Social Science Major

If you would like a career as a professional educator teaching social studies in a middle school or a high school, then the Social Science major is the program for you.  Social science is an interdisciplinary major, the primary purpose of which is to provide licensure for students who wish to teach social studies at the secondary level (high school and middle school). In addition, there is a non-teaching option to the social science major for students who are unable to complete the teaching option. Students who complete the non-teaching option will take a broader interdisciplinary program of courses in the social sciences.

The social science major is administered by the Department of History in collaboration with the Social Science Program Oversight Committee. The major is an interdisciplinary program offering both Teaching (45 semester hours) and Non-Teaching (51 semester hours) options as part of either a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree.  Students wishing to be licensed to teach history, political science, geography, or economics must select the Teaching option. The Non-Teaching option allows students who may not be able to complete the requirements for a teaching license the opportunity to graduate in a timely fashion.  (Please note that beginning with 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog, the non-teaching option is available only to those who have already been enrolled in the Social Science teaching option.  Students who wish to switch from the teaching option to the non-teacing option must meet the following criterion: A minimum of 30 credit hours in the SOSC teaching option at Radford University prior to switching to the non-teaching program.)

Requirements for the Social Science major (both options) are outlined below, and printable Progress sheet encapsulates this information for the 2021-2022 school year. Social Science Progress Sheet.

Radford University is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which is an alliance of national professional education and public organizations representing millions of Americans who support quality teaching. To obtain CAEP certification, an institution must go through a rigorous review of its teacher education programs to insure the quality of those programs.     

CORE Curriculum Requirements

43-45 hrs.

In College Core B, all majors in programs in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences are required to pass a second course in Social and Behavioral Sciences; i.e. CHBS majors cannot fulfill College Core B requirements with a Health and Wellness course.

Requirements: Teaching Option

Required Core Courses


  • HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 111, HIST 112
  • 9 semester hours at the 300 and 400 levels, with at least one-non American course, from a menu of selected courses. Please consult the undergraduate catalog for the menu of courses.

Political Science

  • POSC 120
  • 9 semester hours of Political Science at the 300 and 400 levels, from a menu of selected courses. Please consult the undergraduate catalog for the menu of courses.


  • 1 U.S. geography course, from a menu of selected courses. Please consult the undergraduate catalog for the menu of courses.
  • 1 non-U.S. geography course from a menu of selected courses. Please consult the undergraduate catalog for the menu of courses.


  • ECON 105
  • ECON 106

Students wishing to receive a teaching licensure at the secondary education level must also complete all requirements as set forth by the College of Education and Human Development.

Requirements: Non-Teaching Option*

18 hrs. History. Nine semester hours of 100-level HIST, and nine semester hours of 300- to 400-level HIST.  For the 300- to 400-level history courses 3 semester hours must come from HIST Group A, and 3 semester hours must come from HIST Group B or Group C.  The remaining 3 semester hours can come from HIST Group A, B, or C.

12 hrs. Political Science. Students are required to take POSC 120.  In addition, students must take nine hours of political science at the 300-400 level from courses designated "AG," American Government.

6 hrs. History or Political Science Concentration. In addition to the above history and political science requirements, social science majors will select a concentration in either history or political science.  To complete this concentration, they will take six additional semester hours in the chosen field at the 300-400 level.  If the concentration is in history, those courses must be divided between American (Group A) and Non-American (Groups B, C) courses.

6 hrs. Geography.  Students must take one U.S. designated and one Non-U.S. designated course from the following list:

    U.S. Geography: GEOG 101, 201, 202

    Non-U.S. Geography: GEOG 102 or 280

3 hrs. Economics.  ECON 105 or ECON 106.

6 hrs. Sociology. Students must take six hours of SOCY courses, three of which must be at the 300- to 400-level.  (Students who want to have an emphasis in anthropology should take two of the following courses in sociology: 121, 301, 333, 411, 421, 435, 475, 482, 486).

* Students who entered the university under the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog, or any subsequent catalog, may only enroll in the non-teaching option if they have first been enrolled the teaching option and have earned at least 30 credit hours in the teaching option.