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Master's Degrees | Social Studies - Secondary Education

Social Studies - Secondary Education

Entrance Exam: GRE
College of Education

The Social Studies - Secondary Education Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is an accelerated teacher licensure program that leads its graduates to both an initial 9-12 teaching license and a master’s degree in as little as a year and a half (full-time).

Read more about Professional Licensure.

In the Social Studies - Secondary Education MAT, teachers grow in knowledge and impact while learning how to integrate practice with theory in today’s culturally diverse and technology-enhanced classrooms.

The MAT program at North Carolina State University follows a hybrid model, consisting of online, on-campus and face-to-face off-campus classes, held in Raleigh.

Please note that the MAT’s focus is on preparation to teach in K-12 schools rather than an advanced credential for practicing teachers or a precursor to research-oriented doctoral studies in education.

The Social Studies - Education MAT program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction prepares teachers to teach secondary social studies including history, political science, government, civics, geography and behavioral sciences in accordance with North Carolina curriculum for required and elective secondary social studies.

The program results in licensure in grades 9-12 and focuses on a combination of social studies subject matter and pedagogy related to preparing young people for the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in the United States.

The MAT to teach secondary social studies is offered to those who hold a bachelor’s degree in a social science (economics, geography, history, political science, psychology or sociology) or 24 semester hours/credits with a minimum of one class from each of the following:

  • US History Pre 1865
  • US History Post 1865
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • World History
  • History of a non-Western Culture
  • Geography

Students are admitted in the spring, summer 1 or fall semesters.

Students may be required to take additional courses to better prepare for teaching the secondary social studies curriculum:

  • World History
  • American History
  • Civics
  • Personal Financial Literacy


Applicants must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a college or university that holds regional accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency such as SACS;
  • 3.0 GPA or higher in prior work, as required by the Graduate School;
  • The GRE is no longer required for admission to the Elementary MAT program if you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. If your GPA is below 3.0, a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 300 on GRE is required. Scores should be no older than 5 years prior to the date of admission;
  • Minimum passing score of 100 on the TOEFL AND an official course-by-course evaluation from an accredited foreign credential evaluation service required for applicants with non-U.S. degrees*;
  • Meet the specific requirements of content area or grade level. See specialty coursework under curriculum for content standards.

In the absence of a content degree, 24 semester hours/credits in content relevant to the area in which you wish to teach are needed. Candidates who are missing content area courses can take them at a local college or university or as a PBS (post-baccalaureate student) at NC State prior to admission.

If an applicant does not have the 24 content area credits needed to be accepted into the program, he or she can still enroll in the first graduate classes as a Non-Degree student (NDS) while completing the full 24 content-specific hours and transfer those credits into the degree program. Up to 12 credit hours with a grade of “B” or better can be transferred into a master’s degree program (either completed as an NDS student or at another institution).

*Please note that the Master of Arts in Teaching is a Distance Education program, so students on university-sponsored visas are not eligible for this program. Please contact the Office of International Services with any questions.

Plan of Study

MAT participants can undertake this program full-time or part-time. Depending on the content area, the program is approximately 33 credit hours, including a full-semester student teaching experience.

Career Prospects

The Social Studies - Education MAT program leverages a bachelor’s degree in a social science to help you become a licensed social studies teacher equipped to teach at the middle or high school level. Gain crucial teaching experience and skills as you launch your career as an educator.