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Social Studies Education

School of Teacher Education

Welcome to Social Studies Education at UW!

  • Do you enjoy the study of history and wish to share an appreciation for the past and our heritage with students in schools, museums, or cultural institutions?
  • Do you enjoy working with GPS and other spatial mapping technologies and wish to combine the study of geography with pedagogy to better prepare for a career in educating visitors in public parks and informal spaces of outdoor learning?
  • Do you enjoy working with community members on issues of civic importance in government and political affairs and would like to learn how to create innovative and engaging curriculum materials for teaching in your community?
  • Do you currently teach a social studies disciplinary area in some capacity and wish to better understand new trends and developments in your field or conduct your own research on the teaching and learning of social studies disciplines?  


If the answers to these questions are “yes” then the University of Wyoming’s College of Education can offer you many opportunities to study the methods, issues, and practices of social studies education as taught in schools, museums, and informal education programs. Students can study aspects of social studies education at both the undergraduate and graduate level.



The goal of the Secondary Social Studies Education undergraduate program at UW is to prepare high quality social studies educators ready to teach the social studies disciplinary areas (geography, history, economics, civics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology) in K-12 schools, museums, and informal education programs. Our Secondary Social Studies Education Program is Nationally Recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Our program completely a rigorous accreditation process in 2014-2016 and is continually assessed to ensure that all national program standards are exceeded. Graduates earn a B.A. Degree in Social Studies Education while pursuing a concurrent major in one of three concentrations: Geography, History, or Political Science. The designations of concurrent majors ensure graduates meet the criteria of "highly qualified teacher” as established by the federal government’s No Child Left Behind legislation. Please note that this program is designed to meet the requirements for ONE degree from the College of Education (B.A. in Social Studies Education); the concurrent major designation does not grant a dual degree unless the student wishes to pursue additional course requirements as designated by the Departments of Geography, History, and Political Science in the College of Arts & Sciences. After students successfully complete all course requirements, including a semester-long teaching residency in a social studies classroom, they become a candidate eligible for initial educator licensure from Wyoming’s Professional Teaching Standards Board. The Office of Teacher Education recommends the candidate to receive a Wyoming Educator License with a Middle/Secondary Comprehensive Endorsement to teach all social studies subject areas in grades 6-12 in Wyoming. Thus, the University of Wyoming’s Secondary Social Studies Education program is a highly marketable program leading to certification in all social studies subjects taught in Wyoming while allowing the student to demonstrate specialization in one of the three concurrent major areas described above. In order to receive initial teaching certification in Wyoming, students must arrange to take and pass the national Social Studies Content Knowledge Praxis exam with a score of 158 or better.  If a student would like to add another area of specialization to pursue teaching certification in additional states, the geography, history, or political science Praxis exams may be taken to demonstrate "highly qualified" status.

For those who already have a Bachelor's Degree in geography, history or political science and are interested in becoming certified to teach, we offer a Post-Baccalaureate Program that will lead to initial Wyoming teacher certification. The credits earned in this program can also be applied to a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, if you choose to pursue a graduate degree.

Undergraduate programs:

  • Social Studies Education with a concurrent major in Geography
  • Social Studies Education with a concurrent major in History
  • Social Studies Education with a concurrent major in Political Science
  • Post-Baccalaureate Program in Social Studies Education


The College of Education offers numerous options for students at the graduate level to engage in advanced study of the teaching and learning of social studies education. Students can choose to study with faculty members affiliated with Social Studies Education and/or tailor their studies to specialize in social studies education at both the Master’s level through our M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction Program and the doctoral level through our Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction Program or our Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction Program. Although social studies education is not a designated concentration, students at the doctoral level may choose to study social studies education through the program specialization in Curriculum Studies. 

Graduate programs:

  • Master's in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction


The program sheet and other important information is located on the Forms and Links page.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Gabriel Swarts
McWhinnie Hall 210

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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