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 degree with an acceptable social science major or minor(s)
  2. Satisfy specific Social Studies course requirements  

Please 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.  


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.

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
  • First Nations 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


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 First Nations Studies

3 units Canadian Content*

3 units Geography


6 units of TCB acceptable Social Studies*

See list below

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

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Canadian Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Religious Studies of a non-doctrinal nature
  • Classical Studies
  • Urban Studies
  • First Nations Studies
  • Environmental Studies 

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.

Please note: 

  • 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.


For those who have completed the PDP/PLP prior to 2018 and have outstanding Social Studies courses to complete for BC Teacher Certification please contact Professional Programs to confirm which courses you need to complete. You can complete either the former Social Studies requirements or the current requirements listed above. You cannot combine the former requirements and the current requirements.