Learn how to introduce students to the rich, dynamic world of social studies.

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. If you wish to apply that knowledge to teach in a high school classroom, you should also gain an education in what it takes to help young learners succeed. Through education-oriented classes, you'll cover how to make lesson plans, how to evaluate student progress, how to personalize instruction, and more. 

Anchor: Stats
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

* The credit hours listed on this page only reference the specific program requirements and is not reflective of the total hours necessary to receive your degree. Cumberlands requires all students obtain a minimum of 60 hours for an associate’s degree and a total of 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree. Transfer and prior learning credits may be counted toward those totals.

To learn more about our General Education Requirements, please visit the page referenced below or explore our Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Science 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.

Course Requirements

Required courses are as follows (19 hours): 

  • HIST 137     World Civilization to 1648 
  • HIST 138     World Civilization since 1648 
  • HIST 224     Research Mechanics 
  • HIST 225     Research Composition 
  • HIST 231     American History to 1877 
  • HIST 232     American History since 1877 
  • HIST 490     Issues in History 

At least six hours in United States History chosen from: 

  • HIST 333     American Diplomacy 
  • HIST 336     American Military History 
  • HIST 338     Early Republic 
  • HIST 431     Early America 
  • HIST 450     Origins of American Constitutionalism 

And at least six hours selected from: 

  • HIST 332     Early Modern Western Military History 
  • HIST 334     England: 1485-1832 
  • HIST 335     Twentieth-Century Europe 
  • HIST 436     The Renaissance and the Reformation 
  • HIST 437     Imperial Russia 
  • HIST 451     Nineteenth-Century Europe 

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

  • POLS 131     Introduction to Political Science 
  • POLS 233     American National Government 
  • POLS 235     Introduction to International Relations 

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

  • BADM 136     Microeconomics 
  • BADM 137     Macroeconomics 
  • POLS 131     Introduction to Political Science
  • POLS 233      American National Government     
  • POLS 235      Introduction to International Relations
  • POLS 338      Comparative Politics                 
  • POLS  433        Western Political Theory I
  • SOCI 131      Introduction to Sociology 
  • PSYC 333      Psychology of Personality        
  • PSYC 334      Social Psychology                    
  • BADM 436      International Business            
  • GEOG 131     Introduction to Human Geography
  • GEOG 231     Environmental Geography

A Bachelor of Arts degree requires completing the same courses as a Bachelor of Science with the addition of completing one foreign language sequence through the intermediate level.

FREN 131        Elementary French I

FREN 132        Elementary French II

FREN 231        Intermediate French I

FREN 232        Intermediate French II


SPAN 131        Elementary Spanish I

SPAN 132        Elementary Spanish II

SPAN 231        Intermediate Spanish I

SPAN 232        Intermediate Spanish II

Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

The purpose of the School of Education is to develop entry level education students into highly qualified, knowledgeable and caring teachers. We provide training and experiences using best practices for teacher education candidates.

Develop entry-level education students into highly qualified, knowledgeable and caring teachers who provide for diverse learners.
Provide the pedagogical instructional methods necessary to meet the Kentucky Teacher Standards and University of the Cumberlands’ Standards.
Strengthen your abilities to critically reflect and evaluate your skills, thereby providing the opportunity for growth.
Nurture an appreciation and refinement of ethical and Christian moral values in future teachers.
Build robust oral, written, and information literacy skills in students.
Anchor: Career Outcomes

Social Studies Education Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

High School Teacher: $61,820

High School Teacher: $61,820

High school teachers teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

History Professor: $79,640

History Professor: $79,640

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.

Social Science Research Assistant: $50,470

Social Science Research Assistant: $50,470

Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

Political Scientist: $122,510

Political Scientist: $122,510

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Sociologist: $92,910

Sociologist: $92,910

Sociologists study society and social behavior.

Historian: $63,940

Historian: $63,940

Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

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.

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.

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. 

Upon completing your degree program at University of the Cumberlands, you’ll be well prepared to pursue job opportunities as a high school teacher. 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

Yes! University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and has national accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level. 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.

You will likely need to pass a state test for whichever state in which you hope to teach. Upon passing the exam, you should apply for a teaching license. Once you’ve obtained that, you can apply to open teaching positions! 

Anchor: Faculty

Faculty Experts in Social Studies

Get to know your future social studies professors.

Dr. John Wineland

Dr. John D. Wineland

Adjunct Professor

Dr. John D. Wineland

Contact Information

john.wineland [at] ucumberlands.edu
Catherine Ball

Catherine Ball, JD

Assistant Professor

Catherine Ball, JD

Contact Information

catherine.ball [at] ucumberlands.edu
Bennett Building
Dr. Michael Spurlock

Dr. Michael Spurlock

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Michael Spurlock

Contact Information

michael.spurlock [at] ucumberlands.edu

Request Information

Have questions? Ask us! We'll do our best to get back with you soon.