Secondary Education – Social Studies

Ready to train the next generation of global citizens? With an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Social Studies Education, you'll have the opportunity to integrate theory, research and practice so that in one year, you’ll be ready to step into the classroom with the knowledge and skills to confidently teach diverse student populations. 

This program is designed as a full-time, 12-month (summer, fall, spring) program in which students complete all requirements as a cohort. This model provides for an intense and rewarding experience and creates a strong network of support among students, faculty, cooperating teachers and university supervisors.

In addition to rewarding careers as teachers, many of our graduates go on to become department and school leaders, enter the field of museum education, or pursue doctoral degrees in education, history or public history.


Graduate students in Social Studies complete a 41-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods courses in social studies curriculum and instruction, and student teaching experiences. Course descriptions and sequence can be found on the Secondary Social Studies Concentration Program of Studies

Field Experiences

In addition to your coursework, you will spend time in real classrooms throughout the program. You'll have the opportunity to observe and interact with students in a diverse range of school settings:

Fall clinical field experience: You’ll be placed in a local school with a cooperating teacher mentor to complete a minimum of 60 hours of observation and interaction. Coursework is linked to the practica experiences, with faculty supporting students as they become immersed in the classroom.

Spring student teaching: Students continue working in the same classroom for their spring student teaching experience. This full-time teaching internship provides an intensive and critical component of your preparation as a teacher.

Licensure Requirements

Students who wish to teach social studies in public secondary schools must have a state license to do so. To be eligible for a state license in Virginia in Secondary History and Social Sciences, students must have successfully earned a baccalaureate degree, complete the subject area requirements shown below, complete the course requirements of the Secondary Social Studies program, and pass all testing requirements. Students who are accepted into the M.A.Ed. program with undergraduate program deficiencies must complete course work to remove these deficiencies before they are eligible for licensure.

First Aid, CPR and AED Training

Students seeking licensure in Virginia will need to complete training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators.  Students will need to provide documentation of completion of this training, which is usually an official card.  Training courses are offered by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

Subject Area Requirements

51 hours of coursework distributed in the following areas:

  1. History: a major in history or 18 semester hours in history (shall include coursework in American history, Virginia history, and world history);
  2. Political science: a major in political science or 18 semester hours in political science, which shall include coursework in American government (state and local government);
  3. Geography: 9 semester hours; and
  4. Economics: 6 semester hours.

  • Praxis Subject Assessment in Social Studies
  • Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
Social Studies Education Program Contact

[[mwkier,Meredith Kier]]
Associate Professor and Co-Director, Center for Innovation in Learning Design
(757) 221-2332

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)