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School of Education

History Secondary Education Major and Minor Requirements

Faculty advisor: Professor Alan Lockwood, 256A Teacher Education, 263-6262, lockwood@education.wisc.edu.

Important: The School of Education is now offering a new and innovative teacher licensing program in secondary education. Licensing in middle and high school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies is now obtained by completing a master’s degree program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Graduates are awarded a master’s degree along with certification in their subject area(s) and certification in English as a Second Language (ESL).

This new structure means that students at UW–Madison become certified to teach these subjects only through graduate-level course work, not as undergraduates.

Information about the new program (e.g., licensing areas, requirements, application process, prerequisite course work and tests, deadlines, and program selection) is available on the Curriculum and Instruction website

Advising staff in the School of Education's Academic Services Office, 139 Education Building, 608-262-1651, can also answer questions and confer with students about the new program.

The major and minor requirements listed below are provided only for (1) secondary students admitted into the undergraduate program fall 2013 or before, and for (2) elementary education students wishing to complete a minor in this subject.


History Major

Complete a minimum of 30 credits, to include at least 15 upper-level credits. The credits required for program admission must be chosen from courses listed below. Students may also wish to consult with the history department undergraduate advisor, 3211 Mosse Humanities Building, 263-1800. Courses are History listings unless otherwise indicated.

The major residency requirement requires that at least 15 credits of upper-level major course work (numbered 300-699) be taken in residence on the UW–Madison campus.

  • European History. Complete at least three (3) selections; may include British or Russian history. Two introductory level courses (numbered below 300) are recommended. Course options include the following:  110, 115, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 208, 215, 223, 224, 251, 253, 254, 271, 303, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 316, 317, 318, 320, 321, 323, 324, 325, 326, 333, 334, 339, 340, 348, 349, 351, 352, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 373, 374, 409, 410, 415, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 423, 424, 425, 426, 431, 432, 437, 447, 467, 469, 470, 473, 474, 475, 477, 478, 479, 507, 508, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 517, 518, 529, 531, 532, 539, 540, 541, 561, 568, 570, 577, 578
  • U.S. History. At least three (3) semester courses in U.S. history. Because high school history teachers often teach introductory courses in United States history, students may wish to complete History 101 and 102. Courses include the following:  101, 102, 140, 150, 160, 161, 219, 221, 222, 247, 258, 272, 290, 301, 302, 330, 331, 343, 344, 353, 354, 355, 390, 391, 393, 394, 395, 397, 398, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 411, 412, 416, 433, 434, 451, 460, 461, 462, 465, 466, 468, 490, 504, 560, 569, 607, 625, 626, 628, 635, 636.
  • Non-Western History (Africa, Asia, or Latin America). Complete at least two (2) selections from the following (Russian history does not fulfill this requirement). Courses include the following: 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 138, 139, 142, 205, 225, 226, 241, 242, 243, 244, 252, 260, 265, 273, 277, 278, 279, 297, 319, 330, 332, 335, 336, 337, 338, 341, 342, 347, 371, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 436, 438, 439, 440, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 448, 449, 450, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 463, 495, 496, 533, 539, 540, 541, 548, 555, 556, 557, 621, 660, 696, 697
  • Ancient/Medieval History. At least one semester course selected to meet the European or Non-Western/Latin American requirement must focus on the European or Mediterranean area before 1500 or on Africa or Asia before European influences became significant. This course may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the other distribution requirements above. Course options include the following: 107, 110, 115, 121, 123, 205, 208, 215, 251, 303, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 316, 317, 318, 321, 325, 326, 333, 336, 339, 360, 366, 368, 369, 376, 426, 439, 448, 453, 454, 457, 459, 477, 507, 511, 517, 539, 550, 561, 562, 567, 569 
  • Historical Research Course, 3 crs. Choose from the following courses: 319, 354, 408, 418, 458, 461, 462, 503, 516, 519, 546, or 628. History 500 or 600 can also be used to meet this requirement if taken prior to fall 2009. This course may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the other distribution requirements above.
  • Additional credits to total 30.

Note: Students interested in studying and teaching in a number of social studies disciplines may wish to combine the major listed here with a major in Broad Field Social Studies. This combination allows an individual to develop a depth of study in a particular area of interest while acquiring a broader understanding of the social sciences. The ability to teach a number of social studies courses may increase employment opportunities and this combination will also provide a foundation for certification in additional social studies subject areas at a later date.

History Minor Requirements for Students in Elementary and Secondary Education

The History minor may be completed by students in Secondary Education Social Studies or Elementary Education licensing programs. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 is required, based on all History minor course work taken on the UW–Madison campus. The graduation grade point average may be modified by the last 60 credits rule.

Secondary Education students may select this minor only if completing a major in another Social Studies certification area. It is not possible to be certified only in a minor area. Interested Secondary Education students must apply and be admitted to the Social Studies program. Admission is limited and competitive. See additional information under the major of choice.

All Secondary students, whether completing their first degree or adding on a teaching minor to a prior certification, should expect to complete a methods course, participate in practicum and student teaching experience, and earn passing scores on a content exam to be recommended for certification. Students wishing to complete a minor must consult with the faculty advisor/program coordinator to discuss its field experience component.

The History minor requires a minimum of 24 credits. No more than three courses may be numbered below 300.

  • Select at least one course from each of European, United States, Non-Western and/or Latin American, and Ancient/Medieval History. See the lists of specific courses above.
  • Historical Research Course, 3 crs. Choose from the following courses: 319, 354, 408, 418, 458, 461, 462, 503, 516, 519, 546, or 628. History 500 or 600 can also be used to meet this requirement if taken prior to fall 2009.
  • Courses taken to fulfill the Historical Research Course and Ancient/Medieval requirements may also be used to fulfill other distribution requirements.
  • Choose elective credits to total 24. The Department of History recommends but does not require students who wish to minor in History take a one-year continuous course in American history (e.g., 101 and 102).

This page was updated 9/22/14.