Social Studies Major
The major in social studies is designed for students seeking teacher certification in secondary, middle, or elementary school. The major coursework is in history, economics, geography, and political science as well as in the social studies specific pedagogy.
The social studies major with elementary emphasis prepares students to teach social studies in Michigan kindergarten through eighth grade. Students must also complete the elementary education minor and the education major for elementary certification. The social studies major meets State of Michigan content standards for teacher preparation in social studies.
NOTE: Beginning in FALL 2021, The social studies major with elementary emphasis is no longer enrolling new students. The program is being replaced by the PCKET (Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Elementary Teaching) program. New students in Fall 2021 should visit the PKCET website for more information on the new paths to elementary certification.
The social studies major with secondary emphasis prepares students to teach social studies in Michigan sixth through 12th grades. Students are not required to complete a teaching minor but may choose to do so. Students must also complete the education major for secondary certification. Students may also choose to pursue a second major in history. The social studies major meets State of Michigan content standards for teacher preparation in social studies.
Students must complete a substantial portion of the major, including SST 309 or SST 310 and SST 311, before admission to the College of Education. The College of Education requires that candidates for admission present an overall GPA of 2.7 as well as a GPA of 3.0 in the major and minor.
Students who decide not to seek teacher certification may complete the group social studies major and receive a bachelor’s degree without completing the professional program in education by meeting the university’s minimum requirements.
Transfer and post-graduate students seeking a teachable major in group social studies should consult the CLAS Advising Center for an evaluation of their previous work. Post-baccalaureate students must present a record substantially equivalent to that required of Grand Valley State University undergraduates; such students whose previous academic work is not equivalent to the Grand Valley program must take additional courses to meet those requirements. Post-baccalaureate students seeking admission to the College of Education’s undergraduate professional program must also take SST 309 or SST 310 and SST 311 before admission to the College of Education.
Why Study Social Studies at Grand Valley?
Social studies majors study the world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives giving them strong interdisciplinary training.
Social studies majors are prepared to tackle the teaching of a complex subject in a changing world.
Social studies majors are attractive to schools that seek to hire teachers who are able to teach a variety of courses in social studies.
Social studies majors work closely with social studies faculty to learn the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching social studies.
Oh, the places you'll go with Social Studies