B.A. in Liberal Studies/​Undergraduate Education K-​8 Program

APU’s liberal studies major equips future teachers with a broad knowledge base and service-learning field experience with diverse student populations.

86-94 units


The liberal studies major equips future teachers and other professionals by integrating coursework and service-learning experiences with the application of a Christian worldview as it relates to life vocation. It promotes awareness of cultural diversity issues and studies multiple curricula with an emphasis in specific subject areas aligned with Common Core standards for subject matter while fostering a holistic understanding of knowledge.

Program Overview

The Liberal Studies/Undergraduate Education K-8 program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies aligned with California Common Core subject-matter standards in order to prepare undergraduate students seeking careers as elementary school teachers with the breadth of content knowledge needed to teach in a K-8 setting.

The liberal studies degree provides future elementary school teachers with opportunities to teach in a self-contained classroom environment. Opportunities are available to take additional units toward a Supplementary/Subject Matter Authorization (SMA) if the student desires to teach content up to a ninth-grade level. Consult the Liberal Studies/Undergraduate Education K-8 program in the Division of Teacher Education for complete information.

During the first two years of college, it is suggested that undergraduate liberal studies majors complete university General Education requirements and prerequisites to upper-division coursework, which is embedded in the program’s four-year plan. Students may want to explore the teaching field by taking EDLS 200 or EDLS 202 as sophomores, juniors, or seniors, along with EDLS 405, EDLS 495, and EDLS 496. Students in this program participate in a minimum of 75 hours of teacher-oriented, service-learning field experience and observation through several core liberal studies/undergraduate education K-8 courses.

APU candidates prepare to work in schools as teachers, and they must know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Therefore, the Division of Teacher Education assesses candidates in these standards from admissions through recommendation of credentials, making APU graduates highly sought-after professionals.

Career Opportunities

Though most liberal studies graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools locally, nationally, and abroad, demands exist in the business and communication fields as well because of the increasing need for college graduates with broad and diverse academic backgrounds. Potential teaching careers exist in multiple subject, single subject, and special education.

Additional Preparation

Multiple subject credential candidates seeking admission into the teacher education program must take the CBEST and CSET. Undergraduate students should plan for successful passage of the CBEST during their sophomore year, and of the CSET during their junior or senior year (after most core courses are taken), prior to applying to the credential program. Those who pass these tests by graduation may be hired on paid contracts with a school district while completing their fifth-year Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This fulfills one of the requirements for eligibility for an intern credential.


Liberal Studies Major Requirements
COMM 111Public Communication 13
FFL 121Fitness for Life: Dance for the Theater 22
MATH 110College Algebra 33
BIOL 101Biology and Society 44
ENGL 111Studies in Literature 53
HIST 121World Civilizations Since 1648 63
PHYC 115Physical Science for Teachers3
PHYC 125Earth Science Concepts and Applications3
THTR 115Introduction to Theater 7, F3
HIST 201World Civilizations and Geography to 16483
HIST 338History of California3
ENGL 402Principles of Language3
Core Requirements 8
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Teaching as a Profession K-12 9
Introduction to Teaching as a Profession (7-12) 9
HIST 202United States History to 1930 103
MATH 201Mathematics Concepts for Elementary Teachers3
PSYC 290Human Growth and Development 113
ART 310Fundamental Art Experiences 73
BIOL 400Science and Children4
EDLS 405Diversity in the Classroom 123
EDLS 495Foundations of Education Capstone 133
EDLS 496Writing 3: Education and Professional Ethics 143
ENGL 434Children's Literature3
MUS 432Music in the Elementary Schools3
PE 450Physical Education in Elementary Schools, K-63
Select one concentration from the list below.12-20
Total Units86-94

Art Concentration

Required Courses
ART 145Drawing I3
ART 146Painting I3
Select one of the following:3
History of Ancient Art and Architecture (Fall Semester Only ) 1, F
Writing 3: History of Modern Art and Architecture 2
History of Contemporary Art and Architecture (Spring Semester Only) 1, S
History of Early Christian and Medieval Art and Architecture (Fall Semester Only ) 1, F
History of Renaissance to Rococo Art and Architecture (Spring Semester Only) 1, S
Select one of the following:3
Ceramics I 1
Multicultural Art (Fall Semester Only ) 1, F
Upper-division Elective
DSGN 430Applied Design (Spring Semester Only) 3, S1-4
or any upper-division ART course
Total Units13-16

English Concentration

Required Courses
ENGL 404Approaches to Grammar (prerequisite of ENGL 402) F3
ENGL 406Writing 3: Advanced Composition 13
Select one of the following:3
World Literature to the Renaissance (Fall Semester Only ) 2, F
World Literature Since the Renaissance (Spring Semester Only) 2, S
American Literature to 1865 (Fall Semester Only ) 2, F
Select one of the following:3
American Literature Since 1865 (Spring Semester Only) 2, S
Shakespeare (Fall Semester Only ) 2, F
American Novel (Even Fall Semester Only) EF
Social and Psychological Aspects of Language (Even Fall Semester Only) EF
Total Units12

Math Concentration

See the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics for updated schedules.

