Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023

Social Studies, Bachelor of Arts (592)

Program Coordinator

Jennifer A. Hanley, jennifer.walton-hanley@wku.edu, (270) 745-4723

The Social Studies major program provides a strong, interdisciplinary major both for prospective secondary school teachers and for Liberal Arts students interested in a broad learning experience. The Social Studies curriculum totals 60 hours and requires students to study history (27 hrs), political science (9 hrs), economics (6 hrs), geography (9 hrs), anthropology (3 hrs), psychology (3 hrs), and sociology (3 hrs). Social Studies majors are not required to complete an accompanying program, but nearly all Social Studies students double-major in History (which requires 33 hrs). Most Social Studies majors complete the complementary Secondary Education curriculum in CEBS to become certified to teach social studies, and then take jobs as secondary school teachers in WKU’s service area.


  • General (No Concentration)
  • Teacher Education (TCHR)

Program Requirements (60 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in social studies requires a minimum of 60 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students completing this major may become eligible for teacher certification in social studies. Students with a major in social studies receive a 12-hour waiver in the upper-division hour requirement in the major field.

HIST 101World History I3
HIST 102World History II3
HIST 240The United States to 18653
HIST 241The United States Since 18653
HIST 498Senior Seminar3
Select 12 hours of upper-division courses including a course from each of the following areas:12
United States History
European History to 1648
European History since 1648
Areas other than Europe or the United States
Political Science
PS 110American National Government3
PS 250International Politics3
or PS 260 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Select an upper-division elective from the following:3
The American Presidency
The Legislative Process
Constitutional Law
Civil Liberties
Criminal Justice Procedures
U S Foreign Policy
American Political Parties and Interest Groups
Minority Politics
American Political Thought
ECON 202Principles of Economics (Micro)3
ECON 203Principles of Economics (Macro)3
GEOG 110World Regional Geography3
Select two of the following:6
Introduction to Cultural Geography
Economic Geography
Geography of North America
Geography of Europe
Food, Culture, and Environment
Political Geography
Geography of East Asia
Geography of Africa
Geography of the Middle East
Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology
ANTH 120Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
PSY/PSYS 100Introduction to Psychology3
SOCL 100Introductory Sociology3
Total Hours60

In choosing elective courses, students should keep in mind the number of upper-division courses required for graduation. Students who complete this program will not be required to offer an additional major or minor for their degree and teacher certification.

Students who pursue the social studies major should also bear in mind that at least a minor in a particular discipline is required by many universities for graduate study in that discipline. The equivalent of a history minor is included in the social studies major. The number of additional hours required to meet minor requirements in PS, ECON, GEOG and SOCL is as follows: PS: 15 hours; ECON: 15 hours; GEOG: 12 hours; SOCL: 18 hours. Students seeking to minor in any of these disciplines should consult the appropriate Department Chair for specific requirements.

Teacher Education Requirements

The major in Social Studies with Teacher Certification is intended for those seeking certification to teach in grades 8-12. It requires a minmum of 60 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. No minor or second major is required. (Teacher certification requires an additional 40 hours of education courses specified by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. A grade of "C" or higher is required in all courses applying to certification.) Requirements for the Social Studies major do not change, but the Education component does. The professional education courses required are (40 hours):

EDU 250Discover Teaching: Introduction to Teacher Education3
PSY 310Educational Psychology: Development and Learning3
SEC 350Clinical Practices in Secondary Teaching I8
EDU 350Student Diversity and Differentiation3
EDU 360Behavior and Classroom Management in Education3
SEC 450Clinical Practices in Secondary Teaching II1
SEC 481Teaching Social Studies3
EDU 260Classroom Assessment3
SEC 490Student Teaching10
EDU 489Student Teaching Seminar3
Total Hours40

Finish in Four Plan

Without Teacher Certification

First Year
HIST 1013HIST 1023
ENG 1003COMM 1453
MATH 109 or MATH 1163GEOG 1103
SOCL 1003PSY 100 or PSYS 1003
PS 1103PS 250 or PS 2603
 15 15
Second Year
HIST 2403HIST 2413
Upper Level History Elective (Europe to 1648)3Upper-Level History Elective (Europe since 1648)3
ANTH 1203ENG 2003
Colonnade - Natural & Physical Sciences w/ lab3GEOG 330, GEOG 350, GEOG 360, GEOG 364, GEOG 378, GEOG 425, GEOG 465, GEOG 466, or GEOG 4673
Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3Colonnade - Arts & Humanities3
 15 15
Third Year
ECON 2023ECON 2033
Upper Level History Elective3Colonnade - Social & Cultural 3
ENG 3003PS 310, PS 316, PS 326, PS 327, PS 328, PS 357, PS 370, PS 373, or PS 4353
HIST (Non-Western)3HIST Elective (United States)3
Colonnade - Natural & Physical Sciences w/ no lab3Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
History Elective3HIST 4983
Colonnade - Local to Global3Colonnade - Systems3
GEOG 330, GEOG 350, GEOG 360, GEOG 364, GEOG 378, GEOG 425, GEOG 465, GEOG 466, or GEOG 4673Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3
Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3
Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3Second Major, Minor, or General Elective Course3
 15 15
Total Hours 120

Teacher Certification

First Year
HIST 1013HIST 1023 
ENG 1003COMM 1453 
MATH 109 or MATH 1163GEOG 1103 
SOCL 1003PSY 100 or PSYS 1003 
PS 1103PS 250 or PS 2603 
Colonnade: Arts & Humanities3Colonnade: Natural & Physical Sciences w/o Lab3 
 18 18 
Second Year
HIST 2403HIST 2413 
ANTH 1203ENG 2003 
EDU 2503ECON 2033 
Upper Level History Elective (Europe to 1648)3Upper Level History Elective (Europe since 1648)3 
Colonnade: Natural & Physical Sciences w/Lab3History Elective (Non-Western)3 
History Elective (United States)3Upper Level History Elective3 
 18 18 
Third Year
SEC 3508EDU 3503Colonnade: Connections (Systems)*3
EDU 3603EDU 3603 
ECON 2023History Elective3 
ENG 3003Upper Level Political Science Elective3 
 Upper Level Geography Elective3 
 Connections: Colonnade (Social and Cultural)*3 
 17 18 3
Fourth Year
SEC 4813EDU 4893 
LTCY 4213SEC 49010 
SEC 4501  
HIST 4983  
Colonnade: Connections (Local to Global)*3  
Upper Level Geography 3  
 16 13 
Total Hours 139