Helps students understand historical and current events.

High school social studies teachers guide students through complex subject matter to help them understand their place in history, their community, the nation and the world. Social studies is where students learn to put current events into context and understand the world around them. As a social studies teacher, you can inspire students to think critically about their world. You’ll have an opportunity to teach them how government functions and how to research the facts to support their ideas.


Program type:

Major, BSEd



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Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education -

Social Studies Emphasis

The BS in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in Social Studies, prepares students to teach in secondary school settings, grades 9-12. This program requires the selection and completion of required coursework in Social Studies and includes field and practicum experiences in high school settings, culminating in Missouri teacher certification.

Much of the discipline-specific coursework parallels the BA degree in History or the BA or BS degrees in Economics; however, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires specific coursework for teacher certification.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to improve and enhance student learning; integrate technology to create meaningful student learning; create authentic and deep learning experiences; use learning science principles to design, implement and evaluate curriculum; foster effective working relationships; design and establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment; and use equitable frameworks and inclusive practices to create a variety of instructional and assessment opportunities adapted to diverse learners to encourage all students’ critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills.

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow up to 1% to 2032, with a national median annual salary of $65,220, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Classroom Economics Teacher, High School
  • Classroom Geography Teacher, High School
  • Classroom History Teacher, High School
  • Classroom Social Studies Teacher, High School


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as a secondary education major:

  • EduCATE: Collegiate Association of Teachers and Educators
  • Kappa Delta Pi, Mu Iota Chapter
  • Student Government Association
  • Students of the University of Missouri

Internship opportunities

The College of Education hosts many centers and initiatives that enhance student experiences in our programs and work with more than 36 different public, private and charter schools throughout the region. We also sponsor eight charter schools.

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.