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Welcome to the Department of Liberal Studies!

Liberal Studies is one of the largest majors at Fresno State. 

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program is to provide a solid multidisciplinary preparation in the Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Human Development, and the Arts. Because it is interdisciplinary, it is especially beneficial for future elementary school teachers who are required to teach all subjects. 

Students gain a broad, diverse, culturally sensitive perspective by integrating concepts, communicating effectively, thinking critically and creatively, problem solving, and making sound ethical decisions. This richly diversified education is one of the largest majors at Fresno State and provides a foundation for meeting a wide range of future goals.

Our Vision
Educators working for equity and social justice.

Our Commitments

  • Teaching for social justice
  • Culturally sustaining pedagogy
  • Universal design for learning

Our Mission
Provide relevant and rigorous subject matter preparation for elementary teaching that is committed to equity and social justice.

Liberal Studies Links

**Please note: Students interested in becoming a middle or high school teacher need to earn a degree in the major/subject you are interested in teaching not a liberal studies degree.

Need assistance in CSET Multiple Subjects test preparation?

Test prep books are on reserve in the Henry Madden Library for students with ID card. Visit Library Circulation Desk for more information or call 278-2551.

Additional CSET Preparation!

Fresno Unified has an online calendar for future CBEST, CSET, and RICA Prep classes. RSVP is required to attend so materials can be prepared. All classes are free to anyone.

Minor in Urban Civic Education

The Urban Civic Education Minor (15 units) prepares students to become change agents working to address community issues. This interdisciplinary minor is available to all students in any academic discipline and is an excellent complement for students pursuing careers in education, psychology, criminal justice, social services, international affairs, and community advocacy. Service-learning is emphasized throughout the program as a way to link Urban, Civic, & Education studies with community experiences to explore the structures, processes, and issues of diverse urban cultural communities and the impact these have on the communities’ children.

For more information:

Department Chair and Staff

Frederick Peinado Nelson
Chair, Department of Liberal Studies (LS)
Office: Education Building, Rm100
Phone: 559.278.0300

Ana Espinosa
Administrative Support Coordinator
Office: Education Building, Rm100
Phone: 559.278.0416

Department Faculty

Cole, Kim


Kim Cole
Office: Education Building, Rm 367
Phone: 559.278.0474

De Walt, Patrick

 Patrick DeWalt
Office: Education Building, Rm 261
Phone: 559.278.0268

Nelson, Frederick Peinado: Department Chair

 Fred Nelson
Office: Education Building, Rm257
Phone: 559.278.0261

Ph.D. in Science Education, University of Florida
M.S. in Science Education, Kansas State University
B.S. in Secondary Education, Kansas State University

Areas of Expertise:
Naturalistic inquiry
Reflective practice
Constructivist pedagogy
Inquiry-oriented instruction
Next Generation Science Standards

Research Interests:
Development of reflective practice by preservice teachers
Dynamics of interdisciplinary faculty collaboration
Inquiry as a stimulus for reflection in science methods courses
Learner-centered teaching in university courses
Self-study of teacher education practices
Technology as a process for reflective practice
Teacher inquiry and action research

Shin, Myunghwan

 Myung Shin
Office: Education Building, Rm 453
Phone: 559.278.0336
Ph.D. Curriculum, Instruction, & Teacher Education (Specialization: Science Education), Michigan State University
M.S. Science Education, Seoul National University
B.S. Earth and Space Science Education, Seoul National University
Areas of Expertise:
Science Education, STEM Education, Makerspace and Maker Education, Project-Based Learning, Diversity and Equity in Science/STEM Education, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Critical Ethnography, Participatory Action Research, Case Study  

Van Horn, Selena

 Selena Van Horn
Office: Education Building, Rm 351
Phone: 559.278.4011