The Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan

The Liberal Studies Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan is designed for Liberal Studies majors who have interests that expand beyond the confines of any single department. For these students, the Thematic Plan provides an opportunity to construct their own interdisciplinary study plan by taking advanced course work in several disciplines. Each Thematic Plan includes a well-thought-out, highly individualized group of courses that have a common subject, focus, or interest. Thematic Plan students may center their elective course work on an academic interest or they may select courses that prepare them for later professional training or for specific careers. Thematic Plan students may also organize their plan of study around one of the Advising Tracks offered by the department.

Examples of themes that our majors have explored include current international problems, current domestic issues, economics and the environment, humanity and its natural environment, regionalism and marketing, cultural heritage studies, art and religion, the religious development of children, creative use of leisure, religion and economic attitudes, the cultural history of shame, and social tensions of modernity as expressed in fiction and social science.

What types of career opportunities are available for Liberal Studies majors who choose the Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan?

The Liberal Studies Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan has long served students as preparation for law school, advanced study in business or other graduate degree programs or professional schools, as well as careers in the health sciences, education, ministry, or the environmental sciences. The Thematic Plan also attracts many returning students who are already involved in successful careers but who want a well-rounded and personally enriching education that includes an interdisciplinary focus on a particular theme or interest. Each Liberal Studies Thematic Plan major works closely with Liberal Studies faculty to develop a personalized plan of study.

What does the Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan version of the Liberal Studies Major look like?

The Liberal Studies Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan includes the Liberal Studies Core courses (30 units), the theme-oriented elective courses (18 units), and 3 units of interdisciplinary research either through the senior research seminar (LBST 482) or independent study (499). In close consultation with a Liberal Studies adviser, students select 18 units of upper-division elective course work from various departments for the purpose of pursuing an interdisciplinary problem, theme or issue. To ensure breadth of knowledge, students take (a) no more than 9 units from a single department and (b) no more than 15 units from a single area of knowledge (humanities and arts, sciences, or social sciences). Students should get their study plan tentatively approved by a Liberal Studies adviser prior to taking course work.

Thematic Plan students also synthesize and apply their knowledge through an interdisciplinary research project carried out either by participating in the Senior Research Seminar (LBST 482) or by completing a senior project (such as a thesis or a creative work) in an area related to their theme and under the supervision of a professor of their own choosing. Since this professor will be responsible for evaluating the project, students following the senior project option register for independent study (499) in the professor's department. Further details on the two options available for interdisciplinary research are available here:  Interdisciplinary research project options and proceduresPDF File .

An Important Announcement Regarding the Liberal Studies Curriculum

The Liberal Studies Department has made some adjustments to graduation requirements that are effective for students who started at CSUF or last began a period of Community College enrollment in Fall 2012 or later. The changes do not apply to students who began their enrollment during catalog years prior to 2012. The following links connect to either the old or the new requirements for the Interdisciplinary Thematic Plan.

•  Thematic Plan requirements for catalog years prior to 2012PDF File

•  Thematic Plan requirements for catalog year 2012 or laterPDF File