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Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies Education (Secondary Certification)

If your career goal is to introduce students to the rich, dynamic history of the past in order to prepare them for the future, a degree in secondary education with a major in history is the first step toward making that dream a reality. With our experienced, caring faculty here to help you tailor your program of study with the courses that best fit your personal goals, you’ll have opportunities to explore subjects that range from the great cultures of ancient times to the twenty-first century and everywhere else in between. And, as you chart your way through history, you’ll be able to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for earning your social studies teaching certification for secondary education.

During your 12-week practicum, you will develop invaluable relationships that could lead to future employment. By collaborating with colleagues and supervisors you will have the opportunity to grow professionally and enhance learning communities.


What is Social Studies?

Social studies look at past cultures and how they have given rise to the society we participate in today. To look at social studies is to more closely examine the “social” relationships and functions within society. These studies can cover a wide range of areas, including civics, sociology, history, government, economics, and even geography. 

A college degree in history or social studies prepares future history and social studies teachers with the training they need to qualify for licensure and pursue teaching opportunities in high school classrooms. Coursework traditionally covers topics such as world civilization, American history, diplomacy, constitutional origins, and more. Students who wish to apply that knowledge to teach in a high school classroom should also gain an education in what it takes to help young learners succeed. Through education-oriented classes, they’ll cover how to make lesson plans, how to evaluate student progress, how to personalize instruction, and more. 

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Is Social Studies History?

It’s true that social studies and history, as educational areas, are often confused as being the same thing, but there are differences. History can best be thought of as one of the areas of study within social sciences or social studies. History offers a record of the events and people who helped shape the society we live in. Social studies, on the other hand, often examine why things happen. They are developed to help us better understand our shared responsibilities within society, thus the importance of civics, sociology, and government within social studies curriculum. 

There is, however, a lot of overlap. Professionals trained to teach history are often well-qualified for teaching jobs in social studies, civics, and other critical classes regarding society. Vice versa holds true, as well.

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Why is Social Studies Important?

Simply put, to do better in the future, we must better understand how we, as a species, have developed and related in the past. That means we need to know our history and from where our societal norms come. Social studies can help us better engage in civic responsibility, understand each other’s culture, grasp economic situations and facts, hone critical-thinking and decision-making skills, appreciate the role and impact of politics in our lives, develop a respect for history, and just make sense of the world. 

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What Can I Do with a Degree in Social Studies or History?

From classroom management to an in-depth understanding of your subject area, curriculum for your bachelor’s degree program at University of the Cumberlands covers the gamut of issues you’ll face in and out of the classroom. Upon completing your history degree program, you’ll be well prepared to pursue job opportunities as a high school teacher, a position that averaged $61,820 annually in 2030. 

Or, instead of jumping right into a history or social studies teacher job, continue your studies in graduate school to expand your career prospects outside of the classroom. After all, employers highly value the reasoning, analytical, and interpretive skills that you will develop as a history major. A few paths your career could take include:

  • History teacher or social studies teacher (9-12)
  • Post-secondary history professor
  • Researcher for museums, educational institutes, business entities, or historical organizations
  • Policy advisor for corporations, governments, or not-for-profit organizations
  • Curator
  • Education officer
  • Post-graduate study in law
  • Scholarly publishing/documentary editor
  • Archivist

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

In order to obtain certification to teach social studies in the state of Kentucky, the student must complete 37 semester hours in history and 24 hours in social studies. Each prefix must have at least one course selected. 

Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Social Studies - 61 Semester Hours

Required courses are as follows (19 hours): 

At least six hours in United States History chosen from: 

And at least six hours selected from: 

Plus six additional hours chosen from the History Department’s offerings The following courses are required: 

Twenty-four hours chosen from the following: (6 hours of which must be BADM136 and BADM 137) 

Bachelor of Arts in Education with a Major in Social Studies

Completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree plus a world language through the intermediate level.

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the history faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone:  606.539.4240
Toll-Free:  877.713.8767
Fax:  606.539.4303

Visit Us In Person

6178 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.