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History and Social Science Education (M.A.Ed.)

(M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction)

This program is offered to anyone who would like to earn
History and Social Science Education (M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction) only. If you are interested in State of Virginia Licensure, applicants should apply for History and Social Science Education Licensure Program (6-12) that lists all the licensure/endorsement requirements.

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).


Year Program (Summer, Fall, and Spring)

Small Graduate  Cohorts 9-15 Students

Twice Recognized as A University Exemplary Program

Dual MA Option in Curriculum and Instruction, and History

Our History and Social Science Education program

The History and Social Science (Social Studies) Education program is a one year (minimum) graduate licensure program in which students earn a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with a postgraduate professional license for History and Social Science (social studies) 6-12. The program is designed to prepare secondary level (6-12) teachers to teach engaging, powerful, challenging, and authentic social studies

Why Study History and Social Science Education Here?

The history and social science program offers students the opportunity to join a small cohort of preservice teachers and learn from nationally renowned social studies teacher educators. The program is designed to blend theory and practice and  provide a supportive space for preservice teachers to join a  learning community where they can construct a philosophy of teaching and learning, and begin to develop a range of disciplinary-specific inquiry-based strategies for the planning, teaching, and assessment of history and social science in the 6-12 classroom.  The program always works closely with the Department of History to support a Dual MA program in Curriculum and Instruction and History.

What You’ll Study

The program is designed to provide space to begin to play and develop a critical yet entrepreneurial eye with regard to self, school,  student learning, digital technologies, content, and context. The program prides itself with developing teacher leaders/scholars who know how to support the teaching of all students within standards-based settings. The job placement rate within Virginia and beyond is excellent.

Coursework includes foundational courses in social foundations of education, content specific literacy work, psychological foundations of education, and educating exceptional learners. As part of the social studies education cohort the two methods courses are carefully aligned with intensive field experiences, and coursework in inquiry-based learning and digital technologies. The methods courses also uniquely brings together social studies preservice teachers with English Language Arts preservice teachers to explore interdisciplinary connections. The design and development of individual electronic portfolios form the capstone of the program. In 2012 the program alongside English education and Music Education was recognized as a University Exemplary Department/program for effectively integrating ePortfolios to improve student learning.

Career and Professional Development

Virginia Tech offers a History and Social Science Education (social studies) program in which candidates earn a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction only. 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

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 (M.A.Ed.) should contact the program leader, Dr. David Hicks, by email at

Visit our office at Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313), 330 Sterrett 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.


David Hicks
Program Leader
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-8332

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Service Assistant
402 Wallace Hall (0565)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-5348

School of Education
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061