Social Science Education

Composite Major

Department Chair: Dr. Anthony Dutton,, (701) 845-7107
Faculty Contact: Dr. Anthony Dutton,, (701) 845-7107
Department Office: 315 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7310
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The curriculum for a Social Science Education major is designed to enhance your understanding and interest in professional education within the Social Science area as well as to produce a Social Science professional who is a knowledge-based decision maker. The curriculum encompasses a wide range of areas: geography, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, and history; all explore the ways that human beings, as societies or cultures, relate to each other and their environments and how they establish structured systems to effectively govern and administer their activities. Each area has a distinct knowledge base and point of view that collectively form a cohesive grouping of studies designed to train students to deal with people in a wide variety of settings and help manage the problems of society. The Barnes County Historical Museum gives students the opportunities for practical, hands-on experience, archives for research, and community involvement.  In comparison to the History Education degree, Social Science Education is broader in coursework, preparing students to meet more diverse needs. Job opportunities in this field of education are currently very strong, and most of our graduates readily find teaching positions.

Explore Social Science
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 

VCSU has an active Phi Alpha Theta/History Club, allowing students to develop leadership skills and promote history across campus. Students have opportunities to present their research at the Dakota History Conference and the Northern Great Plains History Conference, in regional, professional history settings. The Social Science Department also periodically organizes overseas travel opportunities for VCSU students.

Teacher Education Requirements

Students are typically admitted into Teacher Education during their sophomore year or beginning of their junior year of college. This program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and successful completion of the Praxis I test. Additional criteria for Admission to Teacher Education can be found at the following website:

Practical Experience

As a Social Science Education major you are placed into schools for a series of field experiences including Introduction to Education (40 hours); Practicum (80 hours); Culturally Diverse Practicum (25 hours involving 3 consecutive full days in a classroom), and a twelve-week student teaching field experience completed in a location that works well for the student and university. Student teaching is the culminating experience of the program and the opportunity for students to apply all they have learned regarding their classroom preparation and field experience opportunities.

“VCSU challenges students to grow, and that’s achieved by giving students opportunities both on and off campus to test and strengthen their abilities. I’m a better writer and student because of the Dakota History Conference and numerous opportunities VCSU has given me.” —Mark Huber ’09, Ellendale, N.D.

“The VCSU Social Science Department truly prepared me to excel in the classroom during my student teaching experience. Because of the department’s guidance and command of the subject matter, I entered the school confident in my teaching abilities. The professors not only taught us content, but also strategies to implement to teach the social sciences in an informative and engaging way. I feel very grateful to have learned from the professors I did, and very satisfied about my teaching style that was cultivated due, in part, to this program.” —Scott Westby ’15, Sheyenne, N.D.


General Education Requirements 

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
HIST 490Methods of Teaching Social Science3
HIST 491Senior Capstone1
History Courses
HIST 103United States to 1877 13
HIST 104United States to Present 13
HIST 211World Civilizations to 15003
HIST 212World Civilizations since 15003
HIST 220North Dakota History3
HIST 400Historiography3
HIST 470Topics in Non-Western History3
Economics Courses
Select 12 hours from the following:12
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
International Political Economy
The Atlantic World
Geography Courses
Select 12 hours from the following:12
Introduction to Earth Science
Survey of Geography
Human Geography 1
Environmental Earth Science
Applied Geography Workshop
History and Geography of England and Britain
Geography of North America
Independent Study
Special Topics
The Atlantic World
Field Experience in Geography
Political Science Courses
Select 12 hours from the following:12
American National Government 1
State and Local Government 1
Research Methods
U.S. Constitution: Federalism
U.S. Constitution: Civil Liberties
The American Presidency
Comparative Politics
International Relations
Psychology Courses
Select 6 hours from the following:6
Behavior Modification
Social Psychology
The Family
Race, Ethnic, and Gender Relations
Total Credits67

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 67 Hrs
Total Professional Education Sequence 31-32 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

Professional Education Sequence

Professional Education Sequence
EDUC 240Educating Exceptional Students3
EDUC 250Introduction to Education3
EDUC 283Understanding Cultural Diversity in Education3
EDUC 300Educational Technology2
EDUC 351Secondary Practicum and Classroom Management1
EDUC 352Culturally Diverse Practicum1
or EDUC 464 Practicum in the ELL Classroom
EDUC 375Teaching Reading in the Content Areas 2
EDUC 400Educational Psychology 12
EDUC 450Trends in Assessment and Educational Issues2
EDUC 480Student Teaching (Secondary) 110
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology3
Total Credits32

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.


Plan of Study

First Year
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 120 (Gen Ed)3
COMM 212 (Gen Ed)3GEOG 1513
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3HIST 1043
HIST 1033HIST 267 (Gen Ed)3
MATH 210 (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2
POLS 1153Lab Science (Gen Ed)4
UNIV 1501 
 19 18
Second Year
EDUC 2503ECON 2023
ECON 2013ECON 4603
HIST 2113EDUC 2833
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4GEOG 111 (Gen Ed)2
POLS 1163HIST 2123
PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3PSYC 2503
 19 17
Third Year
Art and Music (Gen Ed)3EDUC 2403
EDUC 3002EDUC 4502
HIST 4703GEOG 3253
Literacies (Gen Ed)3GEOG 3623
POLS 3763GEOG 4603
POLS 4253HIST 2203
 17 17
Fourth Year
EDUC 3511EDUC 4002
EDUC 3521EDUC 48010
EDUC 3752 
HIST 4003 
HIST 4903 
HIST 4911 
PSYC 3303 
SOC 3003 
 17 12
Total Credits 136

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Content: Students will accumulate knowledge and understanding of the necessary material to establish historical context and causality. Content will be demonstrated by thesis driven, evidence based responses to historical scenarios.
  2. Social theory: Students will develop an understanding of the philosophies, methodologies, and theories that define, give meaning to, and shape scholarly understanding of the social sciences. Social theory will be demonstrated through thesis driven research that applies relevant theories or methodologies to historical writing.
  3. Application: Students will demonstrate their content knowledge and understanding of social theory and use them in a manner that illustrates that they can apply it in real world experiences.