Your social science degree from Gardner-Webb University will help you develop an awareness of social, political, and historical factors that influence cultures of the world. A professional education minor will prepare you to share your passion with students.

Two GWU students discuss social science issues

With a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with Teacher Licensure (9-12) degree you will develop an awareness of social, political, and historical factors that influence cultures of the world along with the skills to share this understanding with your students as a professional educator.

Undergraduate Admissions

Within the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with Teacher Licensure (9-12) program, you will learn how to become an effective classroom teacher who has confidence in content knowledge and educational practices. You will learn the social sciences content and skills of analysis, research, critical thinking and writing. In addition to strong content knowledge and skills, you will master instructional methods, best practices and classroom management techniques, such as developing comprehensive creative and engaging lesson plans to implementing strategies to support diverse learners and assessing and analyzing student performance. You will take fascinating courses drawing on the wide and varied expertise of our social sciences and education faculty that will provide the foundation to teach US or World History, Civics/Government, Economics, Sociology and Geography.

When you graduate, you’ll be fully prepared to meet licensure requirements for a meaningful career as a professional educator in the social sciences, teaching high school or middle school students in North Carolina.

Gardner-Webb's Department of Social Sciences works to help students develop the intellectual skills to explore meaningful questions about politics, society and the human past, in an environment of comprehensive curiosity based on Christian values. We strive to educate students within a deeper understanding of the world we live in, both past and present, offering tools to effect positive change.

Your degree in Social Science with Teacher Licensure, along with your student teaching experiences, will prepare you to effectively teach social studies courses in North Carolina secondary school classrooms. The Teacher Licensure program equips you with the content knowledge, educational methods and instructional experience that meet North Carolina Department of Public Instruction licensure requirements. To gain a NC Professional Educator's License, students must successfully pass the edTPA Portfolio and other state requirements to become licensed.

In addition to the Gardner-Webb University general education requirements, the student must complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework in the major. The Social Sciences with Teacher Licensure also requires 29 hours to fulfill the Professional Educator minor. The Program's total number of required major and minor credit hours is 65 hours and the total number of credit hours required to graduate with a BA in Social Sciences with Teacher Licensure is 128 hours.

As part of the Teacher Education program, you will also be required to complete a field teaching assignment in a number of different classroom environments with a 15-week assignment as a student teacher comprising your final semester at GWU. You will work with an experienced educator who will serve as your mentor as your develop real-life teaching skills.

Major Course Requirements

Required Courses (27 hours) 
Course TitleCredit Hours
COMM 230 Technology and American Society 3
ECON 203 Principles of Economics I3
GEOG 102 World Regional Geography3
HIST 200 Introduction to Historical Study3
HIST 244 Survey of US History to 18773
HIST 245 The American Century3
POLS 202 American Political process3
SSED 432 Secondary Social Studies Instructional Methods3
SOCI 201 Introduction to Sociology3
Geography Electives (Choose One) 
GEOG 101 Physical Geography3
GEOG 430 Special Topics: Geography3
Political Science Electives (Choose One)*3
POLS 304 State and Local Government in the United States3
POLS 311: Comparative Politics3
POLS 314 The Courts3
POLS 315 Constitutional Law II—The Bill of Rights & the 14th Amendment3
POLS 316 Public Opinion3
POLS 320 Constitutional Law  I—Structure and Institutions3
POLS 321 International Relations3
POLS 322 Foreign Policy of the United States3
POLS 323 American Political Parties3
POLS 325 Southern Politics3
POLS 333 The President and Congress3
Social Science Electives (Choose One)* 
ECON 204 Principles of Economics II3
HIST 314 Making America: Colonization, Revolution and  the US Constitution3
HIST 318 Civil War and Reconstruction3
HIST 324 American Christianity 3
HIST 325 The History of the New South3
HIST 345 North Carolina History3
HIST 402 The Long Civil Rights Movement3
HIST 411 Diplomatic History of the United States3
HIST 431 Special Topics: American History3
HIST 331 Nineteenth Century Europe3
HIST 332 Twentieth Century Europe 3
HIST 380 Modern Germany Since 17893
HIST 383 The Second World War3
HIST 430 Special Topics: European History (if relevant) 3
HIST 311 Medieval Europe  3
HIST 322 Early and Medieval Christianity 3
HIST 327 The Renaissance and Reformation3
HIST 414 History of England to 16883
HIST 430 Special Topics: European History (if relevant) 3
POLS 351: Politics of Developing Areas  3
POLS 352: African Politics3
POLS 353: Middle Eastern Politics3
POLS 355: Asian Politics 3
POLS 401: Comparative Political Economy 3
POLS 430: Special Topics (if relevant) 3
RELI 346: World Religions3
SOCI 202 Social Problems3
SOCI 310 Social Psychology 3
SOCI 400 Minority Groups  3
SOCI 430 Special Topic (if relevant)   3
*Must complete ONE 300 level and ONE 400 level Writing Instensive (WI) course. 
Total Required Hours in the Major Field of Study36

Transfer students seeking Social Studies Professional Educator’s licensure must also complete SSCI 205 as well as BIOL 104 or GEOL 105 or 106 (or equivalent). All students transferring under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement must complete HIST 101 and 102 (or equivalent) as part of the General Education curriculum.

  • Demonstrate depth of content knowledge and acquisition of analytical, research and communications skills. Teacher candidates must produce and formally present, utilizing relevant technology, a substantial, quality research project. This a NCDPI licensure requirement.
  • Make a grade of C or better in all courses counted towards meeting any state mandated content or professional competency.
  • Maintain an overall 3.0 GPA or better.
  • Successfully complete 16 weeks of Student Teaching (EDUC 450), a course Portfolio, and an edTPA submission.
  • To gain NC DPI Licensure, the student must pass the edTPA.

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

A Minor in History or Social Sciences with Teacher Licensure requires 29 credit hours of Professional Education coursework.

Professional Educator Minor
Course TitleCredit Hours
PSYC 303 Educational Psychology3
EDUC 250 Teaching in the 21st Century4
EDUC 316 Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas 3
EDUC 350 Diverse Populations in 21st Century Schools4
EDUC 440 Classroom Management    3
EDUC 450 Student Teaching12
Total Required Minor Hours


Additional information about the minor, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

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