Social Studies Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Social Studies Education is designed for students who wish to continue their graduate studies in history or political science while securing initial teacher licensure to teach at the secondary level. The MAT program is designed for liberal arts graduates who may just be out of college or perhaps are making a career change. This program does not presume that you have completed coursework in education.

This joint degree program between the School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) will prepare you for a variety of careers, ranging from middle or high school history or government teacher to museum educator to history or social science curriculum specialist, by developing competency in three types of courses:

(1) History or Political Science courses at GRS:  You will select graduate level history or political science courses at GRS in consultation with your academic advisor and based on your previous coursework, personal interests and where you want to teach upon graduation. To view a list of potential elective courses, please visit the Department of History and Department of Political Science course listings.

(2) Education courses in instructional design, human development, communications, classroom methods and evaluation: Your education courses will draw upon research and scholarship that seek to improve instructional methodology, materials and curriculum. For example, your general methods course, General Methods for Secondary Instruction, will concentrate on classroom management, lesson-planning, interdisciplinary perspectives and assessment strategies. In your academic methods class, Curriculum and Special Methods for History and Social Science, 5-12, you will examine traditional and recent research and curriculum materials in history and social science education for middle, junior, and senior high school. You will also analyze curricular goals for grades 5-12 and develop teaching materials and classroom instructional strategies for social studies education for various age levels.

(3) Practical skills acquired through a pre-practicum and student teaching experience: You will participate in pre-practicum during the summer term and a three-month student teaching experience in the spring term. Throughout your internship experience you will be guided and supervised by a veteran classroom teacher and Boston University faculty. Boston University enjoys long-standing relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in Boston and the Greater Boston area. You will select your internship site from among these schools in consultation with your faculty advisor. Past locations for pre-practicum and practicum experiences have included public schools in Arlington, Boston, Dedham, Dover, Newton, North Quincy, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Stoughton and Wellesley.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: To view a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the MAT in Social Studies Education.
  • Program Duration: 12 months. Duration for part-time study varies.
  • Start Term: Full-time students begin the program during the summer or fall semester only.  You are encouraged to begin the program during the summer semester for the most favorable course selection opportunities.  Part-time students may begin during the summer, fall or spring semester.
  • Licensure: Upon completion of the program and Massachusetts testing requirements, you may be licensed at the initial level to teach social studies to students in grades 5-8 or 8-12.
  • Prerequisites: Students who majored in History, Political Science/Government or American Studies automatically meet prerequisite requirements.  Students with undergraduate majors in other areas, including but not limited to International Relations, Economics, Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, Art History and Women’s Studies, are encouraged to request a transcript review to see if their coursework meets prerequisite requirements.  Requests should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office at
  • Faculty Contact Information: Professor Christopher Martell,, 617-353-3924
  • Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.