Teacher with IPad

Secondary Education (BA/BS/M.Ed), Social Studies Area of Concentration




Are you a prospective freshman, looking for the right school to fulfill your dream of becoming a Social Studies teacher? Or are you a current UMD student, searching for a major that will help you make a difference in children's lives? Or perhaps you are thinking about transferring to College Park, to join the EdTerps community? The University of Maryland Secondary Education program is the place for you! Take some time to get to know the program. Check out the FAQs below and learn more about the faculty who guide the program and some of the people, like you, who make it great.

What subjects would I be able to teach as a Social Studies teacher?  Graduates of the Secondary Social Studies Education program are ready to apply to the Maryland State Department of Education for a teaching license. With this license, they are certified to teach Social Studies in grades 7-12, and they are certified to teach both required and elective courses. 

What are the starting salaries for Social Studies teachers? The starting salaries vary depending on the county where you choose to accept a teaching position. You can find more information for a school district's pay scale on its respective website. These pay scales may change soon. In 2019, the state approved the Kirwan Commission recommendations, which included consistent and increased pay for teachers across the state. This is an exciting time to enter the teaching profession in Maryland.

How difficult is it to get a job teaching Social Studies? Does this program help with landing that first job? There is a steady demand for Social Studies teachers in Maryland school systems and a desire each year to hire graduates of this program. You’ll have a community of EdTerps to help you land your first job and support you throughout your career. This large network of alumni are practicing teachers, mentor teachers, principals and district personnel in every corner of the state.

I have been out of school and working for some time.  I am thinking about becoming a Social Studies teacher. What do I need to do to get started? Our program is filled with students who have pursued various paths in life, including many that have changed careers! Start by requesting a transcript review from the Office of Student Services (ed-advising@umd.edu) to understand if you have met all of the coursework requirements to apply for our program. We also encourage applicants to gain field experience in the content area and to work with teens through volunteer, observation or employment opportunities.

When I graduate from this program, am I automatically certified to teach Social Studies in Maryland? You will be eligible for initial certification to teach Social Studies in grades 7-12. You will need to work with the school system that hires you to pursue your professional certificate or apply directly to the Maryland State Department of Education. For additional information on state certification, including information on the certification requirements of other states, please check here.

Is there a particular philosophy that guides this program? The goal of all teacher education programs in the College of Education is to prepare knowledgeable and reflective teachers who develop the skills and dispositions necessary to have a positive impact on students and schools in a diverse society. We believe that all teachers need to have extensive content knowledge, insight into their students’ assets and needs, and the capacity to create the best learning opportunities for their students.

SS Cohort 2018

What makes this Social Studies Education program different from others in Maryland? What sets it apart from others? Our small class sizes, connected professors and education professionals, and our large network of EdTerps alumni who work at all levels in education throughout the state support our students as they learn to become teachers and welcome them as they enter the teaching profession.   The University of Maryland is also in the backyard of our nation’s capital, making it a special place to earn a degree in Social Studies Education.

If I become a Social Studies teacher in Maryland, will I be able to get a job in other states? Some of our graduates begin their teaching careers in other states. Every state has its own licensure requirements, but those requirements are most often able to be met after you have received your UMD diploma and the State of Maryland recommendation for licensure that comes with successful completion of the program. More importantly, a Maryland teaching certificate is accepted by most other states.

I already have a bunch of credits for another major. Who do I talk to about switching to a major in Social Studies Education? Please reach out to the College of Education Office of Student Services (ed-advising@umd.edu) for an advising appointment and transcript review.

Are there any dual certification possibilities with Social Studies Education at UMD? Absolutely! After completing the requirements for initial certification in Social Studies (grades 7-12), you may complete Praxis tests for other certification areas (i.e. Math, English, TESOL).

I have too many credits in my major to switch majors at this point. Is there another way to get certified as a Social Studies teacher? Yes, you might be a potential candidate for our Master’s Certification program which accepts additional content area related undergraduate degrees.  We suggest you reach out to the College of Education Office of Student Services (ed-advising@umd.edu) for a transcript review.

Are there any double-major options for Social Studies Education? Yes, candidates for double majors complete a double major in History, Government or Geography in conjunction with the Secondary Social Studies major. Check with the College of Education Office of Student Services (ed-advising@umd.edu) for more information about these options. 

I am a transfer student looking to transfer to UMD and get my degree in Social Studies Education. Who do I contact to figure out how long it would take me to finish? Our academic advisors can help you to plan your path toward a degree and eligibility for initial teaching certification. They will explain the process of completing your coursework as well as internship and testing requirements. Speak to an advisor! Contact an advisor today at ed-advising@umd.edu.

