Program Overview

(Social Studies Licensure Grades 5-12)

The BS in Social Studies Teaching Option is designed to provide students with both a strong foundation in social science disciplines and the intellectual skills necessary for excellence as an urban school teacher, grades 5 through 12. The major meets the Minnesota Board of Teaching standards for social studies and combined with the program offered through the university's Urban Education Program, provides a path to licensure as a social studies teacher, grades 5-12.The Social Studies Major (Urban Teacher Program) begins with several basic assumptions about the attributes of an effective social science teacher:

  • Effective social studies teachers share with other liberally educated people the ability to think critically and communicate fluently.
  • Effective social studies teachers care deeply about their subject and are able to convey that passion and interest to their students.
  • Effective social studies teachers are interdisciplinary; they can synthesize and apply core concepts from a variety of social science fields to enhance their own and their students understanding of a topic or subject area.
  • Effective social studies teachers have developed a sociological imagination: they are able to link personal experience with larger socioeconomic forces and help their students do the same.
  • Effective social studies teachers are culturally reflective and aware; they are willing to engage in an ongoing process of reflection and analysis of the social and cultural roots of their own values, behaviors and beliefs, and those of the students and community they will be working with.
  • Effective social studies teachers are empowered; they are able to think realistically and hopefully about ways citizens can act positively to change their communities.
  • Effective social studies teachers have acquired the passion and tools for lifelong learning.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be eligible for acceptance to the Social Studies Teaching major (Grades 5-12), students must submit a College of Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when they have completed all of the requirements from the Guide to Admission in the Urban Teacher Program.

Declare Your Program

Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

Teaching Licensure Grades 5-12

Students completing the Social Studies Teaching major also need to complete EDU and SSED courses for Minnesota Teaching Licensure for Social Studies grades 5-12 through the Urban Teacher Program in the School of Urban Education. For information about program admission, licensure coursework, and student teaching, please contact the School of Urban Education. Please note that the university's Urban Teacher Program (UTP) has the primary responsibility for recommending students for licensure. For more information, visit the Grades 5-12 licensure for Urban Secondary Education page in the catalog.

How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 44-47 total credits)

Social Studies Teaching Foundation Courses (22-23 credits)

A minimum of 8 credits from foundation coursework is required for admission to the Urban Teacher Program.

The following three courses are required:

  • GEOG 201 Introduction to Geography
    3 credits

    This course introduces students to the concepts and tools used by geographers to think critically about the relationship between humans and their environment. Geographers use this focus to answer contemporary questions of political, economic, social and environmental concern. This course is designed to help students understand the role human and physical geographies play in shaping individuals' experiences and understanding of the world.

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  • POL 101 Introduction to American Government and Politics
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to the structure of American government, the core ideas and values that underlie it, and approaches to effective civic engagement. Through reading, class exercises, and case studies students gain an understanding of how American political institutions function and how to engage in meaningful political action.

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  • SSCI 100 Introduction to Social Science
    3 credits

    How is society possible? Are human beings free? Can the individual make a difference? This course explores these and other fundamental questions drawn from the social sciences. Through films, novels, classroom exercises, and topical readings students investigate the relationship between the individual and society. Cross-cultural perspectives are integrated into the course.

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Social Studies Teaching Foundation - History Courses

Social Studies Teaching Foundation - History

  • HIST 101 The American Past: To 1865
    3 credits

    This survey course traces U.S. development through colonial times, the making of the Republic, and the nineteenth century up to and including the Civil War. Students and instructor work together in solving historical problems and learning historical skills.

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  • HIST 102 The American Past: From 1865
    3 credits

    This survey course traces U.S. development from the end of the Civil War until the present day. Students study post war Reconstruction in the South, the return of legal and social discrimination against African Americans, the advent and results of the Industrial Revolution, the making of modern capitalism, the increasing political and economic roles of women, the two World Wars, and America as a world power and multiethnic society.

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  • HIST 103 World History I: Patterns of Civilization to 1500
    3 credits

    Does the world have a history? This course is based on an affirmative answer to the question. A history of the world must be more than a mere compendium of facts about disparate societies and traditions. In this course students study the interactions among far-flung civilizations in ancient and medieval times. However, for most of the period considered in this course, those interactions were quite limited. Therefore, a coherent account of human history as a whole before the modern era emerges in large measure from comparisons among independently developing societies, and from a search for common patterns of development. Both similarities and important differences receive due attention. Topics include: the change from hunter-gatherer societies to sedentary agriculture; the rise of cities, social stratification, and the beginnings of written culture and organized religion; the complex civilizations and empires of West Asia, East Asia, Africa, Mesoamerica, and Europe; gender relations across civilizations in the ancient world; and the beginnings of technological and cultural divergence in the medieval world.

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  • HIST 104 World History II: The Modern World, 1500 to the Present
    3 credits

    This course examines the interactions among the world's peoples as they were brought increasingly into contact with one another after 1500. The rise of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism were closely linked to the creation of the modern world system, a system that took shape out of the cooperation and conflict among and between people as they were drawn into a world economy. Their experiences, the experiences of the people of the past as they both created and confronted the modern world, are thus central to an understanding of our own place in it.

