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B.A. in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education

School of 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. Unlike most credential programs in California, the unique structure of our program allows you to take your credential courses as an undergraduate student. Student teaching, the final step in your program, is completed at the graduate level. The 12 credits you earn in student teaching can be rolled directly into our Masters of Arts in Teaching or Masters of Arts in Education. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an academic concentration that will provide deeper training in a specific subject.


  • 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 Child Development Permits.

  • English

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

  • Human Development

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

  • Intercultural Studies

    The intercultural studies concentration includes coursework in such areas as linguistics, intercultural communication, anthropology and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

  • Mathematics

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

  • Physical Education

    The physical education concentration includes coursework in areas such as kinesiology, sports leadership, psychology in physical education, and coaching techniques. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in a 1- to 3-credit internship.

  • Spanish

    The Spanish concentration offers two tracks: second language learners and heritage learners. Courses cover Spanish language and culture, conversation and composition, and Spanish applied linguistics and pedagogy.

  • Special Education

    The special education concentration is composed of coursework on topics such as teaching students with mild 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 Credential at the graduate level.

  • U.S. History

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

  • Visual Arts

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

Why Choose Education at Biola?

In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s liberal studies, elementary education, program offers several key advantages:

  • This program features biblically centered curriculum that teaches you how to integrate your faith into your teaching philosophy.
  • While earning your bachelor’s degree, you simultaneously work toward a California Multiple Subject Preliminary 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 your 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. Serve children with special needs while earning your special education certificate in the special education concentration.

What Will I Study?

In our program you will study:

  • Knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher
  • Foundational education 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 
  • Effective uses of technology in the classroom
  • Strategies for teaching students learning English as a second language and students with special needs

View Courses

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
Lauren Ades

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

Liberal Studies, Elementary Education, B.A. '17
4.5 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary by student depending on background and courseload.
Total Program Credits
Total program credits include a combination of major/concentration, Bible/theology and general education credits.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

Career Paths

With proper credentials and permits, many career opportunities in education and child development, business and government await future graduates of Biola's liberal studies elementary education program. As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in rewarding professions such as:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school principal
  • Corporate training manager
  • Preschool education director
  • Educational research analyst
  • Curriculum writer
  • Government education specialist
  • Instructional materials sales representative
  • Guidance counselor

What are Graduates Doing Now?

Many graduates of Biola’s School of Education pursue graduate studies, while others move directly into rewarding careers. Professional highlights include:

  • Presidential award for Excellence in Math and Science honoree
  • Numerous Superintendent/Principal of the Year honorees
  • Numerous Teacher of the Year honorees
  • County and state government leaders
  • Technical writers
  • District administrators
  • University professors
  • Editors
  • Curriculum writers and researchers
  • Graduate studies at distinguished schools such as: Claremont Graduate University; University of Southern California; California State University, Fullerton; Biola University; California State University, Long Beach; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Minnesota; University of Kentucky; University of Oklahoma; University of North Texas; University of Iowa; Liberty University; Azusa Pacific University; Talbot School of Theology; and Wheaton College

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