What You Should Know About This Degree
A master’s degree program in Social Studies combines theory and practice to ensure that you have a firm foundation in educational practice as well as in the field of Social Studies. You may take courses in effective research and pedagogy, American or global history, geography, and more. Some programs require a thesis, and there may also be a student teaching or fieldwork experience that is required for those who are seeking licensure.
Completing the program means that you will be able to teach Social Studies at the secondary level, but there are other career options as well. You may become a curriculum specialist or work in school administration. Museum work is another career venue to explore.
Requirements for a master’s program in Social Studies vary from school to school, but all require an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Many programs stipulate a minimum GPA at the undergraduate level — often 2.5.
Here are some questions to ask when researching social studies programs:
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Online programs offer two possible tracks. You may take the classes on a predetermined schedule where all students meet with the teacher at once (synchronous), or you may take classes on your own schedule when you have time (asynchronous). The latter is a good option if you are continuing to work while attending graduate school.
- What certification or licensing is required? Your state’s Department of Education will issue licensing as needed upon completion of most of these programs. When you are researching your graduate possibilities, be sure to ask an admissions counselor if the program leads to certification in your state.
Graduate admissions counselors can be your best friends when you’re deciding on a program. They can answer questions, facilitate your application, and assist you in determining your financial aid status with the school. Note that financial aid application deadlines may differ from other deadlines you’ll need to meet.
The available financial aid may play a big role in your determination of the best school for you. It’s also worth checking to see if your employer or any professional organizations you belong to offer scholarships, grants, or loans for advanced study.