Social Studies Requirements


To qualify to teach social studies at the secondary level, applicants must meet two conditions:

  1. Possess a recognized four-year Bachelor's degree with an acceptable social science major or minor(s).
  2. Satisfy specific Social Studies course requirements.

Note: You must also meet the English Literature and GPA academic requirements to be eligible to apply to the PDP/PLP at the secondary level. 

Acceptable Social Science Majors and Minors

Students may qualify for a teachable in Social Studies if they have a designated (or equivalent) major, two minors in a social science area(s), or a designated (or equivalent) minor in a social science area, plus a minor in another Secondary teachable subject area offered in the PDP/PLP/AHCOTE.

The exact requirements for majors and minors vary by department.  

  • major is approximately 12-18 units of lower division coursework (100 and 200 level courses), plus approximately 28-30 units of upper division coursework (300 and 400 level courses), all in one subject;
  • minor is approximately 12-15 units of lower division coursework, plus approximately 14-18 units of upper division coursework all in one subject; A completed Master’s degree in a social science area may count as the equivalent of a minor.

Majors or minors listed below will qualify provided they have a predominately social scientific focus (and not, for example, a linguistic, literary or artistic emphasis).

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Asia/Global Asia
  • Canadian Studies
  • Classics/Greek & Roman Studies
  • Criminology
  • Economics
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Geography
  • Gender/Women’s Studies
  • History
  • Humanities (counts as minor only, must be combined with another teachable subject)
  • International Relations/Studies
  • Law
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Specific Social Studies Course Requirements

There are specific Social Studies course requirements in order for students to qualify for Secondary Social Studies.  In addition to a major/minor(s) in an acceptable social science area, completion of the following courses (24 units) is required to qualify for Secondary Social Studies. The required courses must be in-progress or completed at the time of application. Courses must be completed before the start of the program (PDP - August 31st; PLP - December 31st).

9 units of History

3 units of Canadian History

3 units of European History

3 units of Non-Canadian/Non-European Regional History e.g. Asia, Middle East, Africa, USA

6 units Canadian Content

3 units Indigenous Studies

3 units Canadian Content*

3 units Geography


6 units of BCTC acceptable Social Studies*

See list below

*Courses can be from the following disciplines per BCTC Certification Standards: 

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Geography

Note: Coursework related to these disciplines in Canadian studies, Asian studies, Gender/Women's studies, Indigenous/First Nation studies, Religious studies (non-doctrinal nature) and Classical studies may be considered. A detailed course outline may be requested by PPS Admissions.

Please see the SFU Social Studies Chart of Acceptable Courses for the prerequisite requirements and course options at SFU. Use the BC Transfer Guide to find equivalent courses at other BC institutions.


  • Courses cannot be ‘double counted’ – i.e., one course cannot be counted towards different course requirements (e.g., SFU’s GEOG 162 could satisfy the 3 units of Geography, but not also the 3 units of Canadian content)
  • Social Science courses from disciplines not listed above may be accepted on a case-by-case basis to satisfy any of the course requirements.  These courses must be reviewed by PDP Admissions and will require a detailed course outline to ensure content is applicable to the specific course requirement.
  • Courses in or with an Archaeology, Criminology, or International Studies theme are not acceptable for these 24 units.

Social Studies Course Requirements, for students admitted prior to 2019 only

Additional Geography and History Components (Until September 2018)

In addition to a major/minor(s) in acceptable social science areas, students require the following Geography and History components to qualify for a teachable major or minor in social studies. The course requirements did not have to be completed prior to the start of the PDP/PLP. You will not be recommended for a Teaching Certificate until the PDP/PLP and the Social Studies requirements are completed.

The following SFU courses are acceptable to meet the Geography and History components of the secondary level Social Studies requirements.  For acceptable courses at other institutions, please contact our office. There may be courses not listed, such as Special Topics courses, which satisfy one of the required areas; a detailed course outline may be submitted to PDP Admissions for evaluation.

Geography Component

  • A minimum of 6 units in Geography including 3 units of Canadian Geography.

Canadian Geography

  • GEOG 162-3: Canada
  • GEOG 264-3: Canadian Cities
  • GEOG 265-3: Geography of British Columbia
  • GEOG 469-4: Canadian North and Middle North
  • GEOG 470-4: Geography of Western Canada

History Component

All three History components must be completed.

1. Canadian History A minimum of 6 units covering both pre- and post-Confederation periods.

Canada: Pre-Confederation

  • HIST 101-3: Canada to Confederation
  • HIST 201-3: History of Western Canada
  • HIST 204-3: Social History of Canada
  • HIST 214-3: Quebec Society, Culture, and Politics
  • HIST 323-4: The Canadian Prairies
  • HIST 325-4: History of Aboriginal Peoples of North America to 1850
  • HIST 329-4: Canadian Family History
  • HIST 430-4: New France
  • HIST 431-4: Problems in the History of British North America: 1760-1850
  • HIST 436-4: British Columbia 

Canada: Post-Confederation

  • ASC 301-3: Asia-Canada Identities: Experiences and Perspectives
  • HIST 102-3: Canada since Confederation
  • HIST 201-3: History of Western Canada
  • HIST 204-3: Social History of Canada
  • HIST 214-3: Quebec Society, Culture, and Politics
  • HIST 323-4: The Canadian Prairies
  • HIST 326-4: History of Aboriginal Peoples of North America since 1850
  • HIST 327-4: Canadian Labour and Working Class History
  • HIST 328-4: Province of Quebec from Confederation
  • HIST 329-4: Canadian Family History
  • HIST 424-4: Problems in the Cultural History of Canada
  • HIST 428-4: Problems in the Social and Economic History of Canada
  • HIST 436-4: British Columbia

