Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science Major, B.A. with Secondary Social Studies Teacher Licensure Concentration

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Department of Political Science  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Political Science Major with a Concentration in Secondary Social Studies Licensure is designed for those students who plan to teach Social Studies in Colorado. The program includes a Political Science Major, a Social Studies focus, and Secondary Education courses required by the Colorado Department of Education for licensure. Degree seeking students who wish to obtain Colorado Licensure for Secondary Social Studies with a major in Political Science must earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. In addition to course requirements in the major, all Social Studies licensure candidates must complete a core curriculum that provides a foundation in History, Geography, Economics, and Behavioral Science and addresses the objectives of the content area examination. The core curriculum is supported by courses in the major. The Political Science major will take courses in political theory, political analysis, and coursework in American or international/comparative political systems.

Student Outcomes

  • Link theory and practice and apply political science knowledge and skills to actual problem-solving and community service; acquire citizenship skills, ethical values, and understand and appreciate human diversity; and engage in community life as active citizens.
  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of institutions, processes, behaviors and values that shape politics within or among States.
  • Understand the history of classical and modern political thought, the fundamental values and ethical issues contested in politics over time, and alternative moral and ethical frameworks for interpreting contemporary political discourses.
  • Understand political science research and analytical skills, including critical thinking, logical argumentation, and how to collect, analyze and interpret evidence and data to formulate reasoned conclusions.
  • Effectively deliver professional written communications.
  • Understand and interpret qualitative and quantitative evidence and data, and formulate and communicate reasoned conclusions from these methods.
  • Effectively engage in oral communications and presentations in professional fields related to politics, public policy and the law.
  • Understand career options available with an undergraduate degree in political science; its utility in the public and private sectors; and its value as entry into a range of graduate programs and law schools.
  • Demonstrate mastery of pedagogical strategies in Social Studies for secondary school teaching.
  • Connect Literacy and Math-Utilize literacy, including Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD), strategies as well as mathematics when teaching Social Studies.
  • Create Inclusive Teaching Environment-Create a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment that facilitates Social Studies learning for diverse populations, including CLD students.
  • Plan and deliver effective instruction in History, Civics, and Geography.
  • Demonstrate professionalism as a teacher candidate through ethical conduct, reflection, and leadership.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of first and second language acquisition and teaching strategies for CLD students.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 124 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • All courses required for teacher licensure must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is not required for this program.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Political Science Major Electives: 18 credits

A minimum of 18 additional semester hours of political science must be completed for the Major. These 18 credit hours must be upper-division courses (3000- and 4000-level) and must be approved by the department. Generally, students may apply only 12 hours of credit in non-classroom courses toward the major as approved electives.

Additional Content Courses for Secondary Social Studies Licensure: 27 credits

All students must complete nine Social Science courses for this concentration. Note that twelve course credits below can also satisfy General Studies requirements in these categories: Historical (3 credits); Natural and Physical Sciences (3 credits); Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits).

Foundation and Methods for Secondary Education: 31 credits

The Secondary Education Licensure Program prepares candidates to teach Social Studies in grades 6-12. With the courses and field experiences below, candidates satisfy the Colorado Department of Education Teacher Quality Standards for licensure in Secondary Education. Many of the courses in this section of the degree program require admission to the MSU Denver School of Education. Please see a School of Education advisor or the MSU Denver School of Education website for details.

Senior Experience: 12 credits

Student Teaching offers an essential conclusion to this degree program. Typically, students should register for 12 credits of EDS 4290 in their final semester. Students who register for only 6 credits of EDS 4290 should also register for 6 credits of CLD 4590 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse: ESL Student Teaching and Seminar.

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirement 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Political Science Major Core 18 credits
Political Science Major Electives 18 credits
Additional Content Courses for Secondary Social Studies Licensure 27 credits
Foundation and Methods for Secondary Education 31 credits
Senior Experience 12 credits
Total for the Political Science Major, B.A. with Secondary Social Studies Teacher Licensure Concentration 124 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

Up to 15 of the 33 General Studies credits in this program may be fulfilled through requirements for the degree.

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