MAT in Social Studies Education

Programs in social studies education prepare educators in the disciplines of history, government/civics, geography, economics, and the other social sciences, including classroom teachers and educators who work in museums, nonprofit organizations, and informal educational settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Social Studies Education is intended for prospective teachers and, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, fulfills academic requirements for an initial teacher license in Massachusetts, which has reciprocity with most other states.

Mentored field experiences begin early in the program, include pre-practicum experiences in schools, and culminate with full-time student teaching in a social studies classroom, affording preservice teachers the opportunity to design and implement inquiry-based, content-rich units of study, and to assess students’ learning.


Building on students’ undergraduate education, students complete two courses in their chosen field of study in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in addition to their pedagogical courses in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

Total Credits: 40


Education Core Courses (12 cr)

  • SED ED 502/503 Professional Teaching Seminar: Analyzing Foundations of Teaching (2 cr)
  • SED DS 502 Introduction to Adolescent Development (2 cr)
  • SED SE 510 Special Education: Curriculum and Instruction (2 cr)
  • SED CT 534 A Practical Approach to Classroom Management (2 cr)
  • SED TL 525 Teaching English Learners in the Middle/High School (4 cr)

Social Studies Courses (20 cr)

  • SED SO 572 Curriculum and Special Methods for History and Social Science, 5–12 (4 cr)
  • SED SO 566 Developing Historical Literacy, 5–12 (4 cr)
  • SED SO 567 History Laboratory (2 cr)
  • SED SO 520 Project Citizen: Promoting Civic Engagement (2 cr)
  • Two social studies content-based electives at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (8 cr)

Practicum (Minimum 8 cr)

Student teaching experiences are supervised by licensed classroom teachers and Boston University faculty. Students select practicum experiences from one of the two options listed below.

  • SED SO 509 Student Teaching Practicum: History and Social Science, 5–8 (8 cr)
  • SED SO 510 Student Teaching Practicum: History and Social Science, 8–12 (8 cr)

Students seeking an additional license at a different level choose from:

  • SED SO 507 Student Teaching Half Practicum: History and Social Science, 5–8 (4 cr)
  • SED SO 508 Student Teaching Half Practicum: History and Social Science, 8–12 (4 cr)

Add-On License in Teaching English Language Learners (ESL)

The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Program offers a six-course, 26-credit add-on license pathway that allows MAT students in content-specific areas (e.g., English Education, Social Studies Education, Mathematics Education, and Science Education) to meet requirements for a Massachusetts licensure endorsement as Teacher of English Language Learners (ESL). In this course of study, students are exposed to a theoretical introduction to the nature and structure of language, key factors affecting second-language acquisition, and communicative approaches to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. In addition to the six courses, students are required to complete an ESL Practicum. This pathway requires MAT candidates to add one additional summer and part-time semester to their regular MAT program timeline.

This pathway consists of the following courses:

Total credits: 30–32

  • SED TL 508 Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language (4 cr)
  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Linguistics (4 cr)
  • SED BI 530 English Language Development: Grade 5–12 English Language Learners (2 cr) or SED BI 535 (4 cr)
  • Literacy Development for Bilingual Students: Instruction and Assessment (4 cr)
  • SED BI 620 Educational Issues in Bilingualism (4 cr)
  • SED LS 658 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED BI 504 Seminar: The Student Teaching Experience (2 cr)
  • SED TL 582 and 583 Student-Teaching Practicum I and II: ESL, 5–12 (6 cr)