The Secondary Social Studies licensure program is organized around a conceptual framework grounded in our shared commitments to teaching for equity and justice and drawn from theories and pedagogies that center anti-oppressive aims. We focus on three key interconnected themes:

  • Power, Privilege, and Positioning
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Agency and Change

This framework invites candidates to explore a series of guiding questions throughout each course and practicum experience and to examine reiteratively how centering these themes impacts teaching and learning. As program faculty, we both understand that this work is challenging and are committed to learning with and from our candidates.

We recommend that undergraduate students in the Secondary Social Studies program declare one of the following majors, as an efficient, content-centric pathway:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Affairs
  • Political Science

Students are admitted into the program as freshmen, sophomores, or juniors and complete both content area major and teacher licensure requirements (please see Course Overview below). They engage with teachers and students in public secondary school classrooms through a series of supported practicum placements that result in over 800 hours of school-based experience. Note: potential applicants who are current juniors or seniors are encouraged to consider applying to our one-year, intensive MA+ teacher licensure program.

This program leads to a Colorado provisional license in Secondary Social Studies (grades 7-12). To be eligible for licensure, candidates must successfully complete all academic and field experience requirements, pass a state-approved licensure exam, and complete student teaching.

 For more information about courses requirements, visit the CU Boulder Course Catalog.  

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Incoming first-year students can now apply directly to all of our teacher licensure programs! If you are an incoming student, please see instructions here. If you are a current CU Boulder student, see steps below. 

+ Drop down text question box: Admission Requirements for Current CU Boulder Students

Admission to the undergraduate teacher education program is competitive; satisfying the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance. 

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  1. Earn a minimum 2.5 GPA overall.

    • Demonstrated passion for justice and equity

    • Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations

    • Demonstrated experience working with youth or in community leadership and organizing

  2. Have 24 college credits completed or in progress (not including credit by examination, e.g., AP or IB credit).

  3. Meet with a School of Education academic advisor to review program requirements and timeline to completion.

+ Application Process

We are excited that you are ready to pursue a career in education! Admission to the teacher education program is competitive; satisfying the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance. Please also note that some requirements will take longer than others to complete. All applicants should plan accordingly.

Undergraduate students interested in pursuing secondary licensure in English, social studies, math, science, or Spanish will select the "ADD" option on the intra-university transfer application. Secondary licensure is pursued in conjunction with a different BA program related to the content area in which the student wishes to be licensed. Options will be discussed in students' pre-application meetings with School of Education academic advisors. In addition to the IUT application, secondary licensure applicants must submit an essay addressing the questions below:

You will need to submit:

  1. The intra-university transfer application.

  2. A personal statement of 1,000 words addressing each of the following:

    1. Looking back on your K-12 experiences, how would you describe yourself as a student?

    2. When you envision yourself as a classroom teacher, what do you see, who do you see, what kinds of texts and other materials do you see?

    3. As you reflect upon your life experiences to date, what have you learned about, with, and from young people?

+ Deadlines

The School of Education follows the campus-wide application deadlines as detailed on the intra-university transfer website and below. However, due to the structure of School of Education programs, the emphasis on fieldwork, and the need for individualized advising, we strongly recommend that you apply by the registration access deadlines during the fall (October 1) and spring (March 1).

IUT application open dates:

  • September 15, 11:59 p.m. MT: Spring Application

  • February 15, 11:59 p.m. MT: Summer and Fall Application 

IUT change/add registration access dates: 

  • October 1, 11:59 p.m. MT: Spring Registration Access or Admission 

  • March 1, 11:59 p.m. MT: Summer and Fall Registration Access or Admission 

  • June 1, 11:59 p.m. MT: Fall Registration Access or Admission

IUT change/add final dates:

  • First day of classes for each term

Licensure Course Requirements

Course # Course title

EDUC 1001
EDUC 2001
EDUC 3001

Humanities Teaching for Equity: Naming (1 credit)
Humanities Teaching for Equity: Noticing (2 credits)
Humanities Teaching for Equity: Negotiating (2 credits)

EDUC 3013 School and Society (3 credits)

EDUC 4112

Adolescent Development and Learning for Teachers (3 credits)

EDUC 4023 Differentiating Instruction in Diverse Secondary Classrooms (3 credits)
EDUC 5316 Nature of Social Studies (3 credits)
EDUC 4490 Blurring Disciplinary Lines in the Humanities (3 credits)
EDUC 4325 Queering Literacy in Secondary Classrooms (3 credits)
EDUC 4330 Secondary Social Studies Methods I (3 credits)
EDUC 5355 Secondary Social Studies Methods II (3 credits)
EDUC 4390 Seminar: Teaching for Equity and Justice (3 credits)
EDUC 4712 Student Teaching: Secondary School (10 credits)