Social Studies Major | Professor with students

Ball State’s major in social studies teaching prepares you to pursue a rewarding high school teaching career dedicated to training future leaders and national and global citizens.

As a graduate, you will help your students learn to:

  • recognize societal problems
  • ask good questions
  • consider possible solutions and consequences
  • separate evidence-based claims from partisan opinions
  • communicate and act on what they learn

What You Will Learn

This program prepares teachers to pursue a rewarding career in which they will engage students in discipline-based inquiry, equipping them to become future leaders and national and global citizens. You will take courses from the following categories:

  • U.S. History
  • European History
  • World History
  • Topics in History

What It’s Like to Major in Social Studies Teaching at Ball State

The Department of History includes several faculty members who are currently working on Public History projects in which you can get involved. These include James Connolly, Emily Johnson, Jennifer DeSilva, Ron Morris, and Public History Program Director, Wendy Soltz.

These faculty publish frequently, earn grants and awards and are interviewed by the BBC, The New York Times, NPR, and other leading media outlets. Our faculty’s international reputation enhances the value of letters of recommendation written for students and contributes to Ball State’s reputation.

Read Their Bios

Grounded in sound historical research methods, the field of public history also employs several additional historical methodologies including oral history and digital history. By the time you graduate, you will have experience in these methodologies as well as opportunities to write for and communicate with a public audience.  

As a student, you can do research with us the day you set foot at Ball State.

Bracken Library has more than 2.3 million volumes of books, musical scores, archival records, and other information for you to search.

Plus, you will have access to the state-of-the-art technology and amazing primary resources held in the University's Archives and Special Collections and Digital Media Repository, GIS Research and Map Collection, and the Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment. 

Learn More about Our Libraries

Bracken Library

Public History students can take advantage of wonderful public history resources on campus such as the Archives and Special Collections and the David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA), within the city of Muncie such as Minnetrista and the Delaware County Historical Society, and regionally such as Conner Prairie, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Fort Wayne History Center, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Museum sites, Wabash County Historical Society, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Indiana Landmarks, and many (many) more.

Our flexible public history internship program allows students to complete their internship requirement in one of three ways:

  • Three, 3-credit hour internship chunks
  • One, 3-credit hour and one, 6-credit hour internship chunk
  • One, 9-credit hour internship

This required internship will help you gain valuable experience while providing a service to employers. The internship program is essential to your understanding of public history.

Possible internship opportunities include:

  • historical associations and societies
  • oral history projects
  • museums and halls of fame
  • entrepreneurial history firms
  • genealogical services
  • preservation and restoration agencies
  • archives and libraries
  • publishers of history books and journals
  • documentary film and audio production companies

Learn More about Our Internship Program

Teachers College Building

Our Collaboration with Teachers College

As a student in our secondary education program, you’ll benefit from experiences and expertise of your home department, taking courses in content and content pedagogy—the methods and practices for teaching specific content—and learning from experts in the field of your chosen teaching major. In Teachers College, you’ll explore other important aspects of teaching and interact with teaching majors in other disciplines. Learn more about the Teachers College.

Major Requirements

certificate iconAccreditation

Our major in social studies teaching is nationally accredited by the National Council for the Social Studies. Learn more.

Teaching candidates complete 54 hours in history and the social sciences and 42 hours in professional education coursework/field experiences in order to prepare them to work with diverse learners in various school settings.


Total: 99


A few of the classes you will take include:

  • HIST 151 - World Civilization 1
  • HIST 152 - World Civilization 2
  • HIST 200 - Intro History Methods
  • HIST 201 - American History, 1492-1876
  • HIST 202 - US History, 1877 to Present

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Social Studies Teaching?

This program will prepare you to teach history on the junior and senior high school level. In addition to teaching history, you will take courses that qualify you to cover other subjects like:

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Government/Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact the Director of the Public History Program, Wendy Soltz

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