Social Studies Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

The major in Social Studies provides students with a strong foundation in teaching secondary Social Studies, enabling them to implement state and national educational standards.

Upon completion of the Social Studies major, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad store of knowledge of history, geography, economics, politics, and related social sciences.
  2. Describe, analyze and explain economic, political, cultural, social and physical systems in the context of time and space.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to conduct and present both orally and in writing quality research so as to participate actively in-and foster-the ongoing construction of knowledge.
  4. Apply knowledge of Social Studies creatively, and demonstrate a love of learning and a critical awareness of the significance of Social Studies for human well-being.

Complete the following core courses (24 cr):

Code Course Credits

HIS 1125

The Ancient World

This course explores continuity, change, connections and comparisons within and between societies that developed in different regions of the world before the rise of Islam in the 7th century. We examine the historical texts and contexts in which humans communicated, complained, dreamed, prayed and made meaning of their lives in worlds that were very different from, and yet surprisingly similar to, our own.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1135

Global History

This course introduces students to the discipline of history in general and to the field of global history in particular. It examines the roots and expansion of globalization - broadly defined as the growing interconnectedness of our world - from the rise of Islam to the 21st century.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1215

Survey of Early U.S. History

The European colonization of the Americas and the subsequent emergence of the United States held tremendous consequences for the peoples of the modern world. Colonial regimes set in motion a chain of events that destroyed unique Native American cultures, and the demands of merchants and planters in the Americas fueled the African slave trade, one of the largest forced migrations in human history. At the same time, political elites and ordinary people participated in a transatlantic Age of Revolutions that introduced to the world new ways of organizing government and thinking about human rights. Students in this introductory survey course will study these foundations of national life in the United States. The topics to be considered include Native American cultures and colonialism; slavery and its destruction; the role of race and gender relations in American life; and the emergence of liberalism and nationalism in the modern world.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

HIS 1225

Survey of Modern U.S. History

The emergence of the United States as a global power represents one of the most significant developments in recent world history. This introductory survey course will trace America's growing engagement with the world over the course of the long twentieth century. At the same time, the course will consider the development domestically of a modern centralized state that has increasingly concerned itself with the rights and well-being of individual citizens. Topics will include industrialization and its critics, imperialism, the two World Wars, the development of a social safety net, movements for civil rights and social justice for women and minorities, and the origins of America's engagement with the Middle East.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

POS 1020

American Politics and Government

Various approaches to the study of politics and some of its fundamental issues, such as the authority and function of the state, the rights of the individual and the pursuit of justice, equality, life, liberty, and happiness. Emphasis on American politics and government.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

GEO 2020

World Regional Geography

In this course, students will consider the locational and regional characteristics of the world's diverse cultures. We will apply a variety of geographical models and perspectives relating to specific regions of the world to better understand the conflicts, commonalities, and general human geographies among world regions and culture groups.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

ECO 3080

Foundations of Economics for Secondary Educators

This course will provide the necessary economics background for the teaching of the middle and high school social studies curriculum, and supports the qualification of students for state licensure endorsement standards. The basic principles of the sub-fields of economics will be covered including: macroeconomics, microeconomics, international economics, economic development, economic history, and the history of economic thought. It fulfills the Economics requirement for History and Social Studies majors and is essential for prospective teachers. Students are encouraged to take the course during their junior or senior year.

Restrictions Sophomore standing or higher is required.

Fall, even years

3

ANT 1010

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

-OR- SOC 1010 - Introduction to Sociology 3 cr

An analysis of the origin and bases of culture. Its major components: cultural variation, cultural evolution, and cultural adaptation. Analysis of selected cultures as case studies.

This course fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

And a two-course capstone sequence (6 cr):

Code Course Credits

POS 2510

Research Methods

Either:

This course provides students with a broad understanding of how research is conducted in social science disciplines, focusing on the discipline of Political Science. Students will become aware of a wide array of research tools available to address questions in the study of politics and government. More importantly, they will learn how to select the appropriate research tools based on the nature of the research question being addressed. The course begins with the study of how to frame research questions, formulate hypotheses, and then test hypotheses. Next, we explore the nature of data (quantitative and qualitative) and approaches in the rigorous collection of data. We also review many existing data sources for secondary analysis.

Fall, even years

3

POS 4610

Senior Seminar in Political Science

This research seminar allows students to develop and complete a research project in Political Science that evidences appropriate methodology and substantive knowledge. The completed project will be presented in both oral and written form.

Prerequisite: POS 3510 - Quantitative Analysis.

Spring

3

HIS 4601

History Research Seminar

Or:

This course is required of all students majoring in History or Social Studies. It is the first in a sequence of two required courses leading to the History Thesis (see HIS 4602). The goal of the course is to teach students how to approach history from the point of view of a historian, reading texts for historiographical, theoretical and methodological significance. In this class, students learn how to conduct quality research and to develop bibliographic and citation skills. They apply these skills when they identify, locate and analyze secondary and primary sources that lead to a substantial research proposal that will form the basis of the History Thesis.

Prerequisite: Majoring in History or Social Studies; junior or senior status.

Fall

3

HIS 4602

History Thesis Seminar

This capstone seminar is required of all students majoring in History or Social Studies. Building on the research proposal developed in HIS 4601, students will continue to locate, evaluate and interpret the significance of primary and secondary sources pertaining to a particular historical research project. This course is conducted as a seminar, with emphasis placed on working together with the professor and all class members to prepare a culminating project for public presentation to the campus community, and submitted in written form as a History Thesis.

Prerequisite: HIS 4601

Spring

3

In addition, complete 18 credits in elective courses (18 cr):

The electives must be chosen from History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and/or Global Studies.

The electives must include:

  • No more than 3 credits at the 1000 level;
  • At least 9 credits at the 3000 level;
  • No more than 9 credits in one discipline.

(Credits required for the major: 48 cr)

Social Studies students are strongly encouraged to:

  • study abroad
  • study a world language
  • take GEO 2210 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • take HIS 2070 - Vermont History
  • as part of their Gen Ed program, take PSY 1012 - Introduction to Psychological Science

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.