I have been out of school and working for some time. Does this program take into account my work experience in any way? One of our admissions criteria is relevant experience.  We will gladly take into account your prior work experience, assuming it relates to working with secondary-age students through observation, volunteering or employment opportunities.

Will I learn from full-time faculty who have practical experience teaching in schools? Our courses are taught by full-time faculty and experienced educators, who bring decades of practical classroom experience to their work preparing the next generation of elementary school teachers. Our many field experiences mean also that you will not only work with faculty on campus, but also in your secondary school placement. Learn more about our faculty by visiting the Faculty Spotlight tab above.

SS Ed Classroom

There is so much diversity in schools today. Will I learn how to teach kids who speak languages other than English and come from different places? Our program prepares teachers to work in real classrooms, where many students speak languages other than English, and where students from different backgrounds and abilities come together to learn. Our coursework and placements reflect this. You will have many opportunities to work in real-world classroom settings and will learn to adapt instruction for all students.

Can I work part-time and complete the program? Candidates may work while as they you complete your their program coursework. However,  once you begin your year-long internship, we strongly discourage outside work. We want you to know that scholarships are available to those who are admitted to the program. We encourage every student to take advantage of these. Contact the College of Education for more on these scholarship opportunities.

Will I have the opportunity to work directly with students in this program? Will I be able to spend time in a real classroom? Our program design prioritizes practical experience with students in multiple and diverse teaching situations. Throughout your undergraduate program, you will engage directly in work with students starting in your junior year.  Then, during your final year in the Secondary Education program, you will complete a year-long internship working in one or two of our partner schools.

What are the program pathway options? Candidates can apply to the double major undergraduate, five-year integrated Master's or the one-year Master's Certification program. Explore the Master's Certification option here

What does the internship experience look like?  Social Studies candidates engage in a year-long internship, regardless of the certification pathway pursued.  Undergraduates are at a placement site a minimum of one day a week in the fall and five days a week in the Spring.  IMCP/MCERT candidates are at a placement site three days a week in the fall and five days a week in the spring. The experience begins during teacher preparation week in August and continues until mid-May. Our candidates have the opportunity to experience two placements (a brief introductory experience and a more extended placement), ideally at both a middle school and high school within two different partner school systems. 

How much choice do I have in selecting an internship? Where are these internships? What will I learn?  You will have an opportunity to complete your field experiences in schools in our four partner counties: Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s County Public Schools. See the Our Partners tab, above, for more on our partner schools. In creating your internship placement, our program coordinators will work with you to provide you with accessible placements that will help you to gain the experience you’ll need to begin a successful teaching career.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the EdTerps community! 






Lily Tajaddini (Class of 2022) 

While some people directly know from their undergrad years that they want to be a teacher, I took a different route that led me to University of Maryland’s MCERT program. During my undergrad years, I studied International Affairs and my jobs post-grad have been focused on social justice organizing, political campaigns, non-profit work, and summer camp organizing.

Student Headshot

"In the back of my mind, I always felt a growing desire to become a social studies teacher."

In summer 2020, the devastating and senseless acts of police brutality inflicted among African American communities, was a wake-up call for many people on the status of racism in America. That summer ignited conversations that there is a need to revamp school curriculums that thoroughly teach and give a voice to marginalized communities throughout history. These events made that little voice in the back of my head grow louder and I embarked on a journey to further my education to become a social studies teacher.


Chris Flores (Class of 2017) 

The whole experience at UMD was amazing, truthfully speaking. Faculty pushed us to think deeper and explore all aspects of teaching. Staff, advisors, coaches, and mentor teachers made themselves available at all times--sometimes of weekends even.

Student Headshot

"The EdTerps community is always reaching out with events, alumni panels, resource, professional development opportunities and so many other ways to continue to grow even after graduation!"

The cohort was amazing, the good will and support from my fellow students is what truly got me through the program. We were always there for each other and still maintain contact today, five years later.

