Liberal Studies

Department Affiliation: Education

The Liberal Studies major is an integrative program of study designed specifically for students seeking a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizing them to teach in California elementary schools. Students are concurrently enrolled in the Liberal Studies major and the Elementary Teacher Preparation program. (See Education). This rigorous and intellectually stimulating major is designed to:

  • Prepare teachers who know subject matter in the liberal arts and sciences and who demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the diverse fields of human endeavor.
  • Enable future teachers to see relationships between subject matter content and the ways subject matter is developed, learned, and taught.
  • Assist future teachers in learning specified content in the major areas of study (see Major Requirements).
  • Help future teachers acquire the skills needed to transfer their knowledge to real-life applications in an elementary classroom.

Students in the major explore areas of learning as active participants; they acquire a variety of skills and techniques, reflect on the learning process, and take responsibility for their role in it.

To be eligible for acceptance into the Liberal Studies major, applicants must have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.5 (C +) in high school and in any previous college coursework. At the discretion of the program advisor, students pursuing the Liberal Studies major may be assigned course credit for an Advanced Placement Scores of 3, as well as of 4 or 5, in subject areas that fulfill requirements for the major.

MSMC does not do equivalency evaluations of academic preparation programs or courses completed by candidates from other colleges or universities.

Contact the Coordinator of the Liberal Studies major with questions about meeting requirements for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. California legislation and regulations regarding credential requirements are subject to change and supercede MSMC catalog policies and department procedures regarding them.

Liberal Studies Major Requirements

All courses taken as part of the major must be approved by the Liberal Studies advisor during the official advisement period.


  • 9 units in composition (e.g., ENG 1A and 1B or ENG 5H, and ENG 105)
  • One course in speech (e.g., SPE 10)
  • 3 units in linguistics (ENG 102)
  • Courses in language other than English to meet Mount St. Mary's College Modern Language requirements (See Required Courses in this catalog.) Spanish recommended.
  • One course in children's literature
  • 3 upper division units in literature

Mathematics and Science

  • 6 units in mathematics (e.g., MTH 50 and 51)
  • 3 units in biological science (must include a laboratory, e.g., BIO 5)
  • 4 units in physical science, including the study of physics, chemistry, space and earth science (e.g., PHS 2AB)
  • 3 units in health science (BIO 10)
  • One course in computer processes and applications

Social Science and History

  • 6 units in U.S. history and government. (e.g., HIS 106 and POL 1)
  • (Candidates for the California teaching credential must complete 2 units of study of the U.S. Constitution.)
  • 3 units in world history (e.g., HIS 3 or 103 or HIS 112, or HIS 116)
  • 3 units in cultural geography (HIS 25)
  • 3 units in sociology (SOC 161)
  • 3 units in California history (HIS 188)


  • 15 units are required to meet General Studies requirements at Mount St. Mary's College.
  • Recommended for Liberal Studies majors: Inclusion of RST 61 as one of the courses.

Fine Arts

  • 4 units in art (a course in art appreciation or history and ART 145)
  • 4 units in music (a course in music appreciation and MUS 130)
  • 1 unit in drama and dance (INT 194A)

Physical and Health Education

  • 4 units in physical and health education (BIO 10 and PED 100)

Human Development

  • 6 units in human development (PSY 12 and PSY 113)


  • EDU 100 Introduction to Liberal Studies (1)
  • EDU 101 Seminar in the Concentration: Liberal Studies Major (.5)
  • EDU 102 Integrative Seminar in Liberal Studies (1)
  • EDU 106 School and Society (3)

The EDU 100, 101, and 102 courses provide opportunities for students to reflect on their integrative program of study. EDU 106 enables students to participate in an introductory field experiences related to teaching in public school settings.

Students in the major complete a subject matter portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and skills in the areas of study included in the Liberal Studies major. According to State of California regulations, the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) is a required component of the MSMC Liberal Studies major.