Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Education, B.A. Online

Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Education, B.A. Online


At PLNU, we value passionate educators who have a heart for their students. The Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Education program will empower aspiring teachers in the state of California with the best teaching practices while simultaneously earning a preliminary teaching credential. 

Online learning for today’s educators

If you are a para-educator with classroom experience or a career-changer looking to translate your experience into the education field, this fully online LSEE program allows you to finish your bachelor’s degree while earning your teaching credential in as few as 16 months. Credential options include:

  • Single subject
  • Multiple subject
  • Education specialist

Students can begin the LSEE degree with as few as zero (0) units. These students can take their general education and prerequisite courses fully online.

Educational training on your terms

This online program gives you the flexibility to learn when and where you want. You can complete coursework in the comfort of your home, favorite coffee shop, or local library while choosing a study schedule that works best for you.

Online learning is perfect for those who learn in ways that aren’t often found in traditional classrooms — watching instructional videos, listening to audio lectures at your preferred speed, or dedicating extra study time to tricky topics. You can always connect with professors to help find the best ways to absorb and apply your learning.

Save time for life’s special moments

Learning shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you love. Coursework is designed to be flexible to your needs and help you balance your other life commitments.

While completing this program, you’ll still be able to continue spending time with family, thriving at your full- or part-time workplace, or leisure time. 

Encouraging community without commuting

Commuting can be stressful and time-consuming — especially in San Diego. Thankfully, you can learn online while still benefiting from PLNU’s strong focus on community. In this program, you’ll meaningfully connect with other students online as you learn and grow in your expertise as an educator.

"Our teacher education program is designed to provide multiple pathways for candidates to achieve teaching credentials and advanced degrees. We model approaches to teaching that are relational and supportive while also giving candidates research-based strategies and fieldwork experiences in the classroom."

 Dr. Shirlee Gibbs
Coordinator, M.A. in Teaching Program and Professor of Education 

You’ll also have access to top-tier mentorship from professors and advisors. They’ll help you to leverage your strengths to expand your connections and career opportunities. You’ll be able to access resources tailored to you and your career goals.

100 years of training teachers

This program provides for approximately 100 hours of fieldwork in local public schools and is an ideal major for aspiring teachers wanting to teach elementary-grade levels.

With more than 100 years of experience, PLNU's School of Education is rooted in training students in an uplifting faith-based learning environment to become exceptional educators of noble character. 

"PLNU has established a reputation within the community for producing well trained, reflective teacher candidates who are committed to the profession."

Dr. Lori Aragon
Assistant Superintendent, Greenfield Union School District, Kern County

Impact your community 

With coursework grounded in research and tied to critical issues educators face, you’ll be ready to have a real impact. Our reputation and strong community relationships mean local schools and districts work directly with PLNU to interview and hire our graduates.

Enhance your degree with a Minor

Adding a minor to your Accelerated undergraduate program can be a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge, increase career opportunities, and foster personal growth. Explore subjects like Marketing, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Communication, Management, Creative Digital Media, and Child Development. Choosing to add a minor can make your degree more versatile, well-rounded, and appealing to future employers. PLNU Counselors are ready to help you integrate a minor into your academic plan. Discover the benefits of a minor at PLNU today!

Child Development Minor

In PLNU’s forthcoming Child Development minor, rising educators can discover the fundamentals of child development and learn how to help support children as they learn and grow.

This minor will be open to everyone. Whether you’re a rising educator, a professional in social work or child welfare, or parents and guardians who wish to have a better understanding of how best to raise children, the child development minor can help you know how to understand, support and encourage children in their development.

The child development minor is highly recommended for students who are seeking a multiple subject credential. This will prepare them perfectly to teach grades PK–3. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about availability!

Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for professional licensure or certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in teacher credentialing is available on this website.

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Military Tuition Discount

PLNU offers a flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in this program.

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Application Information

Program start date(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — September 2, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — January 13, 2025
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — March 17, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — May 12, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — July 7, 2025

You may begin in quad II with the BST3004 course, but there are financial implications that come with entering with few units in your first quad. There are no other credential courses available for students to take in quad II. If you would like to start in quad II with the BST3004 course, speak with your enrollment counselor. 

Application deadline(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — August 21, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — December 11, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — March 7, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — April 30, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — June 20, 2025

The selection process

We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. That’s why we are committed to reviewing your application thoroughly and giving it the individual care and attention it deserves. We believe you have more to offer than just a GPA, which is why there is no numeric formula that determines admittance. Rather, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admittance into the program. We strongly encourage you to apply, even if you’re unsure of your qualifications.

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Start Application

Application checklist

NOTE: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU.

  1. Complete signed pre-evaluation with the School of Education
  2. Submit online application for admissions.
  3. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required. (Submit high school transcript if you’ve completed fewer than 6 college units)

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:

NOTE: All students are expected to have some proficiency with computer technology (email, internet, word processing, etc.).

Career Opportunities

When you complete your B.A. and teaching credential through PLNU, you’ll be well-positioned to fulfill your dream of a teaching career. PLNU graduates not only benefit from their strong academic preparation, but also from connections to local school districts, including opportunities to network and even interview with districts through PLNU.

With this degree, you will be prepared to work as a(n):

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • High school teacher

You’ll also be ready to go on for advanced certificates, credentials, and a master's degree program in teaching or education.

