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 teacher 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 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 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 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 History Education Bachelor’s Degree?

According to The Nation’s Report Card, an initiative of the National Center for Education Statistics, just 18 percent of grade 8 students in 2014 performed at a “Proficient” or higher level in U.S. history. The deficits in history education continue into post-secondary education and adulthood. According to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, nearly 50 percent of college graduates are unaware that U.S. Senators serve six-year terms, and only 28.4 percent of college graduates correctly named James Madison as the Father of the Constitution.

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.

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Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Online: 8 weeks [More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $440 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
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.

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.

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.

Program Core Courses

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

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 presents the historical, legal, theoretical, and sociological foundations of programs of instruction for English language learners. It includes an examination of the role of culture in learning and instructional program models, with a focus on Structured English Immersion. Teacher candidates are instructed in immersion strategies and the use of assessment data. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

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

This course is a survey of Arizona history and government, as well as American government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government and American government.

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

In this course, teacher candidates evaluate and utilize methods and materials for reading and writing in order to teach literacy skills in the middle and secondary grades. Emphasis is placed on making meaning from a variety of text sources including young adult literature, technical, informational, environmental, and media. Candidates design content-based reading and writing experiences using diverse works for adolescents, focused text selection, and electronic database media resources for middle- and secondary-grade classrooms. A focus on language and cultural diversity is included. 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 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

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

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

In this course, teacher candidates continue to examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion 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. They plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

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

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

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 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

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.

Program Locations


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. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.


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. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.

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

Program Domains

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

Online and Evening program disclosures (54 months) On-campus program disclosures (54 months) Additional Disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.