Mar 04, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, Border Studies Option, B.A.

Program of Study

The Liberal Studies Department offers three Options, all leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. All three Options are suitable for students who start their undergraduate careers at Cal State San Marcos as well as for transfer students; some coursework taken at California community colleges may be applied to Liberal Studies requirements for all three Options.

The Border Studies Option (BRS) is designed for students who want to acquire knowledge and skills regarding the dynamics that occur in regions where multiple communities come into overlapping contact and where borders of all sorts both divide and create communities. The BRS Option is particularly suited for students who want to become service professionals working within border regions in careers such as city planning, public policy, health professions, border patrol, education, and public administration. The BRS curriculum provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the geopolitical, linguistic, cultural, and social frontiers that shape the development of border communities. To learn more about the BRS Option, please read the requirements on the following pages; if you have questions, contact the Liberal Studies Department Chair.

Also see Liberal Studies, Teaching - Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Option (ESM), B.A. 
Also see Liberal Studies, Integrated Teacher Education Program Option (ITEP), B.A.  

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The goals of the Liberal Studies Program are that of all our graduates:

  • Learn to engage in reasoned thinking.
  • Maintain open, inquiring, and skeptical minds.
  • Know how to access and evaluate information.
  • Develop cultural sensitivity and tolerance for cultural differences.
  • Acquire environmental awareness.
  • Establish a foundation for understanding social issues.
  • Take responsibility for their thinking, actions, and impact on the world.

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies will:

  • In the area of interdisciplinary knowledge: 
    • a. Identify the approaches of multiple disciplines including their different questions and methods; 
    • b. Be able to frame questions about social problems from different disciplinary perspectives.
  • In the area of multidisciplinary knowledge: 
    • a. Identify the interdisciplinary approach, its questions and methods; 
    • b. Be able to frame questions about social problems from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Critically examine their role(s) in the communities with which they interact.
  • Demonstrate skills needed to collaborate to achieve a goal.
  • Collect, critically evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary data.
  • Formulate an argument and present it effectively both orally and in writing.

Border Studies Program Student Learning Outcomes

In addition, students in the BRS Option will:

  • Comprehend theories and key issues in the study of borders and border communities.
  • Design and implement border research projects using appropriate methodologies

Career Opportunities

For students in the BRS Option, the B.A. in Liberal Studies serves as preparation for a wide range of careers in the public and private sector where knowledge of border dynamics matters. Examples include planning, public policy, health professions, border patrol, education, public administration, and community liaison officers for private sector firms.

Graduates of Liberal Studies programs are well-positioned for entry into CSUSM’s Multiple Subject Credential Program. For complete and up-to-date information, please contact the School of Education or visit their website.

Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

In all three Options, all courses counted toward the Major, including Preparation for the Major, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Special Conditions for the Border Studies Option

A minimum of eighteen (18) units counted toward the BRS Option must be completed at Cal State San Marcos.

No more than six (6) units of independent study and independent research (BRS 498 and BRS 499) may be applied toward the BRS Option.

General Education (48 Units)

General Education Requirements  

Language Proficiency (0-9 Units)

All Border and Regional Studies majors must meet a second-language proficiency requirement.  This is satisfied with a 200-level class or demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English. For details on how to satisfy this requirement, please refer to Language Proficiency Requirement  .

Breadth Requirement (3 Units)

Additional course in Upper Division Social Sciences (DD designated) outside the major. This requirement can also count as the DD requirement in Upper Division General Education, but it must be taken in a Social Science or Interdisciplinary program other than Border and Regional Studies. Any course carrying the DD designation outside of Border and Regional Studies can be used to fulfill this requirement. If students choose to satisfy their UDGE DD with a course outside the major, the breadth requirement will become 3 free elective units.

Preparation for the BRS Option* (18 Units)

Prior to taking any of the Upper-Division Core or Upper-Division Major Electives, students should successfully complete the following courses:

At least nine (9) units of Lower-Division General Education  are automatically satisfied by courses taken in Preparation for the Major.

Introduction to Statistics

Select one of the following courses:

Upper-Division Major Requirements for BRS (38-45 Units)

Electives (20-27 Units)

Historical Frames (3 Units)

Select one of the following courses:

Social Issues and Political Economy (6-8 Units)

Select two of the following courses:

Cultural Contact (6-8 Units)

Select two of the following courses:

BRS Option Capstone Course (3-5 Units)

Select one of the following courses:

*If BRS 499 is taken to fulfill the Capstone requirement, it must be taken for 3 units.

Minimum Total (120 Units)

Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120