BA in History Education - Secondary Education

Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary EducationInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Become a Licensed History Teacher in Secondary Education

The Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education degree program at Grand Canyon University recognizes that middle and high school history teachers do more than teach facts, events and dates—they impart ethical standards and wisdom developed over centuries of human history. This history education degree, offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is regionally accredited and approved by the Arizona State Board of Education. Students take coursework that aligns with the requirements established by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS).

What Will I Study as a BA in History for Secondary Education Major?

Aspiring secondary history teachers will explore coursework arranged thematically, rather than chronologically. The thematic approach allows for an exploration of historical contexts that is both in-depth and broad in scope. Aspiring secondary educators in our history education degree program will:

  • Use cross-disciplinary perspectives
  • Develop critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Develop ethical decision-making abilities
  • Learn to develop instructional objectives and lesson plans
  • Explore formal and informal assessment strategies

This history education degree, offered in online and on-campus classes, examines:

  • The learning and developmental needs for students with learning differences
  • The principles of instructional programs for English language learners
  • The application of a Christian worldview and Christian ethics

Teacher candidates are required to complete a supervised practicum. Candidates must demonstrate their proficiency in applying pedagogical theories in a real-world classroom.

What Are the Benefits of a Bachelor's in History Education Degree?

According to The Nation’s Report Card, an initiative of the National Center for Education Statistics, just 15% of grade 8 students in 2018 performed at a “proficient” or higher level in U.S. history, a 3% decrease from 2014.* The deficits in history education continue into post-secondary education and adulthood. According to a survey by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, only 27% of those surveyed under the age of 45 nationally could demonstrate a basic level of knowledge about American history.**

If you decide to pursue a history teacher degree, you could one day inspire young minds to enjoy the process of historical inquiry and contextual analysis. You may help students learn from the mistakes of the past so that they are empowered to work toward a better and brighter future.

What Are the Career Options for Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education Majors?

Middle and high school history and social science teachers are well-positioned to guide the development of young minds as they seek to overcome ethical dilemmas and strive for personal growth. Graduates who hold a history education degree and have obtained the necessary certifications may choose to pursue a career in public or private education. Additional career paths that are directly related to this degree program may include:

  • Public or private school administrator
  • Museum educator
  • Museum archivist
  • Private tutor
  • Standardized test developer
  • Education consultant
  • History textbook writer
  • Content strategist
  • Documentary writer/editor

The Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education degree program at Grand Canyon University leads to initial teacher licensure. To become a fully qualified and licensed teacher, candidates must obtain all necessary certifications as determined by the state in which they teach. Successful graduates may decide to enhance their knowledge and classroom skills by pursuing a master's degree in history education.

History Education Degrees FAQs

There is not one specific degree needed in order to become a history teacher. While a degree in education may be a recommended route, becoming a teacher means being able to master a certain subject while also following the teaching requirements of the state in which you wish to teach. It also depends on the grade level you wish to teach. This particular history education degree focuses on secondary education which is for middle to high school grade levels.

A degree in secondary education prepares you to teach at the middle school and high school grade levels. These types of degrees usually have a specific focus attached to it, much like this history education degree. Since secondary education covers higher grade levels, these degrees have a structure to teach more advanced education for students in your classroom.

There are other requirements in order to become a teacher, like receiving a teaching license, but yes, you can become a teacher with a general history degree. A Bachelor of Arts in History degree teaches history from a variety of perspectives so you will be able to work in a multitude of careers. A history education degree like this one teaches a similar curriculum with an added focus of how to deliver history education in a formal classroom setting.

*Retrieved from The Nation’s Report Card, “NAEP Report Card: Achievement-Level Results” in July 2021

**Retrieved from The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, “Woodrow Wilson Foundation Finds Only One State Can Pass U.S. Citizenship Exam” in July 2021

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Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $455 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

This course surveys global civilizations from Africa and the Americas to Eurasia as an overview of the principal cultural, political, and economic themes that shaped world civilization.

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to assist teacher candidates in understanding theories and principles of psychology that describe the growth and development of early adolescents and adolescents, including cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas. This course enables teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities and environments that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the principal political, economic, and cultural themes and constitutional developments that shaped the United States from the Colonial period into the 20th Century.

Course Description

This course introduces the study of history as a scholarly discipline, emphasizing significant historians, subdisciplines of the field, and the foundational methodological and theoretical tools of historians.

Course Description

In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore instructional strategies for delivering differentiated instruction to promote reading and writing proficiency. Language and literacy development is examined to inform assessment, intervention, and remediation practices to support middle to high school readers of diverse ability levels, including students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Using this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates will select, adapt, and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions with attention focused on literacy in academic curricula to advance learning for adolescent students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on research methods used in historical research and writing, and application of theories and methodologies to the analysis of historical materials. Emphasis is placed on research, writing, and critical thinking in historical contexts.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates differentiate instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, and curricular goals. Major emphasis is given to planning instructional objectives and lessons, sequencing, and assessing objectives, utilizing formal and informal assessment strategies that address individual students' needs. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-201.

Course Description

This course prepares teacher candidates to create and manage positive, productive middle- and secondary-grade classroom environments with diverse students. Candidates develop a comprehensive understanding of the learning and behavior principles that underlie effective classroom management and student engagement in order to design and promote an effective classroom management program. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-201.

Course Description

This course examines the historical and cultural developments of ancient worlds including Egypt, Greece, and Rome with an emphasis on social, political, and economic developments.

Course Description

This course provides a historical survey of Asia, including India, China, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan. Emphasis is placed on political, economic, and social developments.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course examines the principal social, political, economic, and global events that have shaped the American experience during the Cold War era.

Course Description

This writing intensive course examines the political, economic, and social aspects of selected wars and revolutions. It provides a comparative study of social conflicts with an emphasis on the patterns of individual and collective action, violence, and social changes.

Course Description

This course examines the techniques, sources, and methods of collecting and presenting history at the local level. Emphasis is placed on how communities create memory and historical records, and their uses for students, educators, researchers, and communities.

Course Description

This course examines the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the Southwest Borderlands region, focusing on topics related to the American West, Native Americans, frontier/colonial theory, environment, and Chicana/o history.

Course Description

The goal of this course is to provide history teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to teach history in secondary classrooms. Teacher candidates explore current research–based pedagogical practices for teaching history, connecting educational theory to specific innovative engagement practices for diverse learning populations. History teacher candidates also are given opportunities to design instruction that engages secondary students in historical inquiry, examines processes for selecting primary and secondary source historical content, and uses authentic assessments to measure student learning. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates study methods and materials related to teaching middle- and secondary-grade students. Emphasis is placed on using data to evaluate and modify instruction. Teaching methodologies encourage problem solving, active participation, meeting diverse students’ needs, and professional collaboration. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint Clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-355.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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