Notable factors

Making a difference with your degree:

The field of education has a large variety of opportunities and specialties you can pursue. Students at PLNU spend their academic careers building strong, Christian character that, in turn, sparks a desire to continue to learn about and educate future generations in an abundance of ways. The future is shaped by the teachers and educators of today.

Think you want to be a teacher? Read How to Become a Teacher: The Ultimate Guide to see what paths you can take to get you there. 

Apply to PLNU todayConnect with one of our counselors

Speak with our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

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Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s required to be admitted into this program?

To be admitted into PLNU's liberal studies degree completion program, you must have completed at least 60 units, from which 33 must be in general education, with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 2.75 from an accredited institution. Students can also begin the LSEE degree with as few as zero (0) units through PLNU’s online undergraduate program. Apply today to take the first step toward your bachelor’s!

Do I have to arrange my own fieldwork?

No, PLNU will arrange your field work hours with your local school district throughout the state of California. 

Can I work while completing the program?

Yes! Our program is offered fully online and you can work asynchronously to fit your schedule. Our degree completion programs are designed for adult learners who often work full time or have other daily engagements preventing them from being a traditional student.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You’ll have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through PLNU’s Student Financial Services. This program qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

Do you accept transfer credits into your program?

Your previously earned college credits are analyzed by our records specialists and applied as appropriate; then your graduation plan and timeline are detailed for you. During the analysis, we determine if you need to complete further general education (GE) requirements. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

12-16 months - Preliminary Single Subject or Multiple Subject Credential
20-24 months - Preliminary Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate + Extensive Support Needs) Credential

How much field work will I complete?

100 hours of fieldwork, spread over five of your courses in the program. 

Are international students eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for our online programs. You are only eligible if you reside in one of our authorized states. Visit our disclosures page to learn more.

If you are a military spouse or serving overseas, contact military services.

What’s the difference between this degree completion program and a traditional undergraduate program?

The Liberal Studies B.A. program is designed for students who’ve already completed some four-year or community college coursework and are looking to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree (however, it is also offered by those without previous undergraduate experience), The program provides greater flexibility and affordability than most traditional undergraduate programs while maintaining high academic quality by being offered fully online, asynchronous. The program is ideal for students looking to advance in their careers while balancing work and family life.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

When can I start the LSEE Program?

Students pursuing this program can be admitted in quad I (beginning of the semester) or quad II in any semester.

What are the general education requirements?

Students must transfer in a minimum of 33 units of general education courses in the following categories: English writing (3 units), communication (3 units), mathematics (3 units), natural science (3 units), humanities & fine arts (6 units), social and behavior sciences (6 units), Bible & theology (3 units), and other general education (6 units). Students are also able to earn these through PLNU’s online undergraduate offerings. 

What courses are taken with PLNU?

A minimum of 37 units of the degree must be taken at PLNU, which must include a course in Biblical Perspectives (BST304M) and all coursework toward the California Teaching Credential. Students pursuing a multiple and single subject credential are required to take 33 semester units of coursework and fieldwork/clinical practice (student teaching) and students pursuing an education specialist credential are required to take 39 semester units.

What's clinical practice or student teaching?

All candidates for an initial preliminary credential must complete 8 units of clinical practice (student teaching) along with the requisite seminars, for a total of 10 units. Student teaching is completed during a whole semester under the supervision of a master teacher during school hours. Students are placed at participating schools by PLNU. Legally, we cannot place students in districts for which we do not have a memorandum of understanding in place. Students are not permitted to set up their own placements — no exceptions. Students under this program do not qualify for internships.

Does the CSET need to be passed before starting the program?

CSET is only required for LSEE: single subject credential. PLNU recommends students to have their CSET passed prior to starting the program. However, students whose GPA is above 2.5 can start the program before the CSET is passed. Please note that all students will need to have all subtests passed within 12 units in the program.

When must I have the CSET completed to advance in the program?

Students who don't have all subtests passed will not be able to register for the next semester. It is recommended students plan ahead because if they don't pass any of the subtests they will need to wait 45 days in order to have the test retaken, and some tests are not offered regularly. If students don't pass CSET successfully within 12 units they will be asked to take a break until the CSET is passed and will need to re-admit into the program.

What types of benefits or aid do you have for military members?

  • PLNU offers a tuition discount flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in one of the following PLNU Adult Undergraduate Degree Programs: Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Leadership B.A, Child Development B.A., RN to BSN, Criminal Justice B.A., Computer Information Technology B.A., Strategic Communications B.A., Integrated Studies with an Emphasis in Education B.A.
  • PLNU accepts VA educational benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.
  • PLNU also participates as a Yellow Ribbon School, which means in most cases you can pursue a private education without having to pay out-of-pocket, not even for fees or books.
  • Because you are a person who has provided military service to our country, we will also waive your application fee.

Are there any minors I can take with the LSEE Program?

In PLNU’s forthcoming Child Development minor, rising educators can discover the fundamentals of child development and learn how to help support children as they learn and grow.

This minor will be open to everyone. Whether you’re a rising educator, a professional in social work or child welfare, or parents and guardians who wish to have a better understanding of how best to raise children, the child development minor can help you know how to understand, support and encourage children in their development.

The child development minor is highly recommended for students who are seeking a multiple subject credential. This will prepare them perfectly to teach grades PK–3. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about availability!

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Education, Online B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Department Faculty