Sep 26, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies (Hutchins) B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Department

Options for the bachelor’s degree include: Track I, the General Liberal Studies Major plan; Track II, the Subject Matter Preparation (pre-credential) plan; and Track III, the Blended Program/B.A. plus Multiple Subject Credential.

The general core pattern for the major in all three tracks is outlined in the table below. During their first semester in the upper division, all new transfer students are required to take LIBS 302. In this course, students work on the skills required in the major, develop their own learning plans, and begin the portfolio, a document the student expands throughout the upper-division and brings to a close in LIBS 402 - Senior Synthesis. LIBS 302 is a prerequisite for all upper-division Hutchins core seminar courses. Students continuing from the Hutchins lower-division General Education Program, however, are exempt from LIBS 302. Any student earning a grade lower than a C in LIBS 302 will not be allowed to continue in the Hutchins program. Grade of C- or better required for all major courses.

Also, in each of their first two semesters, students will take a key course designed to involve them in a critique of some of our most fundamental beliefs and values, viewed in a worldwide context. (Please see LIBS 204/LIBS 304/LIBS 205 and LIBS 208/LIBS 308/LIBS 209.)

Interdisciplinary General Education Program Lower-Division

The CSU approved and articulated Hutchins Lower-Division Interdisciplinary G.E. Program fulfills all of the Sonoma State University lower-division general education requirements, with the exception of Area B4 Math. Upon completion of the lower-division General Education course sequence, students may elect to continue in the program as a liberal studies major, or they may transfer into another major.  The program consists of four interdisciplinary courses of 9 units each that cover 3 General Education Areas, taken in successive semesters as follows:

LIBS 101: The Human Enigma (Fall): covers GE Area A1, A2, C1

LIBS 102: In Search of Self (Spring): covers GE Area C2, D1, E, and the US History graduation requirement

LIBS 201: Exploring the Unknown (Fall): covers GE Area A3, B1, C2

LIBS 202: Challenge and Response in the Modern World (Spring): covers GE Area B2+B3, D1, the US Constitution, CA State and Local Government, and Critical Race Studies graduation requirements.

Students in LIBS 101 and LIBS 102 are co-enrolled in LIBS 103: Introduction to Hutchins. LIBS 101 students may also choose to enroll in a writing support course, LIBS 100: The Craft of Writing, on the English Directed Self-Placement survey.

Seminars meet twice weekly in a group of 15 students and a professor. Learning proceeds by a process of reading, writing, and discussion, in which all students are urged to take an active part. There are generally four to six sections of each seminar offered simultaneously, so that each seminar is part of a larger learning community cohort that meets together in a weekly symposium for lectures, field trips, labs, and other group activities and projects. The course curriculum is developed collaboratively by the faculty, drawing on a wide range of disciplinary expertise.

The emphasis throughout is on critically examining contemporary problems in their historical contexts. Each student is expected to arrive at conclusions that result from personal reflection and exploration of the ideas of major thinkers in diverse fields. Through this process of active learning, students acquire excellent critical thinking, written and oral communication skills.

At mid-semester, students meet individually with the professor to discuss their progress. LIBS 101 is graded credit/no credit. At the end of the semester, students are given a written evaluation of their work, which is placed in the student’s Hutchins file. In LIBS 102, 201 and 202, students may choose a letter grade or the credit/no credit option. SSU policy states that a mark of Credit is equivalent to at least a letter grade of C-; therefore, in LIBS 101, 102, 201, and 202, a mark of Credit is the equivalent of at least the letter grade of C-. Unofficial grades can, at the student’s request, be made available if they choose the credit/no credit option.

A student who does not perform well within the Hutchins GE Program may receive a Credit or letter grade with a probationary or terminal pass, or a terminal No Credit or grade. If the student’s enrollment remains probationary for two semesters, or is terminated, they must transfer out of the Hutchins GE Program.


Total units: 36 units of General Education + 2 elective units

Upper Division Major Core Requirements

* requirement met for LIBS Lower Division General Education Program students


Total units Hutchins Core: 19-20

Major Requirements Track l Interdisciplinary Studies: 19-20

Total Units in Major Track l Interdisciplinary Studies: 40

Major Requirements Track ll Multiple Subject Preparation (Pre-Credential): 21-22

Total Units in Major Track ll Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation (Pre-Credential): 40-42

Major Requirements Track lll Blended Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation + Credential: 18

Total Units in Major Track lll Blended Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation + Credential: 34-35

Core Seminars

Building on the foundations laid in the key courses, the student chooses at least one seminar from each of the following four core areas:

Core A Society and Self

Core B The Individual and the Material World

Core C The Arts and Human Experience

Core D Consciousness and Reality

The core seminars are a key element of the curriculum in the Hutchins Major. Core areas 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.

