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Secondary Education, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.): Social Studies Area of Concentration

Learn. Engage. Inspire. You make the difference!

Did you know the demand for secondary teachers is growing and will continue to grow by 15 percent over the next decade? Now is a great time to become a Social Studies teacher!

As a secondary Social Studies teacher (grades 7-12), you will help young people:

  • Learn to read and evaluate sources carefully and sharpen their skills to discern truth from falsehood
  • Seek multiple perspectives and build reasoned arguments about what to believe
  • Question simple narratives and listen for missing or misrepresented perspectives
  • Engage in civil, evidence-based discourse on critical issues

Why should you seek certification in Secondary Social Studies at the University of Maryland?

The Secondary Education Social Studies Area of Concentration program offers students a cutting-edge teacher preparation experience. Our program allows you students to gain critical knowledge and skills to become an effective teacher in our diverse and multicultural society.

Once admitted to the program, you will:

  • Learn a social justice-oriented approach to teaching social studies and supporting all students to succeed
  • Practice making social studies content and skills relevant, engaging, and transformative for students.
  • Learn alongside a range of experts in social studies education, including College of Education faculty, university supervisors, and mentor teachers
  • Work closely over the course of an academic year with an excellent history, government, or economics teacher at one of our partner schools

We have two pathways for you to become a Social Studies teacher

The undergraduate pathway is designed for incoming freshmentransfer students and current UMD students who are looking to either change majors or to add a fifth year to their undergraduate experience and earn a Master's in Education degree.

The graduate pathway is designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in a related discipline. This "Master's Certification" pathway leads to a Master's in Education degree and a license to teach in Maryland--and can be completed in one year.  

Learn more about both pathways ⇒ Click here

And follow us on Instagram ⇒ Click here

Undergraduate admission information

Once admitted to the University, students in the College of Education must meet the Selective Admissions requirements in order to proceed into the Professional portion of the Social Studies Education program. The Selective Admissions requirements for the Social Studies Education program are as follows:

Academic Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 45 credits
  • Cumulative UM GPA of 2.75 or higher; 3.0 GPA is recommended for best consideration
  • Completion of lower-level Fundamental English requirement with a “C-” or better
  • Completion of lower-level Fundamental Math requirement with a “C-” or better
  • Minimum passing scores on a Basic Skills Tests (see advisor for details)

Gateway Courses

  • Satisfactory completion of EDCI 410  with a “B-” or better
  • Satisfactory completion of the upper-level content area courses.  Consult Advisor for content area GPA requirement.

Experiential Requirements

  • Prior experience in the education field with youth in the age range you intend to teach
  • A written goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation (one must be from a faculty member or instructor)
  • Satisfactory rating on the College of Education Foundational Competencies


STEP ONE: Apply for undergraduate admission to the University.

       Once admitted to the University, proceed to Step Two.

STEP TWO:  Please submit your application to the Professional Teacher Education Program online using this site.

 Please contact the Office of Student Services,, or 301-405-2364.

For more information visit the COE Undergraduate Advising website.

Students will work closely with faculty, mentors and peers to observe, analyze and reflect on instruction. This will occur in methods courses, seminars and during the course of a yearlong internship experience.  The undergraduate internship experience is broken into two parts:

  • Fall Senior Year: 1 day a week placement with an experienced mentor at two area schools (one middle and one high school experience) where the intern has the opportunity to observe, reflect and participate in classroom activities.
  • Spring Senior Year: 5 day a week full-time placement where the intern will take on full responsibilities of a classroom teacher including planning, instruction and assessment of students with the support of a veteran mentor teacher, supervisor and program coordinator.

Specific information on requirements for each double major option can be found on the following pages:

Program Requirements and Major Four Year Plans

If you would like additional information about the Secondary Social Studies Education program, or help in determining if the program is a good fit for your interests and skills, please reach out to:

Alison Jovanovic, Social Studies PDS Coordinator (

Learn more about both pathways ⇒ Click here

As a current or  aspiring social studies educator, we welcome you to familiarize yourself with innovative social studies education resources developed by our faculty. Learn about the Difficult History Project at the link below to see an example of how primary sources can serve as a focal point for teaching about slavery in Maryland.

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