Support Liberal Studies

Concentrations & Introductory Subject Matter Authorizations (ISMA)

The purpose of selecting a concentration (20 units) or an emphasis (16 units) within Liberal Studies is to "develop a strong understanding of the conceptual foundations of the subject as well as an understanding of how knowledge is created and organized in the subject."

Please note: You are required to select a concentration for your degree for students following the 2013-15 curriculum and an emphasis for older curricula.

How do I declare a concentration? Students selecting a concentration need to send an e-mail to evaluations ( using your Cal Poly e-mail account with your full name, major, catalog year and concentration. Students will need to select 20 units for their concentration, at least four of which need to be upper division 300-400 level. Please check catalog for prerequisites before making a plan.

How do I declare an emphasis? For an emphasis, you need to pick a form at the LS office and list 4 course with 16 units, 8 units need to be upper division. Please try to file the emphasis 4 quarters before graduation.

Liberal Studies Concentrations:


What is the ISMA and what does it allow you to do?

An Introductory Subject Matter Authorization (ISMA) may be added to a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. An ISMA authorizes the holder to teach the subject matter content typically included in grades 9 and below.

Find out more about Subject Matter Authorization

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