History and Social Science Education

(Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

"The primary purpose of the social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world"

(National Council for the Social Studies, 1994, p. 157).

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

One-on-One Faculty Mentoring

Strong Job Placement

Intensive Research Opportunities

Our History and Social Science Education program

The School of Education at Virginia Tech offers a doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in History and Social Science Education. The doctoral program is made up of full time and part-time doctoral students. Every effort is made to secure graduate assistantships for full-time students as they complete their one-year academic residency requirement. Students are expected to complete doctoral examinations and dissertation including qualifying exam, preliminary exam, prospectus and final examination. 

Why Study History and Social Science Education Here?

The History and Social Science education program at Virginia Tech is designed to prepare reflective teachers who are ready, willing, and able to facilitate the type of systematic critical literacy work that is a vital part of preparing 21st century citizens to become thoughtful and nuanced readers of the word and the world, both past and present. The History and Social Science education program has been recognized twice as a University Exemplary Department/program for working collaboratively with the Department of History to fulfill common or complementary goals (2008) and effectively integrating ePortfolios to improve student learning (2012).

What You’ll Study

The doctoral program emphasizes the following strands of research pertaining to History and Social Science:

  • Comparative studies of history and social science education
  • Education of preservice and inservice teachers
  • How students learn history and social science
  • The role of multimedia and technology to support historical inquiry
  • Curriculum History
  • Citizenship Education

Doctoral Examinations and Dissertation

Students enrolled in the doctoral program must pass four exams as part of the degree requirements.

  • Qualifying Exam
  • Preliminary Exam
  • Prospectus
  • Final Examination

Plan of Study

During the first semester, and no later than the second semester of enrollment, the student and advisor should develop a proposed Plan of Study to submit to the Graduate School. The Plan of Study for History and Social Science doctoral students must include the following minimum requirements:

  • Research: 18 hours
  • Dissertation: 30 hours
  • Foundations: 9 hours
  • Concentration: 12 hours
  • Cognate: 9 hours

Career and Professional Development

Ph.D. program is primarily designed to prepare researchers and higher education faculty. The possible career paths could be but not limited to faculty positions in post-secondary education and for leadership positions in secondary education.

The History and Social Science education program at Virginia Tech is designed to prepare reflective teachers who are ready, willing, and able to facilitate the type of systematic critical literacy work that is a vital part of preparing 21st century citizens to become thoughtful and nuanced readers of the word and the world, both past and present.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests

  • Learning History and Social Science
  • Explicit Strategy Instruction and Scaffolding
  • Mixed Reality  & Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Digital Technologies and Multimedia
  • Disability Studies

David Hicks, Professor

collaborate
David Hicks, Professor

History and Social Science Education Research Highlights

  • Stoddard, J.S., Marcus, A., & Hicks, D. (Eds.) (2017).  Teaching difficult history through film. New York: Routledge.
  • van Hover, S., & Hicks, D. (2017). Social constructivism and students learning in Social Studies. In M. Manfra and C. Bolick (Eds.), The handbook of social studies research (pp. 270- 286). New Jersey: Wiley.
  • Johnson, A., Hicks, D., Ogle, T., Bowman, D., Cline, D. & Regan, E. (2017) “If this place could talk”: Using augmented reality to make the past visible. Social Education 81(2), 112-116.
  • van Hover, S., Hicks, D., & Dack, H. (2016). From source to evidence? Teachers’ uses of historical sources in their classrooms. The Social Studies 107(6) 209-217.

Students interested in applying to the History and Social Science Education (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction) should contact the program leader, Dr. David Hicks, by email at hicks@vt.edu.

Visit our office at 400A War Memorial Hall (0313), 370 Drillfield Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Deadlines for early admissions:
September 20 for entry in the Spring and Summer
February 20 for entry in the Summer (if space permits) and fall (for the two year program).
Note: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

CONTACT US

David Hicks
Program Leader
400A War Memorial Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-8332
hicks@vt.edu

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Services Assistant
War Memorial Hall, RM 105,
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061 
540-231-5348 
nanolen@vt.edu

School of Education
226 War Memorial Hall (0313)
370 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061