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History and Social Science Education (Licensure, 6-12)*

*M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction



The History and Social Science Education Teacher Preparation Program 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 M.A.Ed. in History and Social Science Education program includes a combination of graduate coursework including educational foundations, high leverage and inclusive methods of teaching History and Social Science (Social Studies) Education. Field work in secondary school settings is an important element of the program, this includes a 3 credit hour early field internship during the fall semester (3 full days a week) and a 9 credit hour student teaching internship (5 full days a week) during the spring semester). Students admitted to the program complete 12 hours of foundational coursework prior to joining the cohort in the Fall.  

The program is a 5th year program: Students begin in either the Spring (accelerated students) or Summer, and graduate the following Spring (May). The program requires specific course work taken at the undergraduate level in history, political science, geography, and economics. Please see the checklists below as a guide for content course prerequisites. Further details regarding admission requirements can be found here: Admissions Information

HSSE Program Specific Application and Checklist
Undergraduate Content Requirements for Virginia Tech students
Undergraduate Content Requirements for Non-Virginia Tech students

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).

Successful graduates of our History and Social Science Education Teacher Preparation Program will graduate with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and be eligible for the Commonwealth of Virginia postgraduate professional license in History and Social Science licensure grades 6-12. Once licensed in Virginia, graduates can work other State Departments of Education to secure licensure to be eligible to teach in that state.

Our graduates have the perfect mix of theory and practice, which helps them land a job after graduation and prepare them for ongoing professional and personal growth 

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The Masters in Curriculum and Instruction program with an emphasis in history and social science education follows a relatively prescribed plan of study to meet the Virginia Department of Education’s licensure requirements for Postgraduate Professional Licensure in History and Social Science Education – grades 6-12.

Plan of Study

Foundations (12 credits – must be completed prior to entering into final cohort year):

  • EDCI 5104: Schooling in American Society
  • EDCI 5264: Comprehending Processes and Reading in the Content Areas
  • EDCI 5554: Educating Exceptional Learners Across the Lifespan
  • EDEP 5154: Psych Foundations in Education

Cohort Year Courses

Fall Semester:

  • EDCI 5524: Behavior Management in K-12 Classrooms
  • EDCI 5724: Teaching in the Middle and Secondary School I
  • EDCI 5784: GS: Inquiry-Based Learning with Digital Technology
  • EDCI 5964: Field Experience (3 credit hours -- 3 full days in schools)

Spring Semester:

  • EDCI 5744: Teaching in the Middle and Secondary School II
  • EDCI 5754: Internship in Education (9 credit hours -- full time student teaching, 5 days a week)
  • EDCI 5784: GS: Developing Professional Dispositions: Case Studies in Education


The Masters in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in History & Social Science Education is not awarded solely based on coursework completion. To graduate, each student must create and present an electronic portfolio showcasing and celebrating their growth as their final exam defense. 

Course Descriptions

A study of the people and forces that impact on American education, analyzing the social setting of schooling and the relationships among school, curriculum, clients, personnel, and culture.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Explores basic processes involved in comprehension: the role of concepts about text structure, task demands, and the role of the reader; includes teaching strategies for comprehending and using information in content area texts and in job related materials.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Analysis and application of research-based instructional and behavioral techniques for supporting individuals in the K-12 classroom. Trends, assessment, ethics, and collaborative involvement in behavior management. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Analysis of purpose, rationale, and foci of educational programs, and related services for individuals with special needs. Identification of characteristics associated with each exceptionality. Review of procedures for assessment, eligibility decisions, and the development of individualized educational programs. Overview of selected instructional strategies, environmental adaptations, and special materials. Examination of findings concerning program efficacy.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Introduces concepts and methods that enhance the teaching of specific academic disciplines (English, history and social sciences, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music) in combination with a field studies course.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Intensive instruction in methods of teaching an academic discipline (English, history and social science, science, mathematics, foreign languages, and music). Emphasis on classroom management, use of instructional technology, planning and delivery.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Student participation in a planned clinical experience under supervision of a university staff member in an appropriate work center.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 12

Selected topics in curriculum and instruction, supervision, educational foundations, special education, research, and evaluation.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 6

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 6

Applied study in one or more educational institutions. Research, evaluation, curricular, and instructional projects are examples of appropriate projects of study. The student is graded on the basis of the design of the project and ability to carry it through and report the results.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Emphasizes applying human learning and developmental theories to classroom settings including school learning theories, child and adolescent cognitive development, instructional strategies, classroom management, student motivation, and learning assessment strategies. Graduate Standing Required. Admission in a graduate teacher education program or instructor permission required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3


This program operates on a cohort model. Members of a given cohort attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

The benefits of a cohort model are many. It is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. They report a strong sense of community and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.