Jun 20, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, Liberal Arts Option, B.A

Liberal Studies (B.A.) 180 units

Program Description

The Liberal Studies Major aims to provide a rich educational experience through coursework in a broad range of academic disciplines. The student is guaranteed a breadth of academic experience, as well as depth in a single field. The Bachelors Plus: Early Pathway Liberal Studies/Credential Program (BPEP)  offers selected students interested in a teaching career an opportunity for concurrent subject matter and professional preparation. Also, see the Multiple Subject Credential: Blended Liberal Studies Major (Bachelor’s Plus Early Pathway)  for additional requirements.

The broad-based, interdisciplinary nature of Liberal Studies provides a knowledge base and the communication and analytical skills appropriate to many careers and occupations. Hence, the Liberal Studies major is excellent preparation not only for teaching, but for graduate work, for law school, and for employment in business and government.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. demonstrate solid understanding of major contemporary global issues about individuals, society, and nature, by integrating interdisciplinary knowledge of humanities, social science, and natural science, with more in-depth understanding of one specialized subject area or discipline;
  2. apply critical methods of different disciplines to critically thinking about these issues;
  3. communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in speech and writing;
  4. work with others in teams collaboratively and productively, showing sensitivity and respect for others, and readiness to learn from others;
  5. demonstrate commitment to promoting social justice, diversity, democratic values, and sustainable environment.

Career Opportunities

  • Administrator
  • Business Executive
  • Civil Servant
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Human Resources Administrator
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Manager
  • Non-profit and Social Advocacy Organizations
  • Personnel Representative
  • Salesperson
  • Social and Human Services
  • Teacher (K-6, Pre-K, Early Childhood)
  • Writer


The primary function of the Liberal Studies Office, housed in the CLASS (College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences) Student Services Center, is to provide timely and effective advising for completing the major. Friendly, experienced office staff, including four full-time academic advisors, are available to help at every step. Advising is available through individual appointments, either prescheduled, “drop-in”, or online.

Although the Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation Degree option is a multiple subject matter preparation program, there is no longer an exemption from the multiple subject test, which is now the CSET or “California Subject Exam for Teachers”. The Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation Degree option is aligned with Content Standards for K-6 curriculum and the CSET, and is, therefore, the best preparation for future K-6 teachers.

The Liberal Studies major is offered both day and evening, and on both the Hayward and Concord Campuses. However, Concord Campus and evening-only students may not find a full range of courses and options available to them.

Liberal Studies is also one of the majors available through the Cal State East Bay Program for Accelerated College Education (PACE). For information on PACE, see the PACE chapter in the undergraduate section of this catalog or call the PACE office at (510) 885-PACE (7223).

Major Requirements (B.A.) 76-143 units

The B.A. degree requires a minimum of 180 units.

  • The Core Requirements of the major consist of 8 units
  • The Option Requirements of the major consist of 68 - 135 units
    •    The Liberal Arts Option consists of 68 - 76 units
    •    The Teacher Preparation Option consists of 123 - 135 units
  • GE/USHG/UWS breadth consists of 84 untis (some courses may be double counted for different requirements - see your advisor)
  • Free Electives (if needed) will make up the remainder units to reach 180 minimum total units (see your advisor)

Note: Many courses in the Liberal Studies degree satisfy GE breadth requirements. Students must be certain to meet with a GE advisor to select courses satisfying GE requirements.

Core Courses (8 units)

All Liberal Studies students must complete the following courses.

Degree Option Requirements

The Liberal Studies major offers two options for degree completion.  Majors must choose one of the following options:

Liberal Arts Option (68-76 units)

Students selecting the Liberal Arts Degree Option must complete the following requirements:

Liberal Arts Electives 48-units

Through consultation with Liberal Studies advisors, select 12 units of electives from each of the four areas listed below.  At least 32 of the combined units must be from upper-division courses numbered 3000 or higher.  Courses used to satisfy Liberal Arts Option electives MUST be approved by a Liberal Studies advisor.  No more than two (2) courses from a single discipline may be taken within a single area:

Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Communications
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Economics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Natural Sciences / Mathematics

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Statistics


  • Art
  • English
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Theater / Dance

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Development
  • International Studies
  • Kinesiology
  • Latin American Studies
  • Recreation
  • Teacher Education
  • Women’s Studies

Depth-of-Study (DOS) Areas 16-28 units

The DOS requirement may be satisfied by completing one (1) of the following two (2) ways:

  1. Complete one (1) of the following five pre­approved areas listed below. In each of the areas, at least 16 units (for Teacher Preparation Option) or 20 units (for Liberal Art Option) must be unique to the DOS and may not be counted in any other areas of the Liberal Studies Major.
  2. In consultation with a Liberal Studies advisor, select at least 16 upper division units (for Teacher Preparation Option) or 20 upper division units (for Liberal Art Option) from any disciplines, except for courses with the GS (General Studies) prefix.  The 16 units or 20 units must be unique among the courses counted to meet the Liberal Studies major requirements and may not be counted in any other areas of the Liberal Studies Major. 

Special Education Area (25-28 units)

Complete 25-28 units from the following areas:

Organizational Leadership Area (24 units)

Complete the following 24 units:

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Undergraduate Admission and Degree Information & FAQ  chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.