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Be A Teacher

Teacher Certification in Secondary History and Social Studies provides prospective teachers with the attitudes, content, pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary for a teaching career in middle or high school. The curriculum immerses students in the Social Studies content area, balancing preparatory pedagogical courses with direct application of knowledge and skills through meaningful field experiences.

In Mississippi, those who want to teach history must gain a teaching license in social studies, grades 7-12.

Our department offers excellent options for the preparation of social studies educators. We have a "traditional track" to teaching certification, but also work with students on an "alternative track" to licensure. All history majors are eligible to join the alternative track to teacher certification in their senior year. If you are considering the alternative track to teaching certification, we recommend you consider adding the Social Studies minor to your history major or joining the Political Science with Social Studies concentration degree program.

Social Studies

Students must earn a C or higher in the general education classes PSY 206 Human Growth and Development, COM 101 Oral Communications, and MA 113 College Algebra (or higher math). They must earn a C or higher in ED 200 Education as a Profession, ED 306 Introduction to Exceptional Learners, ED 452 Educational Measurement, ED 390 Classroom Management, and ED 360 Educational Psychology, and they must earn a B or higher in ED 302 Art and Science of Teaching.

Teacher Education

To be admitted to the Teacher Education program, students must pass the Praxis Core exam or earn a 21 or higher on the ACT or have a 3.0 overall GPA and complete 44 hours with a 2.75 GPA or higher, and pass a criminal background check.

Educator Preparation Program Progression

Once admitted, students will successfully complete HIS 410 Methods & Materials in Secondary History and Social Studies, and then they qualify to begin their teacher internship semester, when they will enroll in ED 452 Educational Measurement and ED 409 Observation and Directed Teaching in Secondary Education Grades 7-12.


Because the secondary education program has additional requirements, the number of free electives in a student’s curriculum is limited. Students interested in secondary education certification should declare their major early in order to get proper advising so they progress through their curriculum in a timely fashion. Your advisor will know when required courses are usually offered and can help you decide which electives will allow you to fulfill the required distribution in History, Political Science, Geography, and Economics. Without proper advising, you may spend more time earning your degree.

Students should complete most of their education and major requirements prior to their senior year. In the fall semester of their senior year, students must complete any remaining requirements and take HIS 410 Methods and Materials of Secondary Education and HIS 499 History Capstone. Then in the Spring semester students complete their degree with the Student Teaching Semester.

Students who are transferring to The W from a community college or other higher education institution should use the History/Social Studies Secondary Education Certification Transfer Checklist to make sure they are taking the appropriate courses stay on track towards secondary education certification.

History/Social Studies Secondary Education Certification Transfer Checklist

Want to Be a Teacher?

If you are interested in learning more about teaching certification in history/social studies, please contact:

Dr. Jon Hooks
OFFICE: 211-F Painter Hall
EMAIL: jwhooks@muw.edu
PHONE: (662) 329-6544

Alternate Route Certification

We have partnered with The W's School of Education to create a clear pathway to licensure for students who are interested in teaching, but did not start a Teacher Certification program early in their college career. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a graduate education degree and an alternative initial licensure program which provides those who complete this program an opportunity to teach in Mississippi schools. Some students may qualify to be admitted to the Accelerated MAT program while completing their bachelor’s degree. Students who qualify may also complete a regular History degree before applying to the MAT program.

Master of Arts in Teaching Program

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Mary Lou Peyton History Scholarships

The Mary Lou Peyton Scholarships provide history students with the resources to enhance their studies at The W through awards for tuition, study abroad, and internships. The scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to incoming freshmen or transfer students. Awards of up to $10,000 per year help history majors with education-related expenses and are renewable for up to four years. Additionally, awards of up to $5,000 help history students with expenses related to study abroad and internship opportunities.

Peyton History Scholarships

History, BA - Secondary Education Certification Curriculum

This information is presented for informational purposes. In the event of a discrepancy between this page and the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Bulletin should always be used.

General Education Curriculum

In keeping with The W's Mission, the General Education Program provides students with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to become independent, productive members of society in our continually changing world.

The W's General Education Program provides a foundation in the liberal arts that includes knowledge in the historical, literary, aesthetic, scientific, and cultural traditions that shape the world, and fosters skills that allow students to become civically responsible life-long learners ready to adapt to new challenges.

All students who complete the Mississippi University for Women general education program will demonstrate:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Effective Communication
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Quantitative & Technology Skills
  • Understanding of Self, Global Societies, & the Natural World
  • Life-Long Learning

View General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Requirements

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must include the following courses (or demonstrate equivalent competency) in their academic program:

  • Foreign Language 101-102 8 semester hours
  • Foreign Language 201-202 6 semester hours

To fulfill the language requirement for the B.A., students must complete the 202 level or above in a foreign language. For information on foreign language placement, see the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy section in the Bulletin. If, upon entering the University, a student already has sufficient background to be successful in 201-202, he/she does not need to enroll in 101-102. The requirement is in essence six hours credit at the 200-level or above.

