MA/PhD in Social Studies Education

The MA/PhD track in social studies education span disciplines, and offers opportunities to specialize in many aspects of social studies education. The ideal candidates for the program have at least three years of teaching experience, a diverse experience, and interest in furthering education and research in social studies education.

Graduates of the program have assumed positions as instructional leaders in the public schools, faculty colleges/universities, curriculum development specialists, and social studies assessment specialists. Graduates leave the program prepared to teach methods courses to social studies teachers.


Priority deadline: December 1
Admissions decisions: January

See detailed admissions, tuition and funding information on the MA and PhD admissions page.


As a full-time graduate student, you will have opportunities to:

  • Supervise student teachers
  • Teach introductory social studies classes
  • Conduct and publish research with faculty. Doctoral students are required to complete a research internship with one or more of the faculty as part of their study for the degree
  • You will be supported and encouraged to present research papers at professional conferences, specifically the National Council for the Social Studies and the American Educational Research Association

To view the core curriculum and electives visit the Education, Curriculum, and Instruction PhD page in the course catalog, under sub-plans.

Master of arts students

You can choose either a thesis Plan A (or final paper Plan B to complete your degree. View the core requirements for the MA in Social Studies Education in the course catalog. Look under sub-plans for Social Studies Education.

PhD curriculum

Your PhD coursework will center on your research interests. The program consists of 54 course credits and 24 doctoral thesis credits for a total of 78 credits. To see the curriculum requirements in detail visit the course catalog. Look under subplans for Social Studies Education.

Research opportunities

Students can engage in research that advances the field of social studies education and ties into their area of interest. Faculty work closely with each cohort to achieve research and educational goals and improve educational opportunities students. Learn more about the student research experience in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Areas of research include:

  • Multicultural and gender issues
  • Critical pedagogy and social justice
  • Civic and/or historical identity
  • Immigrant education
  • Classroom dialogue
  • Children's literature in the social studies
  • Political socialization
  • Political tolerance
  • Authentic assessment
  • Citizenship and civics education
  • Democratic thought
  • History of curricula

In addition, faculty members engage in research centered on the history of curricula, multicultural and gender studies, and social justice. View more faculty research areas.

Career outlook

Graduates of the program have assumed positions as university faculty, instructional leaders in the public schools, curriculum development specialists, and social studies assessment specialists.

  • Indiana University
  • Wells College
  • George Washington University
  • St. Thomas University
  • Bemidji State University
  • College of Saint Bennedict & St. John's University
  • College of Saint Scholastica

Social Studies faculty


What our students have to say

George Dalbo
My experience with the faculty has been fantastic! Graduate classes are small, typically 10-12 students, which allows you to get to know faculty in a more intimate setting. Everyone I have encountered in department has been so supportive of my development as an academic.

George Dalbo, PhD 2021