For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.
The major in social studies is designed for students seeking teacher certification in secondary and middle school social studies or in elementary education. The major includes a minimum of 42 credit hours in economics, geography, history, and political science. Students seeking teacher certification also complete a teachable minor (for secondary level) or the elementary education minor (for the elementary level) and the professional major offered by the College of Education. The social studies major meets State of Michigan content standards for teacher preparation in social studies, which require at least six credit hours and two courses in each of the four disciplines and at least 18 credits and six courses in one of the four areas. In order to meet State Certification requirements for non-duplication of credits in the major and the minor, it is necessary to have 36 unduplicated credits in a group major and 18 unduplicated credits in the minor.
All social studies majors complete the core courses and select an area of concentration from the component disciplines. Students must complete a substantial portion of the major, including SST 310, 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 2.7 in the major and minor. Students may earn the B.A. or the B.S. degree. Students seeking the B.A. must demonstrate third-semester proficiency in a foreign language; students seeking the B.S. complete the following:
Students who decide not to seek teacher certification may complete the social studies major and receive a bachelor’s degree without completing the professional program in education; such students may graduate with a GPA lower than 3.0 provided they meet the university’s minimum requirements.
Transfer and post-graduate students seeking a teachable major in social studies should consult the CLAS Advising Center for an evaluation of their previous work. Postbaccalaureate 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 or whose previous work does not include at least six credits and two courses in each of the four disciplines and at least 18 credits and six courses in one of the disciplines must take additional courses to meet those requirements. Postbaccalaureate students seeking admission to the College of Education’s undergraduate professional program must also take SST 310, Strategies for social studies teachers, before admission to the College of Education.
The following programs are available:
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Social Studies