Note: Students must begin their mathematics coursework at the level for which they qualify as determined by their SAT/ACT score, previous university coursework, or the APU mathematics placement assessment. Some students will require one or more courses prior to calculus.   

Required Courses
MATH 110College Algebra 1, 23
MATH 165Calculus I3
MATH 280Discrete Mathematics and Proof (Prerequisite of MATH 165) F3
MATH 340Geometry (Prerequisite of MATH 166; ask dept. for prereq code) S3
Choose one of the following:3
Introduction to Statistics 2
Probability and Statistics I (Prerequisite of MATH 166; ask dept. for prereq code) S
Choose one of the following:3
Calculus II
Data Analysis F
Multivariable Calculus
Ordinary Differential Equations S
Linear Algebra 3, S
Applied Linear Algebra 3, F
Number Theory OF
Total Units18

Music Concentration

Required Courses
MUS 101Beginning Voice Class1
MUS 103Beginning Piano Class 11
MUS 104Elementary Piano Class 11
MUS 110Elementary Guitar Methods1
MUS 121Music Theory I 23
MUS 122Music Theory II3
MUS 133Practical Musicianship I1
MUS 134Practical Musicianship II1
MUS 201Introduction to World Music 33
Choose one from the following:3
History and Literature of Commercial Music F
Ancient, Renaissance, and World Music Literature
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature
Total Units18

Physical Education Concentration Option I1

KIN 242Fundamental Principles of Fitness3
KIN 290Human Movement Science3
KIN 306Sociological and Psychological Aspects of Physical Activity and Sport3
PE 237Methods of Teaching Rhythmic and Multicultural Activities S3
PE 250Methods of Teaching Individual Sports F2
PE 252Methods of Teaching Team Sports S3
PE 452Adapted Physical Education (prerequisite of KIN 290 and PE 450)3
Total Units20

Physical Education Concentration Option II1

Select one of the following: 3
Motor Development and Learning
Human Movement Science
PE 451Methods in Physical Education: 7-12 23
PE 452Adapted Physical Education3
PE 600Physical Education Teaching Methods for Individuals with Mild to Moderate Disabilities3
PE 602Physical Education Teaching Methods for Individuals with Severe to Profound Disabilities3
PE 605Management of Adapted Physical Education Programs3
Total Units18

Psychology Concentration (School Psychology)

 PSYC 290 and MATH 130 are prerequisite courses for the upper-division courses in this concentration.

MATH 130Introduction to Statistics 13
PSYC 305Educational Psychology (Fall Semester Only ) F3
PSYC 345Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development 23
PSYC 360Abnormal Psychology3
PSYC 410Psychology of Exceptional Children (Fall Semester Only ) F3
Total Units15

Science Concentration Option I

BIOL 151General Biology I 14
BIOL 152General Biology II4
CHEM 123General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry for the Health Sciences 14
PHYC 140Introduction to Astronomy 14
PHYC 151Physics for Life Sciences I 14
Total Units20

Science Concentration Option II

BIOL 250Human Anatomy4
BIOL 251Human Physiology4
CHEM 123General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry for the Health Sciences 14
PHYC 151Physics for Life Sciences I 14
Total Units16

Social Science Concentration

POLI 150American Government 1, 23
Select one of the following:3
Modern Africa
Colonial Latin America
Ritual and Re-enactment in Modern Latin America
Comparative Politics
Select two of the following:6
History of American Foreign Affairs S
Medieval Europe F
Renaissance and Reformation
Enlightenment Europe
Europe 1789-1914
Europe 1914-1992
Colonial Era
Civil War and Reconstruction
Modern America
Modern American Intellectual History
Total Units12

Spanish Concentration

SPAN 201Intermediate Spanish I (Fall Semester Only ) F3
SPAN 202Intermediate Spanish II (Spring Semester Only) S3
SPAN 301Spanish Conversation and Community 1, 2, F3
WRIT 204Writing 2: Writing for the Humanities in Spanish (Spring Semester Only) 3, S3
Select one of the following:3
Literary Masters (Fall Semester Only ) 4 & F
Writing 3: Survey of the Literature of the Spanish-speaking World (Spring Semester Only) 5
Total Units15

Human Development (Special Education) Concentration

EDLS 303Introduction to Special Populations F3
EDLS 304Introduction to Teaching Special Populations S3
PSYC 410Psychology of Exceptional Children3
PSYC 430Intervention Strategies with Children3
Total Units12

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Analyze and demonstrate proficiency in subject matter required of K­-8 teachers by the State of California.
  2. Integrate K­-8 curriculum concepts and disciplines.
  3. Define teaching methods of instruction using best practices with a Christian perspective.
  4. Understand aspects of cultural diversity within the context of the classroom.
  5. Identify a distinctive Christian perspective compared to a secular perspective as it pertains to current education issues.