Teacher Licensing

The College of Education & Professional Studies offers a course of study leading to a recommendation for a social studies certification for grades 6-12. Students applying for Professional Education Admission in Secondary Social Studies should be aware that the size of the program is limited and admission is competitive. Students may be certified in one particular social studies discipline or they may be certified in Broadfield Social Studies with a particular disciplinary emphasis. The Department of Public Instruction has established the following licensure options in Social Studies:

  • Economics - 710
  • Geography - 715
  • History - 725
  • Political Science - 735
  • Psychology - 740
  • Sociology - 745
  • Broadfield Social Studies - 701

Licenses with disciplinary endorsements in Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology allow the license holder to teach all courses in their particular content area in grades 6-12.

If you earn a Broadfield Social Studies license, you may teach all courses in any social studies subject in grades 6-10. This license allows you to teach courses in social studies subjects in grades 11-12 if those courses are part of the regular school or district requirement for middle/high school graduation. Other than in the area of emphasis, Broadfield Social Studies license holders may not teach upper level classes (grades 11-12) that are designated advanced placement, honors or college prep or that are dedicated to considering greater content depth than exists in courses required for the standard high school graduation sequence.

However, the area of emphasis associated with the broadfield (Geography, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, etc.) and any additional social studies minor(s) will constitute a concentration, which will enable you to be recommended for licensure to teach upper level classes (grades 11-12) in your area of concentration that are designated advanced placement, honors, college prep or that are dedicated to considering greater content depth than exists in courses required for the standard high school graduation sequence. Similarly, if you earn History with Social Studies Emphasis major, you may be recommended for licensure to teach all history courses, grades 6-12, without restriction.

  1. Praxis I, Pre-Professional Skills Test: Students must pass at least two parts of the Pre-Professional Skills Test, Praxis I, to enroll in the Pre-Professional Block, which is a set of three related courses that are required for professional education admission. In order to be licensed and to be admitted to the school of education, students must pass all three parts, Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, of the Praxis I, Pre-Professional Skills test. For more information, see Step 3, Take the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) in the section titled, "Suggested Course Sequence and Steps to Social Studies Licensure."
  2. Praxis II, Social Studies Content Knowledge Exam: Under the new licensure rules (PI-34), students will be required to take a standardized test, selected by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, in order to be licensed. The Praxis II-Social Studies Content Knowledge Exam administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is a general test of social studies knowledge. This exam will include items in the areas of United States History, World History, Government/Civics/Political Science, Geography, Economics, and Behavioral Science. For details, see Step 8, Praxis II Social Studies Content Knowledge Exam, in the section titled, "Suggested Course Sequence and Steps to Social Studies Licensure."
  3. The job market for social studies teachers remains competitive. Completing a Broadfield Social Studies licensure program may increase the chances of finding a position, particularly if you have a History emphasis or significant History coursework. Students completing licensure in a single social studies discipline are strongly encouraged to pursue additional certification in a minor field to increase their marketability. Students who do not have an existing baccalaureate degree and are not completing a broadfield program must complete a minor in addition to the major in order to qualify for the initial baccalaureate degree.
  4. Fischer Scholarship - Students who plan to seek licensure in geography, should consider applying for the Fischer Scholarship. Applications are due in the fall. Please contact the Geography Department in Upham 120 or call (262) 472-1071 for more information.

To be licensed in a minor field, students must complete the minor requirements listed in the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Catalog in the discipline and the methods course and Praxis II test for that discipline. Students may have the opportunity to teach one or more sections of their minor subject as part of their student teaching placement.