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Social Studies Teaching - Choose one of the following:

  • ECON 201 Macroeconomics
    3 credits

    This course focuses on the economy as a whole and studies how government can affect the economy. After starting with principles of markets, the price system and supply and demand, the course covers national income accounting, business cycles, inflation, unemployment, fiscal policy, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve System, different approaches to economic growth, and the foundations of international trade.

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  • POL 319 Politics, Markets and Society
    4 credits

    This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.

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  • SOC 319 Politics, Markets and Society
    4 credits

    This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.

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Social Studies Teaching Core Courses (18-20 credits)

Choose one of the following courses:

  • ANTH 302 Gender and Culture
    4 credits

    What is gender? How can we understand differences in gender and sexuality? Through the perspective of cultural anthropology, students examine how gender is perceived and realized in a range of human societies. Discussions on the biological/cultural determinants of gender are considered. Ethnographic materials explore how gender varies cross culturally and historically and is related to social power. Students engage with contemporary debates surrounding such themes as marriage, family, human rights, and sexuality.

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  • HIST 394 Comparative Women's History
    4 credits

    This course compares women as global citizens in a least two cultures or regions of the world. Topics to be covered include women's involvement in family, reproduction, work, education, social and public activism, and war as well as cultural, racial/ethnic, class, generational and ideological differences among women. We will examine these issues in such global contexts as capitalism, industrialization, imperialism/colonialism, socialism and international law.

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Social Studies Teaching Core - Choose one of the following:

  • ETHS 302 Immigrant Communities and the Trajectories of Othering
    4 credits

    This course takes a systematic and historic look at immigration as an American national mythos and examines how immigration intersects with race and racial difference, and has affected the development of Black, Asian, Latino and Indigenous cultures and communities within the United States. Topics include immigration histories and experiences, critical conceptions of race, ethnicity, and migration, assimilation and acculturation processes, and social, cultural, and policy responses to migration. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism

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  • ETHS 309 Race and Public Policy
    4 credits

    This course will examine public policy and its impact on historically and politically disenfranchised communities of color in America, by first understanding public policy as an emerging practice that when juxtaposed with historically emergent notions of "race" in America, offers us a more complete vista of what public policy means (both explicitly and implicitly), an how that policy comes to function (both in the private and public realms of human socioeconomic activity.)

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  • ETHS 311 Understanding Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
    4 credits

    This course examines historical experiences of at least three racial groups. Groups explored include African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Chicanos/Latinos and European immigrants. The course considers the different experiences of these groups as impacted by gender, class and other factors. It aims to deepen and broaden students' understanding of racial and ethnic groups in the United States by studying the similarities and differences of their experiences.

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Social Studies Teaching Core - Choose one of the following:

  • ETHS 232 American Indians in Minnesota
    2 credits

    This course provides a context and a baseline for knowledge about Minnesota American Indian urban, rural and reservation communities. The course includes an overview of both the past and present experiences, struggles, and issues and the intersections of the past and the present in Minnesota American Indian communities. Students will have an opportunity to complete a community-based project as part of the requirements for this course. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

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  • ETHS 332 Topics in Contemporary Native North America
    4 credits

    This course examines significant and current issues in Native America. Drawing across disciplines and tribal communities, the course interweaves the following topics: tribal self-determination; federal, tribal, and state relationships; economic development; language preservation; education; health disparities and health promotion; ethnic identity; urban experiences, and Native American media and art. This class presents Indigenous peoples as modern peoples, not as images from the past. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

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Social Studies Teaching Core - Choose one of the following:

  • POL 301 Citizenship in a Global Context
    4 credits

    This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

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  • POL 321 World Politics
    4 credits

    This course examines critical global issues and the organizations and institutions that are attempting to address them. Drawing on concepts from political science and international relations, students explore such issues as human rights, the global environment, violence within and between nations, and the gap between "have" and "have not" nations. The course investigates the response of the United States to these issues as well as the effectiveness of formal international organizations like the United Nations and emerging transnational citizen organization. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experience and investigation.

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Social Studies Teaching Core Required Course

  • HIST 301 Historical Interpretation
    4 credits

    What is history? It is often said that history should be objective, that it should provide just the facts, that it should bring people a sense of the past "as it really was." Those who study and write history professionally tend to view these demands as extremely naive. It is a fact that historians have produced radically different interpretations of particular events or developments in the past. The dominant interpretations of important events have changed greatly over time. The study of these changes is called historiography. Through the readings in this course, students confront such interpretive discrepancies and changes with respect to several important historical developments, which occurred in different parts of the world and in different eras.

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Social Studies Teaching Capstone Course

Students are required to complete at least 30 credits in the major before taking the following required course:

  • SSCI 401 Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives
    4 credits

    This course provides students with the opportunity to understand, integrate, and apply the core themes and contending perspectives that underline the social studies disciplines. Through guided readings, research and discussion, seminar participants further develop the capacity to analyze selected issues through multiple lenses. Students apply these multiple perspectives to teaching middle and secondary social studies.

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