May 23, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021 - 2022 
Undergraduate Catalog 2021 - 2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Studies, B.A.


The major provides students a comprehensive program for seeking teaching licensure in Social Studies. The content area for the major is administered by the History Department, while the Minor in Secondary Education is administered through the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). 

What careers can this major prepare you for?

While most students in the program become secondary Social Studies teachers, others go on to graduate study in history, law, library science, international work, the foreign service, the ministry, business, government and archival and museum work.

What skills are developed within this major?

The primary mission of the Social Studies major is to provide students with the content competency to teach Social Studies in secondary schools. It forms the content knowledge basis for students to initiate teaching professions and provides the necessary critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and academic judgment skills upon which to embark on a lifetime of intellectual growth.

Teaching Licensure

A comprehensive program for students seeking teaching licensure in Social Studies is administered through the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). Interested students are required to fulfill a Minor in Secondary Education, which is administered by the COEHS. See also Education, Adolescent and Young Adult with Licensure, Grades 7-12 .


Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Kelly Wrenhaven, (216) 687-3927; Individual faculty advisors; webpage, Students are urged to meet with their assigned faculty advisor at least once every semester.

The Social Studies major will have an academic advisor in the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences as assigned by the department. Those seeking a teaching license should have an advisor for education course work in the College of Education and Human Services.

This interdisciplinary major is administered by the Department of History and is primarily intended for students seeking secondary licensure. It provides comprehensive training in history and related social-studies fields taught in Ohio secondary schools. Interested students should also consider pursuing academic major(s) and/or academic minor(s) in history, political science, or economics.

For Information

Contact Dr. Shelley Rose, (216) 687-3935 |, or the History Department, (216) 687-3920 | Those interested in licensure should contact the College of Education and Human Services.

Admission to Major

Students register their intentions to pursue an academic major in Social Studies with the Department of History; those interested in teaching must be admitted to the teaching licensure program in the College of Education and Human Services.

After admission to the university, a student obtains an “Entrance Interview” packet from the History Department in RT 1319 that explains the advising procedures and asks the student for a writing sample and answers to a few questions. Once this information has been gathered, the student phones the History Department (687-3920) for an initial advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director will evaluate transfer credits for the major and give the student a copy of the filled out check-sheet. Following this advising session, students will receive a letter with the name of their individual faculty advisor in the department.

Hours Required for Degree

60 hours of specific courses or thematic areas chosen from History, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, English, Philosophy, and Comparative Religion. Some of these courses also can be used to partially fulfill General Education requirements.

Students seeking teacher licensure also complete a Minor in Secondary Education, which is administered by the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS).

A minimum total number of 120 credit hours are required for every student in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. All degree seeking, CLASS students must complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) requirements, which are comprised of University and College requirements. This is in addition to the credits for their major field of study. Students are responsible for ensuring the appropriate selection of courses to satisfy GenEd requirements. Students are highly encouraged to consult with both their general education advisor and faculty advisor regarding the applicability of selected courses each semester. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at

Major-Field Requirements

The curriculum for the Social Studies major consists of an integrated Content Core (33 credits), emphasizing content and skills, and three sequences of 9 credit hours each (27 credits), focused on specific content.

Sequences: 27 credit hours

US History Sequence: 9 credit hours

Three upper-level history courses in US History (one in Colonial/Revolutionary era, two in 19th or 20th century history).

Non-Western/Transnational History Sequences: 9 credit hours

Three upper-level courses in the history of Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or Transnational history.

Interdisciplinary Sequence: 9 credit hours

Three 200- or 300-level courses in Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, English, Philosophy, or Comparative Religion; at least 2 courses must be global or nonwestern.

Honors Program/Scholars Requirements

  1. HIS 400  – students must complete this course and produce a 25-page paper based on primary source research.
  2. 2 contracted 300/400 level history courses – must produce 25-page papers.  Recommended that one be historiographical.
  3. A contract course at the 300/400 level chosen from the student’s secondary core.