Our Graduates Excel

  • Lily Tajaddini, 2022 Maryland Teacher of Promise
  • Laura Ponturieero, 2022 COE Undergraduate of the Year
  • Nathan Mason, 2021 Maryland Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Candidate
  • Katelyn Habina, 2021 Maryland Teacher of Promise
  • Alexis Anderson, 2020 Fulbright Scholarship
  • Melanie Gnatt, 2020 Middle States Council for the Social Studies Bernice Salalmonis Award & 2020 Maryland Teacher of Promise
  • Joey Salami, 2019 Middle States Council for the Social Studies Bernice Salalmonis Award
  • Calvin Lotz, 2019 Maryland Teacher of Promise
  • Katarini Pisini, 2018 Maryland Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Candidate
  • Jasmine Sanchez, 2018 Middle States Council for the Social Studies Bernice Salalmonis Award
  • Katie Evans, 2018 Prince George's County Public Schools Intern of the Year








Dr. Lisa Eaker (Senior Faculty Specialist) 


Dr. Eaker joined the teaching faculty at the University of Maryland in 2006. She teaches a range of courses within the Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership department and enjoys the opportunity to work with both pre-service teachers and general education students from across the campus.  In her role within the social studies education program, Dr. Eaker enjoys working with her students to explore their motivations for teaching, to critically analyze what counts as an educative experience, and to consider how the social sciences that comprise “social studies” can be used to cultivate social responsibility and civic mindedness.


Alison Jovanovic (Senior Faculty Specialist and PDS Coordinator) 


Alison Jovanovic has been with the University of Maryland since 2011.  She works primarily with the Social Studies undergraduate program as a PDS Coordinator, but also as the Secondary/MS/K-12 Program Coordinator.  In addition, Alison has been a collaborator on the Maryland 2025 PDS Project, specifically with the establishment of the Mentor Teacher Academy. The joint project with MCPS and PGCPS has resulted in the development and implementation of a mentor teacher training curriculum that deepens the understanding of the relationship between a mentor teachers’ belief systems, their mentoring practices,  and their informal interactions with Interns.  We are excited to have Alison participating in  this cutting edge initiative, as it has a direct impact on the professional growth of the mentors serving in the Secondary Education program and in turn, ensuring a quality experience for our Social Studies interns.

Joann Kang (Faculty Specialist and PDS Coordinator)

Joann Kang

Joann Kang is a PDS Coordinator for Secondary Social Studies, working primarily with the MCERT program. She is an experienced secondary social studies classroom teacher and instructional leader, after working in both Anne Arundel County and Howard County Public Schools.

Joann enjoys the opportunity to help prepare and support pre-service teachers as they prepare to enter classrooms as social studies educators. Joann is committed to the ongoing work of helping teachers to integrate and implement anti-racist and anti-bias practices, as well as culturally responsive teaching, into social studies education and curriculum.

Dr. Sarah McGrew (Assistant Professor)

Dr. Sarah McGrew

Dr. McGrew is an Assistant Professor with both the Technology, Learning, and Leadership and Social Studies Education programs at UMD. She teaches in the MCERT program and loves the opportunity to work with beginning teachers who join the program with such a wide range of experiences. Additionally, working in the social studies program allows Dr. McGrew to connect with pre- and inservice teachers from across Maryland on one of her research priorities: supporting students to learn to effectively evaluate online information on civic and political topics.


Dr.Alana Murray (Adjunct Faculty)

Dr. Alana Murray MCPS

Dr. Alana Murray is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Maryland. Dr. Murray is an educator-activist who has taught world history on both the middle- and high-school levels and currently serves as a middle school principal at Shady Grove Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland public schools.   In 2005, she served as the co-editor of the publication, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching with Deborah Menkart and Dr. Jenice View.  She is the author of The Development of the Alternative Black Curriculum, 1890-1940: Countering the Master Narrative. This book focuses on the impact of black women in shaping the social studies field. In 2022 she was awarded the UMD College of Education Alumni of the Year Award.



Blair HS

The University of Maryland College of Education is fortunate to work closely with a variety of school systems.  We predominately coordinate internships in Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.  We place our interns in these innovative school systems because they value the rich and diverse make-up of our state’s K-12 student population.  Year after year, our interns positively reflect on their field experience, highlighting their exposure to cutting-edge pedagogy, research-based practice, collaborative communities and an appreciation for an anti-bias approach to teaching and learning.

Markesa Thomas Oliver, Department Chair, Ogle Middle School

Mentor Headshot


"It’s been my pleasure to welcome so many passionate and youthful teachers into this honorable and necessary profession! The program is so well designed and the expectations of the program support effective teaching and learning!"



Our Partners

Anne Arundel County Public School Partner Site

Howard County Public Schools Partner Site

Montgomery County Public School Partner Sites

Prince George's County Public School Partner Sites

Alex Schlegel, Site Coordinator, High Point High School

District Leader Headshot

"The best part about working with UMD? It's rewarding to continue to work with a program that I myself graduated from to launch my teaching career. I feel like I’ve come full circle. UMD continues to provide such a strong education and support system for EdTerps, and I’m proud to consider myself a part of the process that introduces new people to the world of teaching!"

Visit our main Secondary Education Social Studies Education undergraduate program page to apply and to contact us.