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Department of History & Political Science

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Social Studies Teaching Major

A social studies teaching degree from UIndy gives you the skills necessary to teach history, and instills further knowledge about government, geography, economics, sociology and psychology. The department works closely with the Department of Teacher Education to help prepare students who wish to teach social studies at the secondary level. Our curriculum combines the history bachelor's degree with concentrations in government and geography, providing excellent preparation for obtaining the social studies teaching license. In fact, since the adoption of our current curriculum, every UIndy student who has taken the exam has obtained his or her certification.

To be eligible for a middle/high school teaching license, you must complete all of the requirements of the bachelor's degree in history, plus four courses each in government and geography and at least two electives in other social studies areas, in addition to education courses. To make sure you stay on track, you'll have two academic advisers–one in the History & Political Science Department and one in the Teacher Education Department. 

Program strengths

  • Consistent student outcome of 100 percent pass rate on the social studies Praxis II exam
  • Passionate and knowledgeable professors
  • Major includes the history BA with concentrations in government and geography
  • Emphasis on a well-rounded social studies experience
  • Focus on critical thinking, writing and research

Potential careers in social studies teaching 

  • Middle school/junior high teacher: If you think you would enjoy teaching younger students, you may want to consider a career in a middle school or junior high setting.
  • High school teacher: For those looking for a slightly more mature audience or for those who would rather teach courses that focus on subjects like U.S. History or U.S. Government, then you might want to teach at the high school level.
  • School administrator/guidance counselor: With a few years of teaching experience and more education, you can become a principal, guidance counselor, athletic director or superintendent.
  • Teaching abroad: While you may not be able to teach social studies abroad, other skills—such as writing—that you learn while at UIndy will come in handy if you are considering teaching abroad. 

Teaching social studies might be for you if:

  • You are passionate about history and government
  • The idea of molding and educating young minds appeals to you
  • You enjoy learning how historically important events are still impacting society today

Curriculum Guides

These curriculum guides outline the classes you'll need to take as a social studies teaching major. The general education curriculum guide lists your class options and requirements to fulfill UIndy's general education requirements, while the social studies teaching curriculum guide lists the classes needed to major in social studies teaching. You'll need to look at both guides to get a complete picture of what classes you'll take at UIndy.