Track I

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. Flexible Track I major requirements may be tailored to fit individual goals. Track I may include the following:

  • Up to 9 upper division units from other majors or minors organized into an area of emphasis which reflects career plans and/or intellectual interests
  • 12 units from CSU approved study abroad programs as part of the emphasis in the Hutchins major
  • 3-5 units of internship experience to help students relate their education pathway to specific career choices
  • The ability to choose from a wide variety of LIBS courses which include elective seminars, independent and directed studies, internships, and field study opportunities.

LIBS/M.B.A. Advising Pathway

The flexibility of the Track I program in liberal studies lends itself to a broad variety learning experiences and careers. For example, by completing a minor in Business Administration, a Track I liberal studies major may complete the requirements to enter a Master of Business Administration program upon graduation.

Track 1 Additional Major Requirements

Sample Four-Year Plan

Liberal Studies, Track 1: Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A.

Freshman Year (30 units)

Fall Semester (15 Units)

Spring Semester (15 Units)

Sophomore Year (30 Units)

Fall Semester (15 Units)

Spring Semester (15 Units)

Junior Year (30 Units)

Fall Semester (15 Units)

Senior Year (30 Units)

Total Units: 120

Track II: Multiple Subject Preparation Program (Pre-credential elementary teaching)

The Hutchins School offers a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved subject matter preparation program for students intending to enter a California elementary teaching credential program for either Multiple Subjects or Education Specialist, after completion of the B.A. The B.A. pre-credential option ensures:

  • Interdisciplinary subject matter proficiency
  • Possession of the high-level analytic, synthetic, creative, and expressive academic skills required of future educators
  • Carefully planned coursework to meet state-mandated content standards for prospective elementary teachers
  • Excellent content preparation for the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam as well as for as admission to a professional teacher training program

Students may join Track II as first year students in the Hutchins major, or transfer in. Track II students complete specified courses in the sciences, visual art history, performing arts, and kinesiology per CCTC criteria. Track II also includes a 12 unit pathway in an area of concentration content area for teacher preparation such as Human Development, Mathematics, Science, Reading, Language & Literature, History & Social Science, or Visual & Performing Arts. Track II students interested in adding Bilingual Authorization (Spanish) to their credential may prepare by electing either the Added Bilingual (Spanish) Authorization Pathway or Spanish Bilingual Authorization Prepartion Pathway. The area of concentration pathway may include General Education courses, elective courses, and Hutchins major requirements. A minor in another department may waive the area of concentration. See forms section of Hutchins website for details.

Track II Additional Major Requirements

Choose one of the following:

The following are required:


Track II Additional Major Requirements:18-19

Sample Four-Year Plan

Track II, Pre-Credential Elementary Teacher Preparation

(Including Hutchins Lower Division GE program)

Freshman Year (30 units)

Sophomore Year: 30 Units

Spring Semester (15 Units)

Junior Year (31 Units)

Senior Year (30 Units)

Take CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) for credential program admission if needed.
Take CSET: Multiple Subjects for credential program admission if needed.
Apply to credential program.

Total Units: 120

* All courses (except LIBS 101 - LIBS 202) must be taken for a letter grade unless offered CR/NC only. You must earn a “C-” or higher in all courses used for the major. LIBS 312, and EDMS 419 must be a “C” or higher to meet credential requirements.

This plan is a suggestion only and may require students to vary their plan according to courses available and individual needs. Please seek advising if you have questions regarding your four year plan.

** Visit for testing information.

*** A grade of C or higher in LIBS 327 waives the WEPT (Written English Proficiency Test)

Track III: Blended Program

The Blended Program incorporates the lower-division Hutchins General Education program or Associates Degree for Transfer (AAT) in Elementary Teacher Education, and the basic course work for Track II with courses from the School of Education beginning in the junior year. Blended students complete a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in a 135 unit plan.Students in Blended commit to a unit intensive, course prescriptive, accelerated plan. There are two pathways available in the Blended Program. First semester Hutchins freshman are eligible for Blended Track III four year plan. See sample four year plan for Bachelor Arts in Liberal Studies with teaching credential. Upper division California Community College transfer students with complete Associate Degree for Transfer (AAT) in Elementary Teacher Education may enter Blended at the junior level and complete a 2 1/2  year (5 semester) plan.See sample 2 1/2 year plan for Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with teaching credential, Track III with AAT in Elementary Teacher Education. Visit for more information about the Associate Degree for Transfer.

Blended: Track III students are held to the same credential program requirements as traditional credential candidates. These include maintaining a 3.00 GPA, passing CBEST spring of freshman year for first year pathway or fall of junior year for upper division AAT Elementary Teacher Education pathway, and passing CSET: Multiple Subjects spring of junior year before student teaching senior year. Students in good standing with Hutchins who do not continue in Blended have the option to enroll in our Track II: Pre-Credential Elementary Teaching Preparation pathway. Track II students may start a credential program after completion of the Bachelor’s Degree. For Multiple Subjects credential requirements, please refer to School of Education catalog information.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Department