College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Social studies education MEd and teaching license

Earn your license to teach social studies in grades 5-12 and your master’s degree in just over a year. Our accelerated program will prepare you to start teaching with solid classroom experience. You will complete all of the required teaching hours through our unique co-teaching practicum model and required coursework in 13 months. The license to teach in Minnesota is highly transferable to other states and our candidates are sought after by local school districts. This is a graduate-level, full-time program.

94.4% of social studies MEd graduates found teaching jobs within a year of graduation (2021-2022 cohort)

Quote from Eli Singer, MEd 2020

The amount of individualized support we get within this program truly surprised me. Because of the small size of the cohort, all of your professors not only know you personally but also provide very strong individualized support. This not only comes in the form of feedback on assignments but also in helping you design lessons, mitigate issues that might arise in the classroom, and more.

Eli Singer, MEd 2020 Jewish Culture Humanities Teacher Colegio Einstein Quito, Equador

About the program and coursework

To look at the core curriculum and electives for the program, visit the University course catalog teaching MEd page under the Social Studies education sub-plan

Master's of education

We offer our teacher preparation programs at the graduate level because it affords you the opportunity to master your content knowledge in your undergraduate degree, allowing for an accelerated program that focuses on teaching. Combining an MEd with your teaching license offers the following advantages:

  • Teachers who have a master's degree will see a roughly $7,000 annual salary increase []
  • Though the salary increase with a master's degree will vary, Minnesota teachers are on the higher end of the payscale, especially in STEM-focused fields. The annual mean Minnesota teacher salaries were $64,790 for middle school teachers and $64,960 for high school teachers in 2019 [Bureau of Labor Statistics].
  • Teachers with advanced degrees are seen as experts. You can be promoted to a school administration position and mentor other teachers based on your graduate training.

Student experience

Our unique co-teaching program and cohort experience will help you gain the confidence you need to start in your own classroom with plenty of support. Learn more about the student teaching experience .


In order to be recommended for your Minnesota 5-12 Social Studies License, you must successfully complete the licensure requirements mandated by the state of Minnesota.

This material is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the Office of Teacher Education at ote@umn.edu612-625-5060.


In this accelerated 13-month program you will complete all your required licensure coursework, student-teaching hours, and MEd completion credits.

Program orientation is in May. Courses start in the summer and finish the following summer. After completing the program and taking the licensure exams, you will earn both your MEd and your 5-12 social studies teaching license and be ready to start in your own classroom in the Fall.

teachers taking a selfie

Teacher scholars of color program

Do you identify, or are you identified, as a non-majority racial group? Consider participating in the Teacher Scholars of Color program. Students admitted to the MEd and initial teaching license programs have the opportunity to join a community of prospective teachers of color and get paired with a faculty mentor. International students are also welcome to this program. Find out more about the TSoC program.

How to apply

    Application deadline and instructions

    • October 1: MEd/ILP application opens
    • November 30: Deadline to request a transcript review/prerequisite evaluation
    • December 15: Application and scholarship application deadline
    • February 1: Admissions notifications sent out on a rolling basis
    We are here to help! If you have questions, please contact the academic advisor in your program area.
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    Tuition and funding

    To get you started, we have created a tutorial to review your scholarship and financial aid options. Watch the scholarship video tutorial.

    Financial aids

    • Apply for financial aid and scholarships when you submit your application
    • Each year we award partial scholarships to qualified teaching candidates. Teaching candidates received over $600,000 in scholarships from CEHD last year.
    • If you intend to teach a high-need subject in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income families, you may be eligible to receive grants of up to $4,000/year. Learn more about the TEACH grant on Onestop.
    • If you plan to teach full time for five complete and consecutive years in schools that serve low-income families, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 through a program administered by the federal government.
    • Learn more about teacher loan forgiveness

    Application requirements

    What we look for

    Strong applications will demonstrate:
    • A commitment to social justice and equity through working with diverse populations and underrepresented, or marginalized, group
    • A capacity for critical self-reflection
    • How teaching is a thoughtful and informed career choice

    Application Process 

    1. Prerequisite review

    2. GPA: 2.80 GPA is required for full acceptance. Special review will be given to applicants with a GPA less than 2.80.
    3. Unofficial transcripts: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country, is required.
    4. Resume: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country, is required.
    5. Personal Statement:

      Writing prompt: Describe the world you come from--for example, your family, community or school. Tell us about a time when your worldview has informed and/or been challenged by working with children or youth.

    6. Diversity Statement: Writing prompt: Given the well-documented racial, ethnic, and/or cultural differences between teachersand the students they teach in K-12 spaces, what have you done to further your knowledge and understanding about equity and diversity?
    7. Letter of Recommendation: Ask someone who can speak to your experience working with children and/or youth, or who can vouch for your commitment to educational equity.
    8. (Optional) Extenuating Circumstance Statement: Recommended for those with a GPA below 2.8.

    *GRE is not required

    International Student Applicants

    1. English Language Profiency Test: The Graduate School requires evident of English proficiency. Please visit the Graduate School's English language proficiency page for more information. 
    2. Official evaluation of transcript by a NACES-approved member: You must get a NACES-approved member organization to complete a course-by-course evaluation of your transcript. Send to: Department of Curriculum & Instruction c/o Foreign Transcript Evaluations Peik Hall, 125 159 Pillsbury Dr. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455


    Program Prerequisites

    Program Prerequisites

    Before you are admitted to the MEd and Teaching license programs, you must complete some prerequisite coursework, which varies based on the type of license you are seeking. Below, you will find a list of prerequisites listed by license. Please send the program advisor your unofficial transcript(s).

    Admissions Support

    How to navigate the application

    Application tips 

    Application Checklist

    Application checklist 


    Request information

    We’re here to help. Simply complete one of these forms and a member of our department will be in touch