The following SFU courses may be used toward either pre- or post-Confederation Canadian History; it will depend on who is teaching it, and from what perspective:  HIST 330, 424, 427, 427, 428, 443, 444

2. European History A minimum of 9 units covering three periods: 500-1600, 1500-1815 and 19th/20th Century.

Europe: 500-1600

  • HUM 105-3: Western Civilization from the Ancient World to the Reformation Era
  • HIST 215-3: The Making of the British Isles
  • HUM 216-3: The Ancient World
  • HUM 219-3: The Early Middle Ages
  • HIST 220-3: The Later Middle Ages
  • HIST 277-3: History of Greek Civilization
  • HIST 308-4: Byzantium from Constantine to the end of the Dark Ages: 4th to the 9th Centuries

Europe: 1500-1815

  • HIST 106-3: The Making of Modern Europe
  • HIST 215-3: The Making of the British Isles
  • HIST 223-3: Early Modern Europe, 1500-1789
  • HIST 309-4: Early Modern Greek History: 1453-1821
  • HIST 310-4: Women and the Family in Modern Europe
  • HIST 311-4: Education and Childhood in European History
  • HIST 312-4: Poverty, Crime and Madness: Society and the Outcast
  • HIST 315-4: Politics and Society in England: 1500-1702
  • HIST 316-4: English Society in the mid-18th Century
  • HIST 318-4: Early Modern France
  • HIST 322-4: Atlantic Migration
  • HIST 331-4: Germany from the Reformation to 1815
  • HIST 334-4: Russia to 1900
  • HIST 336-4: Absolutism and Enlightenment in Europe
  • HIST 339-4: British Empire and Commonwealth
  • HIST 360-4: The History of Science: 1100-1725
  • HIST 362-4: Ireland from Penal Era to Patriation
  • HIST 402-4: Renaissance Italy
  • HIST 403-4: The European Reformation
  • HIST 404-4: Religion, Society and Politics in England: 1530-1640
  • HIST 416-4: The French Revolution

Europe: 19th/20th Century

  • HIST 215-3: The Making of the British Isles
  • HIST 224-3: Europe from the French Revolution to the 1st World War
  • HIST 225-3: 20th Century Europe
  • HIST 316-4: English Society since the mid-18th Century
  • HIST 319-4: France since 1800
  • HIST 322-4: Atlantic Migration
  • HIST 332-4: Germany since 1815
  • HIST 335-4: 20th Century Russia
  • HIST 337-4: The Balance of Power in Europe
  • HIST 338-4: World War II
  • HIST 339-4: The British Empire and Commonwealth
  • HIST 405-4: Early Modern English Society
  • HIST 413-4: Britain and Europe in the 20th Century
  • HIST 414-4: Impact of the Great War
  • HIST 415-4: Victorian Britain
  • HIST 417-4: Modern French Social History
  • HIST 419-4: Late Imperial and Revolutionary Russia
  • HIST 420-4: The History of Russian Foreign Policy from Catherine the Great to Stalin
  • HIST 421-4: Modern Greece: 1864-1925
  • HIST 422-4: Greece, 1935-1944: Occupation and Resistance

3. African/Asian/Latin American History A minimum of 3 units covering at least one region.

Asia & Asia Minor

  • ASC 102-3: Introduction to Asia-Canada Studies II
  • ASC 200-3: Introduction to Chinese Culture
  • ASC 201-3: Introduction to Japanese Culture and History
  • ASC 202-3: Studies in Chinese Culture
  • HIST 151-3: The Modern Middle East
  • HIST 205-3: Premodern Japan
  • HIST 206-3: Modern Japan
  • HIST 249-3: Classical Islamic Civilization
  • HIST 252-3: Islamic India
  • HIST 254-3: China to 1800
  • HIST 255-3: China since 1800
  • HIST 304-4: Alexander the Great and the Quest for World Empire
  • HIST 308-4: Byzantium from Constantine to the end of the Dark Ages: 4th to the 9th Centuries
  • HIST 350-4: The Ottoman Empire and Turkey
  • HIST 352-4: Religion and Politics in Modern Iran
  • HIST 355-4: The Arab Middle East in the 20th Century
  • HIST 365-4: Self and Society in Imperial China
  • HIST 371-4: The Asia-Pacific War in Modern Japanese History
  • HIST 465-4: The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
  • HIST 469-4: Islamic Social and Intellectual History
  • HIST 471-4: Women in Modern Japanese History
  • HIST 474-4: Modern Chinese Identities
  • HIST 481-4: British India


  • HIST 146-3: Africa in Recent History
  • HIST 231-3: The Origins of Modern Africa: Conquest, Resistance and Resurgence
  • HIST 251-3: The Western Imperial Presence in the Middle East and North Africa
  • HIST 343-4: Africa and the Slave Trade
  • HIST 344-4: East Africa
  • HIST 348-4: A History of 20th Century South Africa
  • HIST 473-4: The Making of South African Society
  • HIST 483-4: The Struggle for Identity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Latin America

  • HIST 208-3: Latin America: The Colonial Period
  • HIST 209-3: Latin America: The National Period
  • HIST 324-4: Slavery in the Americas
  • HIST 458-4: Problems in Latin American Regional History
  • HIST 459-4: Problems in the Political and Social History of Latin America