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Liberal Studies Department

Welcome to the Liberal Studies Department!

If you are on this page it is probably because you are seeking the best preparation for being a K-8 teacher, or because you are interested in our innovative, cutting-edge program in Border Studies.

We encourage you to explore our website and come meet our faculty. We are always happy to talk to students and discuss courses, programs, and career options.

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January in Guatemala 2018

Guatemala flyer

January in Guatemala 2018: Intensive Spanish and Mayan Culture in the Gautemalan Highlands

December 28 - January 12

Program Highlights:

  • Learn basica Maya
  • Discover traditional weaving and handcrafts
  • Explore Maya farming techniques and medicianl healing
  • Field trips to colonial Antigua, the market town of Chichicastenango, Lake Atitlan, natural waterfalls and ruins
  • Earn up to 7 units of the following:
      • Spanish 101, 102, 201, 202, or 366
      • MLAN 331: Satisfies DD for students with 60 units
  • Program Price: $1,995 + Extended Learning Fees (estimated $252 - $572)
  • Cost includes tuition, room and board, medical insurance, and local area excursions. Does NOT include airfare or personal spending.

For more information contact:,, and/or


Faculty Opportunities:

 The Liberal Studies is excited to announce that we are in search of an Assistant Professor in Environmental Geography.  Please visit our Faculty Opportunities page to view details and application information.

In the News:

Prof. Jule Gomez de Garcia (Liberal Studies) and Prof. Michael Hughes (Modern Language Studies) directed a group of CSUSM students in linguistic fieldwork in Guatemala. Linguists in Guatemala Story.

Prof. Jocelyn Ahlers works with Native California communities who are striving to document and revitalize their languages of heritage.  Native California Communities Story.

Prof. Greig Guthey featured in San Diego Magazine: The Garden is His Classroom. Congratulations!

Dr. Greig Guthey in the garden

Book release

Enduring Reform book cover
Prof. Emeritus Vivienne Bennett's most recent co-edited book, Enduring Reform: Progressive Activism and Private Sector Responses in Latin America's Democracies has just been published (2015, University of Pittsburgh Press). Congratulations!