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B.A. in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education

As a liberal studies, elementary education major, you’ll be equipped with the academic foundation and practical skills you need to be an effective elementary school teacher. Biola's elementary education bachelor's degree is uniquely structured enabling you to complete the majority of the requirements for a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential as an undergraduate student as part of your coursework in completing your elementary education degree. The 12 credits you earn during student teaching can be applied towards the Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Arts in Education, if completed after graduation.

In this major, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an academic concentration that will provide deeper training and knowledge to promote your future work as a teacher and educational leader in a specific subject.

  • A biblically centered curriculum that teaches you how to integrate your faith into your teaching in practical ways.
  • While earning your bachelor’s degree, you simultaneously work toward a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential, starting as early as your sophomore year in the liberal studies program. You can also receive your ACSI Teacher Certification while earning your California preliminary teaching credential by meeting additional requirements.
  • Earn a California Child Development Permit by completing coursework within the Early Childhood concentration.
  • Biola’s strong relationships with local schools in Southern California facilitate your ability to network with local educators and administrators across the area.
  • Choose from over 80 countries in which to do half of your student teaching.
  • Over 130 hours of fieldwork in diverse classrooms will prepare you to teach students from a broad range of cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Complete a special education concentration toward earning a special educational credential at the graduate level.

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  • Biology

    The biology concentration features coursework in biological science, with studies in topics such as environmental science, nutrition and marine biology.

  • Early Childhood

    The early childhood concentration includes coursework in early childhood curriculum, child development, classroom management and assessment of young children, and can lead to earning a Child Development Permit.

  • English

    The English concentration includes coursework in grammar, composition, creative writing and classic literature.

  • Health and Exercise

    The health and exercise concentration includes coursework in kinesiology, including public health, health promotion and enhancement, psychology in exercise and health, and leadership in exercise, sports, and fitness.

  • History

    The history concentration features coursework in American government, history from the colonial period to the present day and global history.

  • Human Development

    The human development concentration includes psychology courses in areas such as human sexuality, marriage and family and cross-cultural issues.

  • Mathematics

    The mathematics concentration includes coursework in areas such as calculus, linear algebra, probability, statistics and number theory.

  • Sociology
    The sociology concentration includes coursework in areas such as social problems, American culture and values, sociology of disabilities and social inequality.
  • Spanish

    The Spanish concentration offers a track for second language learners and for heritage learners. Courses cover Spanish language and culture, conversation and composition, and Spanish applied linguistics and pedagogy. The Bilingual Education in Spanish track can lead to a bilingual Spanish teaching authorization.

  • Special Education

    The special education concentration is composed of coursework on topics such as teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities in inclusive settings, autism spectrum disorders and classroom management for students with special needs. Students can receive a Special Education Certificate and apply this coursework toward a Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential at the graduate level.

  • Visual Arts

    The visual arts concentration includes coursework in such artistic disciplines as drawing, 2D and 3D design, sculpture, ceramics, painting and photography.

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What will I study as a liberal studies, elementary education major?

In our program you will study:

  • Knowledge and skills needed to be an effective elementary education teacher
  • Educational theories such as psychology of education, classroom management; and concepts of physical, intellectual, socioemotional and cognitive development
  • Application of theory to classroom practice (understand how theory informs our strategy choices in the classroom)
  • Breadth of knowledge in English language and literature, history, math, psychology, communication, art, music, kinesiology and science
  • Strategies to meet the diverse educational needs of today’s learners, including linguistic and socio-economic diversity, as well as socio-emotional and other various learning needs
  • Effective uses of technology in the classroom

Bible and Theology Coursework

As part of Biola’s commitment to a biblically centered education, most undergraduate students complete 30 credits of biblical and theological studies as a part of their degree program. Learn more about our Bible and theology core.

Career Outlook and Preparation

What can you do with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education?

With proper credentials and permits, including initial teacher licensure, many career opportunities in education, child development, curriculum design, children's ministry and public service await future graduates of Biola's liberal studies elementary education degree program. As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in rewarding professions such as:

  • Elementary school teacher (some alumni have received prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science; and California and district Teacher of the Year)
  • Charter or homeschool elementary teacher
  • International or missions school teacher
  • School principal (some alumni have been Principal of the Year honorees)
  • Preschool teacher or site supervisor
  • District administrators (our alumni have even become superintendents of schools)
  • Educational research analyst
  • Curriculum writer and editor
  • Curriculum designer
  • Government education specialist
  • Instructional materials sales representative
  • Children's ministry director
  • Cross-cultural education consultant
  • Educational consultant or trainer

It is important to note that the Multiple Subject Credential is primarily appropriate for elementary school teachers (as this is the one credential required for elementary school teaching), but can also sometimes be appropriate for middle or junior high school teachers.

4% job growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to be as fast as average between 2021 and 2031.

BLS projections are not specific to Biola University students or graduates.

Lauren Helfer

My program taught me not only terminology and theories, but the practical application excellent educators need.

Liberal Studies, Elementary Education, B.A. '17
Elizabeth Guettner

I really love the aspect of fieldwork hours in the elementary education major. During these hours you get to observe a classroom and see all of the things you have learned about put into action.

Elizabeth Guettner
Liberal Studies, Elementary Education, B.A. '17


Admissions Process

Learn about Biola’s admissions requirements, steps to apply, application deadlines and more at our Undergraduate Admissions page.

Schedule a Visit

Learn more about this program by attending an upcoming event for prospective students and parents, or by scheduling a personalized visit.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

Attaining a degree from Biola is more affordable than you might think — dramatically lower than the “sticker price” in most cases — with 100% of incoming undergraduate students receiving some form of financial aid.



What is a liberal studies major?

Liberal studies majors are undergraduate degree programs that offer a multidisciplinary approach to education. These programs provide students with a broad knowledge base across various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. By exploring a wide range of subjects, including the completion of general education courses, liberal studies majors encourage critical thinking, effective communication skills, and a well-rounded understanding of the world. Graduates with a liberal studies major often pursue diverse career paths, such as education, public service, business, and more, as they possess a versatile skill set adaptable to various professional fields.

What is an elementary education degree program?

An elementary education degree program is a specialized academic program designed to prepare individuals for a career in teaching at the elementary school level. These programs equip students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to effectively educate and engage young learners. At Biola, students study various subjects, instructional methodologies, child development, classroom management techniques, and assessment strategies specifically tailored for elementary education.

The curriculum of an elementary education degree program typically includes a combination of education courses, subject-specific content and field experiences. Biola's liberal studies elementary education major coursework includes methods and strategies for meeting various learning needs, such as linguistic, socio-economic and socio-emotional needs, as well as best practices for educational technology use and implementation. Biola's elementary education program is unique as it allows students to complete the majority of the requirements for earning a California Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential as an undergraduate student.

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You'll study in person at Biola University's campus in Southern California.

Total Credits

Total program credits include major-specific courses and Biola's core curriculum.

Standard Completion Time

This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.


Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.