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Secondary education

Social Science Education (9-12)

The social sciences secondary education major puts you on the path to teaching in social science classrooms subjects like history, politics and sociology.

  • Cultural Diversity: Help learners to understand how culture governs the functions of language, literature, arts, traditions, beliefs, values and behavior.
  • Time, Continuity and Change: Guide learners to reinterpret the past by using credible sources, validating evidence and classifying significant and inconsequential change.
  • People, Places and Environments: Encourage learners to examine physical systems like climate and natural resources, while exploring ways Earth has changed over time.
  • Individual Development and Identity: Assist learners to describe how family, religion, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other cultural influences develop a sense of self.
  • Individuals, Groups and Institutions: Help learners identify institutional forms and analyze tensions between individual expression and social conformity promoted by institutions.
  • Science, Technology and Society: Enable learners to examine current and historical forms of interdependence of science, technology and society in a variety of cultural settings.
  • Global Connections: Help learners explain conditions and motivations that contribute to conflict, cooperation and interdependence among groups, societies, and nations.
  • Civic Ideals and Practices: Assist learners in understanding key ideals of democratic-republican government, such as liberty, justice, equality, welfare and domestic peace.

Learn and Lead with High Schools

Strong Partnerships

SXU places high priority on school-university partnerships and has strong relationships with urban and suburban school districts. What this means for you: 
  • Best opportunities to participate in meaningful clinical experiences.
  • Relevant preparation to become a classroom teacher, school administrator or school counselor.
  • Strong professional network to help you start your education career.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

124 credit hours are required for Bachelor of Arts degree. The Social Science Education major is a licensure program that prepares students to teach history and other social sciences in high school. Detailed course information can be found in the academic catalog. Students should use Academic Planning on the mySXU portal to schedule courses and track degree progress.

Suggested four year academic plan for the major (courses required in the major are in bold)

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to course selection.

Semester 1 Credit Hours
TRANS 100: Transitions 1
PHIL 140: The Examined Life 3
ENGL 120: Rhetoric and Writing 3
HIST 101: World History to 1500 3
POLSC 101: Intro to U.S. Government 3
Semester 2 Credit Hours
FYS 175: First Year Seminar 3
COMM 101: Speech Fundamentals 3
HIST 102: World History Since 1500 3
SOC 101: Intro to Sociology 3
POLSC 102: World Politics 3
Semester 3 Credit Hours
EDU 200: Profession of Teaching 3
HIST 103: U.S. History to 1877 3
HIST Elective 3
PSYCH 101: Intro to Psychology 3
SOCSC 204: Economics for Social Sciences 3
GE Biological Science with lab 3
Semester 4 Credit Hours
HIST 200: Introduction to the Discipline of History 3
PSYCH 201: Adolescent Psychology 3
EDU 323: Survey of Except Student 3
HIST 104: U.S. History Since 1877 3
GE Physical Science with lab 3
Semester 5 Credit Hours
EDU 202: Educational Psychology 3
EDU 397: Literacy Instruction 3
SOCSC Elective courses 3
HIST 230: Illinois History 3
HIST 300 Elective 3
Semester 6 Credit Hours
EDU 370: Principles and Practices 3
EDU 377: Historical and Social Trends in American Education 3
Humanities elective not in History 3
SOCSC 101: World Geography 3
SOCSC Elective courses 3
Semester 7 Credit Hours
EDU 378: Methods of Teaching Social Science 3
SOCSC Elective courses 3
HIST 395: Senior Seminar 3
GE Global (Humanities elective, not in History) 3
GE Arts/Humanities 3
GE Fine Arts or Literature (Diversity) 3
Semester 8 Credit Hours
EDU 345: Seminar in Teaching and Learning 3
EDU 349: Directed Teaching 9

*One of the natural science courses must have a lab component.

Social Science electives are chosen from economics, sociology, anthropology, or political science. Limit 6 hours in one area.

Social Science Secondary Education Cougar Map

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Social Science Secondary Education Cougar Map (PDF).


(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Explore scholarship opportunities.

Meet with your academic advisor to ensure you have a clear understanding of your program requirements.

Bring writing assignments to the Learning Center/Writing Studio for help fine-tuning papers.

Become familiar with the HUB and CIDAT for all your technical needs.

Get to know the faculty of the Education Department.

Form or join study groups with education majors and with students in your subject area of concentration.

Complete an education research project for a possible conference presentation.

Be mindful of important dates, i.e. semester ends and begins, deadline to withdraw from a course, petition for graduation.

Begin work on your topic for your Senior Seminar independent research project.

Visit the library for access to resources for your research papers.


(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Explore opportunities to work on campus or get involved with service opportunities through Campus Ministry.

Volunteer at a local organization or education setting.

Participate in student activities.

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Participate in outreach activities such as a spring break service trip.

Consider participating in a study abroad experience.

Serve as a peer mentor for next year's student-teachers.

Join professional associations related to the field of education and your subject area and assist those organizations with their events.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Attend SXU's career-related events throughout your time at SXU and network with professionals.

Secure a position in education as a tutor or after-school assistant with a local school or community program.

Create a LinkedIn profile and make connections within your academic and personal circles.

Start developing your teaching portfolio.

Attain paraprofessional licensure.

Research professional options licensure for social science secondary education teachers.

Secure a position as a paraprofessional or teacher aide for a summer program.

Research graduate schools and prepare for post-graduate academic/professional exam(s), applicable.

Ensure that your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts reflect all your recent experiences.

Explore entry-level full-time opportunities related to your skills.

Apply to graduate schools, if applicable.

Actively apply for teaching opportunities.

Career Outlook

The Secondary Education Program prepares individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which may include grades nine through twelve, depending on the school system or state regulations. Courses may include preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

To find out more about your major including potential areas and employers, required skills, job outlook, and median pay, please access the Occupational Outlook Handbook or the O*Net websites.

Explore the subsections below to learn more about the potential skills a student with a secondary education major can develop as well as the potential positions, areas, and employers that hire students with this degree. Please note that these are not exhaustive lists and should be used as a starting point.


As a secondary education major, you will develop an in-depth understanding of your content area. Additionally, students may develop advance skills including communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, dedication, conflict resolution, organization, classroom management, time management, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work as teachers, ELL specialists, textbook salespersons, instructional technologists, direct service and grant writers.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work in teaching, research, sales, administration, literacy development, adult and continuing education and fundraising/development.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work for public, private, magnet, or charter schools, professional associations, test preparation companies, international schools, publishers, museums, zoos, religious organizations, correctional institutions, higher education, nonprofit and park districts.


Meet the Faculty