Social Studies Advising

You will be assigned an advisor who teaches in one of the disciplines associated with social studies. We encourage you to meet with your advisor at least once each semester. There may be times that you will need to meet with the Social Studies Director.

News about Social Studies:
The Social Studies Program maintains a listserv through which we send e-mail messages via the MSU mail server to you and other students majoring in social studies. If you get your e-mail through another account such as hotmail, please make sure that your MSU e-mail is being forwarded to that account. We also post many announcements on the social studies outside of AH 114 or AH 110 (History Department)

You will be eligible for licensure to teach grades 5-12 (high school, junior high school, middle school) in any of the areas associated with social studies.

The Major:
The major consists of 65 credits. It is a large major and to graduate “on-time” you will need to pay close attention to what classes you will take and when you will take them. You will complete a 15-credit area of concentration. Most of those classes will be taken in the junior and senior years.
You will be prepared broadly in the social sciences and history completing an introductory course in each of the disciplines associated with social studies. In four of the disciplines an additional class or classes are required. These are taught in part in the context of secondary teaching. You will also take a gender and women's studies class or an ethnic studies class and two social studies seminars.

General Education/Cultural Diversity:
Gen Ed is friendly to social studies majors. Courses in your major or in professional education will satisfy all categories except categories 1, 3, 4, and 6. They will also satisfy the cultural diversity requirement. It is recommended that you take Phys 100, 102 or 105 as part of the requirements for category 3.

Professional Education:
You will take 30 credits in a professional education sequence. You must also complete a class in drug education {Health 240 (3) or Psyc 490 (1): Workshop Drug & Alcohol Education}. The 30 credits include 12 credits that you earn during your student teaching {KSP 477, student teaching (11) & KSP 464 (1)}. You may receive advising about Professional Education in AH 117 or in the Department office of K-12 & Secondary Programs (KSP) in AH 313.

Starting out:
In your first year… you should focus on taking general education and introductory social science courses. You would typically take 2-3 gened classes and 2-3 introductory social science classes each semester.

In your sophomore year… you should take Sost 200, Intro to Social Studies Teaching and KSP 202, Technology Integration in the Classroom, KSP 222, Intro to the Learner and Learning and KSP 220W, Human Relations in a Multicultural Society, and complete general education and the introductory classes in your major (i.e. Anth 101, Geog 100, etc.) We recommend that you take Sost 200 and KSP 202 before you take KSP 222 and 220W.

(Note:  KSP course numbers changed in fall 2010. These and other KSP course numbers in this document are the new course numbers)

Finishing up:
A typical junior and senior year schedule would include:
Junior year spring semester:

  • KSP 330 (5) Planning, Instruction, and Evaluation in the Classroom

* Senior year fall semester:

  • Sost 450 (4) Teaching Secondary Social Studies
  • KSP 440 (3) Creating Learning Environments to Engage Children, Families and Communities
  • KSP 442 (3) Reading, Literacy, and Differentiated Instruction in the Inclusive Classroom

Senior year spring semester:

  • KSP 477 (11)  5 - 12 Student Teaching
  • KSP 464 (1) Professional Seminar

*You are required to take Sost 450 and KSP 440 & 444 in the semester before you student teach.
**Note that the above suggestions are for students in a pattern to graduate in 4 years. For many reasons it is difficult to complete the program in 4 years and you may find that you are taking classes in the fall that were suggested for the previous spring. That’s okay.

You may want to take classes in the summer. The most common offerings will be introductory classes in the social sciences and general education classes. Sometimes classes that meet the requirements of your concentration and Professional Education classes are offered in the summer, but not always.


  • Admission to Professional Educatio. You will need to be complete this admission prior to taking any upper division Prof. Ed. classes.   Learn about it in the College of Education Advising Center, AH 117. Typically done in the sophomore year.
  • Admission to Social Studies. In order to enroll in Sost 450, Teaching Secondary Social Studies, you will need to be admitted to the social studies program. Preference is given to students who have a 3.0 gpa and significant global, U.S. diversity, civic and community service experience. You will need to apply at least one semester prior to taking Sost 450 or one year prior to student teaching. Applications will be available in AH 114.
  • Application to Student Teach.  Pay attention to deadlines for applying to student teach. This is coordinated by the College of Education Clinical Experiences Office, AH 119.
  • Application for Graduation. Be sure to apply for graduation at least one calendar year prior to your expected graduation. Do it earlier if possible because in your last semester you will be student teaching which limits your flexibility to take classes that you may have overlooked. Applications are available  at the Registrar's Office or online at

Transfer and Returning Students:
Classes that you have taken previously will be assessed to determine where they fit within your major. You should meet with Kyle Ward, Social Studies Director, to learn how your past coursework applies to the social studies major. Inquiries about education classes that you have taken should be directed to the chairperson of K-12 and Secondary Programs (KSP), AH 313.

Professional Tests
You will need to take the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exam (MTLE) Basic Skills test prior to being admitted to Professional Education (ideally in the sophomore year.) The test is on basic writing, reading and math. You will take the MTLE Content Exam (social sciences and history) immediately prior to student teaching, and the MTLE Pedagogy Exam when you student teach. Contact the College of Education Advising Center, AH 117, for more information.


  • Social Studies, AH 114, 389-6306.
  • Anthropology, TN 359, 389-6318
  • Economics, MH 150, 389-2969
  • Ethnic Studies, MH 109, 389-2798
  • Geography, MH 206, 389-2617
  •  History, AH 110, 389-1618
  • Political Science, MH 109, 389-2721
  • Psychology, AH 23, 389-2724
  • Sociology, AH 113, 389-1561
  • Gender and Women's Studies, MH 109, 389-2077
  • College of Education Advising Center, AH 117, 389-1215
  • K-12 & Secondary Programs (KSP), AH 313, 389-5710