Support Liberal Studies

Undergraduate Program

B.S. in Liberal Studies / Multiple Subject Credential

To teach elementary school in California, you need a bachelor's degree and a credential. Liberal Studies at Cal Poly is the undergraduate degree that offers competency in all subject matters as well as pre-requisites for the multiple subject credential program. There are many routes to obtaining a multiple subject credential. Most of these involve an extra year of study at the graduate level. At Cal Poly, students who make an early career decision to seek a multiple subject credential will typically be credentialed in four plus 3 quarter years of educating(15 quarters) rather than the 4 or more quarters the process usually takes.

The Cal Poly Liberal Studies Department specifically targets top-quality early deciders who apply to Cal Poly as freshmen. While attending the university, these students will:

  • Develop a deeper association over a longer time with faculty, staff and fellow students who share an interest in elementary education.
  • Have the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of the K-8 community.
  • Be more effectively socialized in their profession.


The Cal Poly Liberal Studies degree directly addresses California's need to produce more and better-trained elementary school teachers in less time. It does this while simultaneously reducing the cost of such education to both the students and the state.

The focus of Cal Poly Liberal Studies Department is on the pre-professional training and professional credentialing of high-quality elementary school teachers. The curriculum is particularly notable for its balance between teacher training and a strong commitment to a broadly based and rigorous university education. Cal Poly Liberal Studies Majors will be especially well prepared in the "high need" areas of science and math.

All students are ____ to will spend more time studying the teaching of reading than our current graduate level credential candidates. In addition, each student must choose from one of several subject matter concentration areas. Learn more about our emphasis areas.

The program will meet all of the Commission for Teacher Credentialing requirements. The curriculum gives specific and detailed attention to the innovative coordination of academic subjects with courses and field experiences that are focused on the professional and practical needs of California's elementary school teachers.

The degree mandates that students integrate four and two quarter years of working and observing in schools with their regular academic studies. These professionally oriented experiences are meticulously blended with and connected to the entirety of each student's university education. The students' subject matter competencies are taught concurrently with their training in the techniques of research-based learning in those same subjects. BS graduating students have only two quarters of student teaching to get a credential.

By allowing them to earn post-baccalaureate credit, students achieve a "value added" component, which will enhance their marketability and starting salary in most districts. The Liberal Studies degree is both innovative and rigorous. Their high school grades, standardized test scores and transfer GPAs provide ample evidence that Cal Poly Liberal Studies students will be among the best in the CSU.

View the BS Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Catalog.

View the School of Education Web site.

Back to top

Related Content