Welcome to the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies

"The University is a community of scholars that has as its primary purpose to unsettle the minds of students, to widen their horizons, to inflame their intellect..."
— Robert Maynard Hutchins, Founder
"I cannot stress how thankful I am to have taken part in Hutchins...I came into Sonoma as a closed-minded and shy student, and I left Sonoma as an empowered woman ready to debate, defend, and take on the world. I owe this all to you."
—Taylor Terhune, graduate of the Class of 2012

The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies is a unique school within the larger institution of Sonoma State University. Hutchins students complete all lower-division general education requirements, with the exception of mathematics—through an interdisciplinary, theme-oriented focus. “Learning to learn," small seminar classes, close cooperation and a feeling of community among students and faculty are highlights of this program.

As students advance their education in the Hutchins School, they have the option of choosing between three different educational tracks, based on their interests and career aspirations. These tracks are as follows:

  • Track I—Liberal Studies Major Plan: An interdisciplinary studies track in which students develop an indivualized study plan, incorporating Hutchins seminar classes, workshops, independent studies, internships, and study away experiences.
  • Track II—Elementary Teaching Pre-Credential Preparation: Students in this track will not only earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies by completing the required Hutchins coursework, but will also fulfill all prerequisities to enter the SSU School of Education's Multiple Subject and Special Education Credential Programs.
  • Track III—Blended Program: This accelerated track allows students entering as First Time Freshmen to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies as well as fulfill requirements for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in four years. This credential allows graduates to immediately begin teaching in California public elementary schools upon graduation.

An external review of SSU’s Hutchins School has stated that “Hutchins is not only one of the most enduring, but one of the best interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in the country. The small seminars that teach students to listen, to rethink their position, to reexamine their personal values, to develop critical thinking skills, and to become intellectually engaged, as well as verbally articulate, and the curricular emphasis on values and ethics [are] keys to its success.”

To learn more about the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, please explore our website or call the main office at (707) 664-2491.