Research Opportunities

Motivated Liberal Studies majors have ample opportunities to conduct faculty-guided research, even while fulfilling their demanding course load. Some Liberal Studies majors: 

Student Testimonials: Taking Advantage of All Liberal Studies and LMU Have to Offer

Posed shot in front of screen
Ana Romero's '19 Capstone and SURP experiences inspired her research on Environmental Education in Los Angeles

Ana Romero '19, Liberal Studies Major, Political Science Minor

"I have been so privileged by all of the opportunities that have come my way. I came to LMU as a Political Science major, with no idea of what my next four years would look like. I decided that I would tie my interest in politics to my love for education. I am now a Liberal Studies major with a minor in Political Science and will graduate in 2019 with a credential in elementary education, a minor (and concentration) in Political Science, and the Bilingual Authorization to teach in Spanish. While I am unsure of where life after LMU will take me, my time at LMU and the opportunities I have taken part in have prepared me to think critically and engage collaboratively. I have participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) for the past two summers focusing on two different research projects in Education. In 2017 I traveled to Mexico City through the McNair Scholars Program to observe classroom interactions between students and teachers. This summer (2018), I began a research project to study Environmental Education in Los Angeles, which grew out of the research I did for my LBST Capstone project. Having the opportunity to conduct one's own research through the guidance and encouragement of a professor is a humbling experience that helps me appreciate the process of research. I am also interning both in the office of Senator Ben Allen who represents the 26th District of California and in Spain as an assistant working on a bilingual conference on education-the latter is possible through support from my college (BCLA) and my department (LBST)."

Student Research: Education That Makes a Difference

Kendra Glenn
Kendra Glenn '17 conducted original research on family engagement in elementary education through LMU's Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Kendra Glenn '17, Liberal Studies Major, Spanish Minor

Faculty Research Mentor: Bernadette Musetti, Ph.D.

Title: "Redefining and Reconceptualizing Parental and Family Engagement in A Low-income Elementary School: A Case Study"


The importance of family and parental engagement in schooling is well recognized. However, more research and knowledge is needed to understand how best to engage families in Title I, economically disadvantaged schools, including what motivates parents to become involved and how they conceptualize their involvement. This study was conducted at a Catholic elementary school in South Los Angeles. Data were collected through qualitative research methods including parent surveys, multiple principal interviews, and numerous observation sessions over a six-week period. Analysis of data reveals parents and families are generally very involved in their children's schooling, where parents or family members, on average, visit the school campus at least twice a week and regularly participate in events or contribute time or other resources to the school. Findings show that when parents and families feel there is an equal partnership between the school and the home, each supports the other's roles in the academic and personal development of the student. This mutually respectful dynamic allows for better communication and promotes academic achievement. While there is often an assumption that lower SES parent and family involvement in schooling is minimal, this study helps to dispel this myth.