Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies - Upper Division

In the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, students have the option of selecting one of three different educational tracks that allow them to pursue the interdisciplinary studies of their choice or a career in elementary education. Options for a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies include:

  • Track I - Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Track II - Multiple Subject (Pre-Credential) Preparation
  • Track III - Blended Program - Bachelor of Arts and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

  • In order to recieve a Bachelor of Arts from The Hutchins School Of Liberal Studies, a student must complete a certain number of units in specific areas. The units required are as follows:

  • General Education Lower-Division (may include 48 units in LIBS Integrative GE): 50 units
  • Major Requirements (up to 3 units may be applied to upper GE Area E): 40 units
  • General Education Upper-Division (waived upon completion of Tracks II or III): 9 units
  • SSU Electives (Track I) or Subject Matter Preparation (Track II): 21 units
  • Total units needed for graduation: 120

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Students who would prefer a broad interdisciplinary major as a foundation for their career choice (e.g. the arts, the law, public service, etc.), or who are motivated by intellectual curiosity and wish to pursue an individualized study plan, often choose interdisciplinary studies. Students in Track I may organize an area of emphasis within the 40 units required for the major which reflects their career plans and/ or intellectual interests.

Track I students may use up to 9 units from other majors or 12 units from approved study abroad programs as part of their
emphasis in the Hutchins major, and we strongly encourage these students to consider doing a minor in another field. Alternatively, students majoring in interdisciplinary studies will complete the 17 additional units by choosing from a wide variety of courses which include elective seminars, workshops, independent and directed studies, internships, Field Experience and Study Away opportunities.

The Field Experience or Study Away requirement, often preceded by a semester of independent study related to the placement, allows students to include, as part of their major, experiences as diverse as a period of domestic or international study and travel, an independent project in a nearby community, an internship with a local arts organization, business, school, or social service agency, substantial involvement in a program with another department on this or some other campus, or other options and activities created by the student in consultation with an advisor.

To see a sample four-year plan for a B.A. in Liberal Studies through Track I, please refer to the Academic Programs section of the Sonoma State University Catalog.

The Hutchins School offers a state-approved subject matter preparation program for students intending to earn a California Elementary Teaching Credential, either in the field of Multiple Subjects or Education Specialist. While students are no longer allowed to waive the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET), the Subject Matter Preparation (Pre-Credential) option ensures interdisciplinary subject matter proficiency as well as possession of the high-level analytic, synthetic, creative, and expressive academic skills required of future educators.

Coursework is carefully planned to meet state-mandated content standards for prospective elementary teachers and provides excellent preparation for the CSET exam, as well as for admission to a professional teacher training program. In addition to general Hutchins School core courses, students will be required to take the courses listed below as part of their major:

Required Courses:
LIBS 312: Schools and Society (3 units)
LIBS 327: Literacy, Language, and Pedagogy or ENG 379: English Language (3-4 units)
LIBS 330: The Child in Question (3 units)
MATH 300A: Elementary Number Systems (3 units)
MATH 300B: Probability and Statistics (3 units)

The Track II program waives SSU's upper division General Education requirements. In exchange, Track II students complete specified courses in the sciences, visual art history, performing arts, math, and kinesiology. Track II also includes a 12 unit Area of Concentration focused on a content area useful for teacher preparation, such as Human Development, Reading and Literature, and Social Science. A minor in another academic department may waive the Area of Concentration requirement.

To see a sample four-year plan for a B.A. in Liberal Studies through Track II, please refer to the Academic Programs section of the Sonoma State University Catalog.

The Blended Program incorporates the Lower-division Hutchins General Education program and the basic coursework for Track II with courses from the School of Education beginning in a student's Junior year, allowing students to complete a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential simultaneously. Due to the high volume of classes that must be completed in this Track, Students must begin this track in the first semester of their Freshman year. Transfer students may explore Track II as another option for future educators.

A unique feature of the Blended Program are two lower division seminars (EDMS 100 and EDMS 200) that are taught by faculty from the School of Education. These classes involve student observation in the classroom beginning in the first semester of the students' Freshman year. The curriculum is carefully designed to help students articulate connections between the academic curriculum in the Hutchins General Education program and their own professional goals.

Students in the Blended Program commit to a unit intensive, course prescriptive, accelerated plan designed to be completed in four years. Blended Program students are held to the same credential program requirements as traditional credential candidates. These include maintaining a 3.0 GPA, passing the CBEST exam in the spring of their Sophomore year, and passing the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam in their spring of their Junior year, before student teaching in their Senior year. Students in good standing with the Hutchins School who choose to not continue in the Blended Program have the option to enroll in the Track II: Subject Matter Preparation (Pre-Credential) Plan. Track II students may start the credential program after completion of their Bachelor's degree.

To see a sample four-year plan for a B.A. in Liberal Studies through Track III, please refer to the Academic Programs section of the Sonoma State University Catalog.

The core seminars are a key element of the Hutchins major curriculum. Core sections are designed to ensure that the intensive learning experience provided in the small seminar format is spread across the disciplinary spectrum, although all core courses offer an interdisciplinary perspective on a particular theme.

Students are required to take one seminar from each core section. The sections include:

CORE A - SOCIETY AND SELF: Courses under this core section focus on the relationship between individual human societies. The moral and ethical underpinnings of our patterns of social interaction are investigated, with special attention paid to how these patterns effect race, gender, and class relations. Of particular importance are questions concerning whether the goals of human dignity, political justice, economic opportunity, and cultural expression are being enhanced or destroyed by specific historical developments, cultural practices, economic arrangements, and political institutions.
Examples of seminars in Core A: Postmodernism, Quest for Democracy, Conspiracy Theories
Prerequisite: LIBS 302 prior/concurrently or LIBS 101-202 prior

CORE B - THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE MATERIAL WORLD: Included in this core section are courses that deal with science and technology, and their relationship to the individual and society. Students build upon their understanding of the sciences and come to grips with some of the crucial issues posed by our culture’s applications of science and technology. Students write on topics which address scientific aspects of social issues, the contribution science makes to understanding issues of personal concern, and science as a social endeavor.
Examples of seminars in Core B: Health and Healing, Machine as Metaphor, Global Food Web
Prerequisite: LIBS 302 prior/concurrently or LIBS 101-202 prior

CORE C - THE ARTS AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE: Through the arts and humanities we explore what and why humans create. Courses focus on the broad range of experiences in novels, poetry, drama and other literary forms—visual arts, languages, architecture, music, dance, philosophy, and the thought and literature of the world’s religions. Study in the arts and humanities explores the inner world of creativity and individual values, as well as the questions about how we arrive at a sense of meaning and purpose, ethical behavior, and a sense of beauty and order in the world.
Examples of seminars in Core C: Earth Art, African Art, Countercultures
Prerequisite: LIBS 302 prior/concurrently or LIBS 101-202 prior

CORE D - CONCIOUSNESS AND REALITY: Courses in this core section deal with such issues as the study of biology as it relates to psychology, consciousness and perceptions of reality, meaning-making as a necessary human achievement, and identity formation as it is understood in the light of developmental psychology.
Examples of seminars in Core D: Madness and Civilization, Death and Dying, Personal Geographies
Prerequisite: LIBS 302 prior/concurrently or LIBS 101-202 prior