointments are suggested to monitor the student’s academic progress.

For Qualified First-Time Freshmen Who Pursue the ITEP-Freshman Option

Students begin this program in the Fall semester of their freshman year only. A CSUN application must be submitted to the Office of Admissions in November for the following Fall. Once admitted to CSUN, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies office will invite eligible students to join the program.

It is not possible to complete a bilingual credential in the ITEP-Freshman option. Students seeking other elementary credentials should complete the Liberal Studies Pre-Credential option and apply for a postbaccalaureate credential program.

For eligibility into the program and first-time advisement, please contact Assistant Director Jonathan B. Martinez at (818) 677-3300.

For the Minor in Sustainability and the Minor in Humanities

Students interested in pursuing one of these minors may schedule an appointment by calling the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies at (818) 677-3300. When scheduling an appointment, please identify as a student interested in declaring a minor.


The Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation option programs in the B.A. in Liberal Studies are designed for students interested in teaching children in grades K-6 or special education students in grades K-8.

The B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies can make students more marketable for high-tech and other jobs such as project manager, human resource coordinator, art curator, data analyst or public relations professional. This degree also provides students with excellent qualifications for graduate school or Ph.D. programs across the country.

Literacy Scholars for the Future of Los Angeles (LSLA)

Literacy Scholars for the Future of Los Angeles (LSLA) is a 9 unit specialization in early literacy and language acquisition, which gives teacher candidates classroom and field experience in developing and implementing age-appropriate instructional materials, activities and lesson plans. Participants also gain direct experience engaging families in high-need districts in shared activities that promote lifelong literacy learning in children. Participation is by application only, with scholarship assistance made possible with generous support from the Mara W. Breech Foundation.


Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies
Chair: Ranita Chatterjee
Education Administration (EA) 100
(818) 677-3300