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College of Arts & Sciences

Social Science/History

Why pursue a social science/history degree at North Central College?

A combined major in history and the social sciences equips you to teach political science, economics, geography and psychology subjects in social studies classrooms. Historically minded individuals are the masters of the past, devoting their careers to studying and teaching notable events such as conflicts, political milestones and social movements; North Central’s program is designed to prepare you to work towards teacher licensure in this area. At North Central College you will study history from around the world. A successful graduate from this program will likely go on to be a secondary school teacher, but might go on to be a history professor, museum archivist or curator, historical advisor or attend graduate school. In this program, you’ll gain solid writing and analytical skills that will be valuable in any career you choose.


  • Providing transformative learning experiences for students
  • Collecting and evaluating information from primary sources to answer questions around history
  • Analyzing written records, physical artifacts and other evidence to present findings and create value for modern society

then a degree in SOCIAL SCIENCE/HISTORY might be for you.

Why study social science/history at North Central College?

In the Classroom

Coursework topics:

  • American Political System
  • Asia’s Rapid Industrialization
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Economics and Social Issues
  • European Intellectual History
  • Global History and Geography
  • Historical Methods
  • Immigration and U.S Ethnic Identity
  • International Relations
  • Japanese History
  • Nineteenth Century Europe: Sex and Mass Hysteria
  • Psychology: Science of Behavior
  • Science, Religion and Magic in Early Modern Europe
  • Twentieth Century Europe: Hitler Versus Stalin
  • U.S. and Illinois to 1865
  • U.S. and Illinois from 1865–1945
  • U.S. and Illinois since 1945
  • World Wars of the 20th Century

Beyond the Classroom

As a social science/history major, you can:

  • Conduct research with the College’s distinguished professors as early as your first year—no teaching assistants here.
  • Complete field experiences and residency assignments at excellent area schools.
  • Gain experience, compete for scholarships, and work with high-need students through North Central’s Junior/Senior Scholars and Teach First programs.
  • Take your place among the North Central graduates who routinely stand out from the crowd in landing coveted teaching positions.

Related Information

If you are interested in Social Science/History, you may also want to learn more about our History major and History department.



Social Science/History, B.A.

The Social Science/History Major is designed for students seeking to teach Social Studies at the high school level, but it is open to all students. Students seeking teacher certification must also complete a Secondary Education Major. Social Science/History Majors complete 32 credit hours in History so they have an in-depth knowledge of this discipline. They take a three-course sequence of 200-level U.S. History courses, which includes Illinois History.  Social Science/History Majors also take courses in Political Science, Economics and Geography to give them the broader overview of the Social Sciences needed to teach Social Studies. They take 12 credit hours of Political Science to prepare them for an endorsement to teach Government in addition to History.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see History.

History Coursework


  • HIST 200 - Historical Methods

    HIST 200 - Historical Methods

    4.00 credit hours

    This methods course introduces students to how historians think about the past and do history. Students will learn the basics of historical research, the process of writing history, and the historical profession. Upon completion of the course, students are prepared to complete research in 300-level history seminars and the HIST 470 capstone seminar as well as compete successfully for internships in archives, historical societies and museums.

    Schedule Of Classes


  • HIST 150 - Global History and Geography

    HIST 150 - Global History and Geography

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of themes in World History and Geography through the study of maps and their evolution through the pre-modern and modern eras. Topics include the role of maps in representing religious, political, and ethnic identities, patterns of pilgrimage and trade, and the increasing power of science in reshaping forms of knowledge and global political and cultural relations.

    Schedule Of Classes

U.S. History Courses

  • HIST 222 - U.S. and Illinois to 1865

    HIST 222 - U.S. and Illinois to 1865

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of the development of American society from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. Attention to the political, social, cultural and intellectual life during the colonial period, the revolutionary era, the Early Republic and the Civil War. Special attention is given to linking the broader current of American history to Illinois.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HIST 224 - U.S. and Illinois from 1865–1945

    HIST 224 - U.S. and Illinois from 1865–1945

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of the major political, social and economic developments in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War II in order to understand the creation of modern America. During this critical period, the United States was transformed from a rural nation of farmers into a nation of urban-industrial workers. In the late nineteenth century, America had little involvement in foreign affairs, but by 1945, it was the world's most powerful nation. Special attention is given to linking the broader current of American history to Illinois.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HIST 226 - U.S. and Illinois since 1945

    HIST 226 - U.S. and Illinois since 1945

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of major political, social and economic developments in the United States since the end of World War II to understand today's America. Early topics include the Cold War and American prosperity, Civil Rights movements by African Americans and others, and the Vietnam War. Later topics include the collapse of the New Deal coalition, conservative responses to social upheaval, the shift from an industrial economy to a service economy and America's role in the world since the Cold War's end. Special attention is given to linking the broader current of American history to Illinois.

    Schedule Of Classes

Non-U.S. History Courses

  • Eight credit hours of World History or European History, at or above the 200-level

Advanced History Seminars

  • Eight credit hours of History at the 300-level [expected to be Non-U.S. courses]


  • HIST 470 - Capstone Seminar

    HIST 470 - Capstone Seminar

    4.00 credit hours

    This capstone research seminar provides advanced investigation of the ways in which historians have approached their materials and craft. Each student designs, researches and writes a historical essay to answer a research question developed in consultation with a member of the History faculty.

    Schedule Of Classes

Social Science Coursework

  • ECON 100 - Economics of Social Issues

    ECON 100 - Economics of Social Issues

    4.00 credit hours

    A survey of basic economic theory with an emphasis on the basics of the market system. This course shows the application of economics to real world problems such as pollution, inflation, health care and unemployment. This course may not be taken after completing either ECON 200 or ECON 205.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 101 - The American Political System

    POLS 101 - The American Political System

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • One four credit hour elective Political Science course
  • PSYC 100 - Psychology: Science of Behavior

    PSYC 100 - Psychology: Science of Behavior

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of the basic concepts, processes, theories and empirical findings concerning the behavior of organisms. Consideration is given to the following topics: physiological and developmental basis of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, states of consciousness, learning and memory, and motivation and emotion, as well as personality, intellectual functioning, psychopathology, and social influences on behavior. Community engaged learning and/or an active research experience is used to further student understanding of course topics. Gateway course.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • *Note: Geography is covered in HIST 150, so it is counted with the History, not Social Sciences coursework.


Students seeking teaching licensure must also complete the Secondary Education major requirements.

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Social Science/History Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.


Recent graduates in social science/history have served as:

  • Coaching management, North Central College
  • Exploring diversity intern, Ryerson Elementary, Chicago
  • Exploring diversity intern, Simmons Middle School, Aurora, IL

Graduates schools

Recent graduates in social science/history have been accepted at:

  • Loyola University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Wisconsin


Social science/history graduates routinely find teaching positions in districts within a 30-mile radius of North Central, like:

  • Aurora and East Aurora School Districts
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Naperville Community School District 203
  • Indian Prairie School District 204
  • Plainfield School District 202

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Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

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