Western Kentucky University

WKU-O Undergraduate Programs


In this program, you will focus on the general study and interpretation of the past, including gathering, recording, synthesizing and criticizing evidence and theories about past events. While students thoroughly study history, economics, political science, sociology, psychology and anthropology are also covered. A major in History is incorporated in the Social Studies program. Therefore, students with a major in Social Studies also obtain a degree in History as well.

The major in social studies requires a minimum of 60 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students completing this major with the Secondary Education curriculum may be certified in social studies.

In this program, you will learn how to teach specific social science subjects and programs at various educational levels, including history, geography, and psychology. The program begins with courses specific to the subject matter. In upper level courses, the focus shifts to lesson planning, instructional techniques for communicating the subject matter, assessment and evaluation techniques, and supervision and discipline strategies. The final phase of the program is an on-site student teaching practicum. You will first observe an experienced teacher work with students at your selected educational level. You will work with the supervising teacher to plan your lessons, and then you will teach those lessons to the students. The supervising teacher provides ongoing advice, support, and evaluation of your performance at this time.

Characteristics associated with success in this field include a strong curiosity about when, where, why, and how historical events took place, about the differences in societies, and about the relationship between the past and the present. You should:

• have the ability to read carefully and think creatively and critically

• be skilled in presenting information clearly and succinctly, both verbally and in writing

Work Tasks and Settings

• Research and gather information about the past

• Use photos, interviews, films, books, diaries, and letters to find out what the past was like

• Look at a region during a certain time period, or study one specific thing like politics or social history

• Some may trace family histories, study one certain person, or study old buildings or artifacts

• Work for libraries, museums, colleges, archives, historical societies, publishers, corporations, as consultants and for the government

• Work with written materials, photographs, artifacts, archaeological remains, verbal accounts of events, computers, articles, and historical exhibits

Abilities needed:

• be curious and creative

• speak and write well

• have a lot of general knowledge about the world

• be objective and open-minded

• work in an organized way

• work alone or as part of a group

• use good judgment



 WKU COURSES                                                                                                                                               KCTCS EQUIVALENT

 HIST 119 Western Civilization to 1648               

 HIS 104 

 HIST 120 Western Civilization since 1648

 HIS 105

 HIST 240 The United States to 1865

 HIS 108

 HIST 241 The United States since 1865

 HIS 109

 HIST 489 Senior Seminar (last semester)


 Upper-Division U.S. History


 Upper-Division European History to 1648


 Upper-Division European History since 1648


 Upper-Division other than Europe or U.S.


 Upper-Divison elective


 PS 110 American National Government

 POL 101

 PS 250 International Politics or PS 260 Intro to Comparative Politics


 PS 310 American Presidency or PS 326 Constitutional Law or PS 327 Civil Liberties or PS 328 Criminal Justice Procedures or PS 370 American Political Parties/Interest Groups


 ECON 202 Microeconomics

 ECO 201

 ECON 203 Microeconomics

 ECO 202

 GEOG 110 World Regional Geography

 GEO 152

 GEOG 350 Economic Geography


 GEOG 360 Geography of North America


 ANTH 120 Intro to Cultural Anthropology

 ANTH 220

 PSY 100 Intro to Psychology

 PY 110 or    PSY 100

 SOCL 100 Intro to Sociology

 SOC 101

Education courses: (only if pursuing high school history)

 ED 250 Intro to Education                                                                                                                                       

 ED 201          

 SEC 351 Teaching Strategies Secondary School


 SEC 352 Planning for Student Diversity


 SEC 453 Management of Instruction


 SEC 489 Student Teaching


 SEC 490 Student Teaching


 PSY 310 Educational Psychology

 EdP 202


Because of transferring credits and WKU-O course offerings, the length of time to finish this program differs for each student. It is important to meet with a WKU-O advisor as soon as possible. Bring an unofficial copy of transcripts from all previously attended colleges and/or universities. It is also important to determine your availability to take courses: part-time, full-time, summer term.

WKU-O Academic Requirements:

  • 120 college-level undergraduate semester hours including the following:

- 44 semester hours of General Education

- 42 semester hours of upper-division credit (300-400 level courses)

- 30 hours must be earned in residence (at WKU), at least 16 of which must be completed after the semester in which the student earned a cumulative total of at least 90 hours.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 54 semester hours with WKU to graduate with honors.
  • Students must apply for graduation upon the completion of 90 semester hours.
  • Students are to meet with an advisor each semester.
 Last Modified 8/6/13