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California State University, Long Beach
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Frequently Asked Questions

CLA students by the McIntosh Building
  1. What is the College of Liberal Arts?
  2. Where do I go for advising?
  3. Who will my instructors be?
  4. What's the difference between the Liberal Arts and Liberal Studies?
  5. Is Computer Studies a part of the College of Liberal Arts?
  6. Is Social Work a part of the College of Liberal Arts?
  7. How do I declare myself as a major within the College?


1. What is the College of Liberal Arts?

The College of Liberal Arts at CSULB is the largest college on campus, with twenty-seven excellent departments and programs, several innovative centers and projects, and over 300 outstanding faculty members. The college faculty are among the best in the nation and have received a variety of national and international awards.

CLA has more than 9000 undergraduate students pursuing a variety of highly valued degrees through the collegeís 67 unique majors and minors. Additionally, 900 graduate students are also obtaining advanced degrees and special certificates in the college. With degrees ranging from humanities and foreign languages to social and behavioral sciences, CLAís graduates are well-rounded citizens, effective communicators, and analytical thinkers who live knowledgeably, responsibly, and humanely in a world where complex problems demand informed, creative, and thoughtful solutions. The skills gained through degrees from CLA are invaluable and open up countless career paths for graduates to follow.

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2. Where do I go for advising?

The ATLAS (Advising Teaching Liberal Arts Students) Network is a collaboration of advisors, professional staff, and faculty committed to the satisfaction and success of Liberal Arts majors at CSULB. As the advising hub for the College of Liberal Arts, ATLAS partners with students and their major departments to best assist and support our undergraduates on the road to graduation.

If you have declared your major or intend to major within the College of Liberal Arts, you may contact your department advisor and schedule an appointment with the undergraduate advisor or another appropriate faculty member. Psychology majors may use the Psychology Resource Office (PRO) located in room PSY-206.

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3. Who will my instructors be?

The College of Liberal Arts has outstanding faculty. Virtually all have earned the highest degrees in their discipline, usually the Doctorate of Philosophy or Ph.D. Others may have a Master of Arts degree. All are well-qualified for their teaching. The College takes great pride in offering many opportunities for student-faculty interaction, including small classes, laboratory and fieldwork experiences, and research projects.

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4. What's the difference between the Liberal Arts and Liberal Studies?

Liberal Arts and Liberal Studies are often confused. Liberal Arts is a college within the university with 27 departments and programs offering degrees and certificates in the humanities and social science disciplines.

Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary major for students intending to become elementary school teachers. Many of the courses in Liberal Studies are drawn from the College of Liberal Arts, but, despite the similar names, Liberal Studies is not a program within the College of Liberal Arts. Liberal Studies is a part of the College of Education. For more information about Liberal Studies, please call 562.985.4228 or click here to visit the program website.

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5. Is Computer Studies a part of the College of Liberal Arts?

No, Computer Studies is not a part of the College of Liberal Arts; itís a part of the College of Engineering. For more information about Computer Studies, please call 562.985.4285 or click here to visit the program website.

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6. Is Social Work a part of the College of Liberal Arts?

No, Social Work is not a part of the College of Liberal Arts; itís a part of the College of Health and Human Services. For more information about Social Work, please call 562.985.4616 or click here to visit the program website.

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7. How do I declare myself as a major within the College?

To declare or change your major, visit your major department. Departments will submit your declaration of major online with Enrollment Services. You will receive an email from Enrollment Services once the major is declared. It is the same process for a minor or certificate.

Please note that Psychology and Communication Studies are impacted majors. Students must meet supplemental admission criteria to become declared majors in an impacted program.

Changing majors is common as students discover and pursue new opportunities and interests. Each major has different requirements and so changing majors may require taking additional courses, especially if you are beyond your first year on campus. You should talk to an advisor or faculty member in the major you are considering to discuss whether your interests and skills are a good fit with that field and to determine what additional courses you may have to take.

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Changing majors is common as students discover and pursue new opportunities and interests. Each major has different requirements and so changing majors may require taking additional courses, especially if you are beyond your first year on campus. You should talk to an advisor or faculty member in the major you are considering to discuss whether your interests and skills are a good fit with that field and to determine what additional courses you may have to take.

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