Teacher Education Requirements

Teacher Education Majors are required to pass the following courses with a C or higher as part of their major and their General Education Curriculum.

  • MA 113 - College Algebra or higher Math including MA 123 (3 semester hours)
  • COM 101 - Oral Communication
  • PSY 206 - Human Growth and Development

Major Courses (15 Semester Hours)

Grade of C or better required in all coursework

  • HIS 101 - World Civilization to 1600
  • HIS 102 - World Civilization 1600 to present
  • HIS 109 - US History to 1877
  • HIS 110 - US History 1877 to present
  • HIS 312 - Mississippi History

HIS 211 - Introduction to Historical Thinking and Research (3 Semester Hours)

An introduction to the techniques of historical methodology, and to some of the major literature.

Select four History Content Courses at the 200 level or above (12 Semester Hours)

Select one American History; one European History; one Global History; and one additional history elective in either American or European History.

American History elective courses:

  • HIS 312 - Mississippi History
  • HIS 317 - Sexuality in American History
  • HIS 326 - Women in American History
  • HIS 351 - Colonial America
  • HIS 352 - The American Revolution and Beyond, 1763-1815
  • HIS 360 - Capitalism and Democracy in the Jacksonian Era, 1815-1845
  • HIS 361 - The Civil War and its Causes, 1845-1865
  • HIS 363 - Origins of Modern America, 1870-1920
  • HIS 365 - America Since 1940
  • HIS 366 - Topics in Political History in 20th Century America
  • HIS 371 - Movies and American Society
  • HIS 372 - African-American Experience in US Society
  • HIS 395 - American Constitutional Law
  • HIS 405 - History of Religion in America
  • HIS 441 - Everyday Life in America
  • HIS 454 - History of the South

European History elective courses:

  • HIS 316 - Stones, Punks, and Roses: A Cultural History of Modern Britain
  • HIS 320 - The Graeco-Roman World
  • HIS 324 - Women in European History: From Antiquity to the Age of the French Revolution
  • HIS 328 - Rise of Christianity and the Fall of Rome 200-1000
  • HIS 329 - Kingdoms and Christianity: Medieval Europe 1000-1500
  • HIS 331 - Medieval Christianity
  • HIS 333 - History of Food and Culture in Europe
  • HIS 335 - Renaissance, Reformation, and Revolution
  • HIS 340 - European Conquest and Exploration
  • HIS 345 - The Struggle for Modernity: Europe in the Long 19th Century
  • HIS 350 - Crisis and Union: Europe Since 1914

Global History elective courses:

  • HIS 300 - Genocide Studies
  • HIS 303 - The World Wars and the Holocaust
  • HIS 305 - The African Continent
  • HIS 325 - The Byzantine Empire
  • HIS 327 - The Rise of Islam: The Medieval Middle East
  • HIS 342 - History of Global Epidemics
  • HIS 358 - Revolution, Drugs, and Development: Perception and Reality in Latin America
  • HIS 381 - U.S. as a World Power to 1898
  • HIS 382 - U.S. as a World Power Since 1898
  • HIS 422 - Socialism and Communism in the Modern Era

Certification Requirements in Social Studies (18 Semester Hours)

Three courses at the 200 level or ablove taken from the following list (9 hours) or substitutions approved by department chair:

  • Select two Political Science courses: (6 Semester Hours) (at least three hours at the 300-level or above)
  • Select two Geography courses: (6 Semester Hours) (at least three hours at the 300-level or above)
  • Select two Economics courses: (6 Semester Hours)

HIS 499 - History Capstone (3 Semester Hours)

A study of the use and abuse of history and historical evidence in a broad perspective, using material which majors have produced in their past coursework, as represented by portfolios of the work.  This course requires students to engage in primary and secondary source analysis, archival research, and the completion of an article-length paper.

Professional Education Requirements, 7-12

(Minimum grade of C required):

ED 200 - Education as a Profession

ED 302 - Art and Science of Teaching

ED 306 - Introduction to Exceptional Learners

ED 360 - Educational Psychology

ED 390 - Classroom Management

ED 409 - Observation and Directed Teaching in Secondary Education Grades 7-12

HIS 410 - Methods and Materials in Secondary History and Social Studies

ED 452 - Educational Measurement

Select one computer applications or programming course: (3 Semester Hours)

Note: Students wishing to obtain teacher licensure must meet the requirements for Admission to Teacher Education (after completing ED 200 ) and the requirements for Admission to Teacher Internship (before entering ED 390 ).

Total Hours Required for a BA in History: 124 Semester Hours

Supplemental Endorsements

You can add endorsements to your teaching area by examination or additional coursework.  Details for how to add supplemental endorsements can be found at the MS Department of Education website.