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Social Studies Teacher Education Program

The undergraduate program requires completion of an approved major in one of the social science departments or interdisciplinary programs, and completion of a specified distribution of courses of particular relevance to the secondary school social studies curriculum. In addition, students must complete a required sequence of professional study in education courses and supervised student teaching at the secondary school level.

This program is open to undergraduates majoring in history or the following social sciences: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Students must apply for admission to the social studies program. Applications should be submitted at the same time that students declare a major (no later than end of sophomore year).

Students interested in applying to the program should complete the Teacher Prep Major Declaration Form.

Admissions Requirements

Students seeking admission to the social studies program must:

  • be enrolled in an appropriate major;
  • have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better based on at least 12 credits taken at Stony Brook (incoming transfer students will be evaluated on the basis of their GPA from their prior institution);
  • have taken either HIS 101 or 102 and either HIS 103 or 104 (or equivalent courses at other institutions); and
  • have satisfied at least three of the required areas of study with a "B" or better.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the course requirements described below. For more information, please download the undergraduate advising worksheet. All courses must be passed with a "C" or better, and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to remain in good standing. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation and may not register for additional teacher education courses until they are again in good standing.

The methods courses must be taken sequentially, and anyone who does not earn a "C" or higher in these courses must repeat both the course and the co-requisite field experience. Students must also pass the student teaching interview and satisfactorily complete all courses required for certification (both major and education courses) before they will be admitted to student teaching.

Pedagogy< Courses

PSY 327—Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development
SSE 350—Foundations of Education
LIN 344—Language Acquisition and Literacy Development
CEF 347—Introduction to Special Education
SSE 397—Teaching Social Studies (co-requisite SSE 449; fall only)
SSE 449—Field Experience I: Grades 7–9 (1 credit, S/U; must be taken with SSE 397)
SSE 398—Social Studies Strategies (co-requisite SSE 450; spring only)
SSE 450—Field Experience II: Grades 10–12 (1 credit, S/U; must be taken with SSE 398)
SSE 454—Student Teaching Seminar (co-requisites: SSE 451 & 452)
SSE 451—Supervised Student Teaching: Grades 7–9 (S/U)
SSE 452—Supervised Student Teaching: Grades 10–12 (S/U)

Content Area Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits in history and the social sciences, including the courses required for the major and the University general education requirements. Students are also required to satisfy the following eleven required areas of study: 

  1. U.S. History to 1877
  2. U.S. History since 1877
  3. Human or cultural geography
  4. Principles of economics
  5. Western civilization or European history survey 
  6. Latin America 
  7. Asia and its civilizations  
  8. Africa 
  9. American politics, and government
  10. Science, technology, and society 
  11. The Culture concept in theory or history 

The courses that will be accepted for each of these areas of study are detailed on theundergraduate advising worksheet. Substitutions will be permitted only on an exceptional basis. Transfer courses will be evaluated individually by the program director.

Courses in world history may be used to satisfy one of the areas 6–8 if they address regional history in a substantive way. Courses in history, anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology will automatically count towards the 48 required credits. However, some of the courses offered through interdisciplinary programs such as Women's Studies, Africana Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies are considered humanities, rather than social sciences.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students must complete one year of college-level foreign language study. This is both a University requirement and a state requirement for teacher certification.

Undergraduates may satisfy this state requirement by either completing 6 credits of college level language with a "C" or better or by earning an appropriate score on one of the alternate tests. Read Foreign Language Placement Information.

For a comprehensive look at the guiding philosophies and logistics of Stony Brook's teacher education programs, read our Guide to Teacher Education.

Contact Information

Charles G. Backfish, Director 
S-653 Social and Behavioral Sciences 
Stony Brook University 
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4348 
Tel.: 631-632-1093