A History major is excellent preparation for middle and high school teaching. Maybe it was a high school Social Studies teacher who turned you on to the study of history in the beginning. Now you can prepare to pass on the favor.

The History & Political Science Departments work with the College of Education to coordinate the program you will need. 

Note: The program is in the process of adding a four year program to the five year program (with integrated MAT).  

For students who joined the program before Fall 2019

You are in a five-year program. To complete the program and be licensed to teach in the state of Virginia, you need a major in history or political science, a minor in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ISS), a minor in Pre-professional Secondary Education (SEED), and a fifth-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

For students who join the program in Fall 2019 or later (graduating Spring 2023 or later)

You have a choice.  You can be in the five-year program OR the new four-year program.

For the four-year program, double major in history or political science AND secondary education, minor in ISS (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences), graduate in four years with teacher licensure. We are developing a variety of optional fifth-year masters programs.  This is the fastest path to licensure.

For help choosing between the programs see Dr. Fitzgerald (fitzgetj@jmu.edu) or Dr. Sandman (sandmaad@jmu.edu).  For help with the College of Education side of things, see Reilly Belton (beltonra@jmu.edu).

Join Future Social Studies Educators (FSSE) for the student perspective, and for fun and useful professional development activities.  Email jmucoefsse@gmail.com for more information and upcoming meetings.



Specific Advising Information

As registration approaches each semester, we will add a sheet with specific advising information for the next semester, including options for classes, procedures for getting into political science classes, and all sorts of other useful information. 

Information for fall 2020 classes

If this doesn't answer your questions, see your advisor or Dr. Sandman (Wilson 2015).  A secondary school teaching path is also offered through the Political Science Department; for that program, see Dr. Hulsey in the political science department.

For questions about the PRAXIS, student teaching, or getting admitted to the College of Education, see your secondary education advisor.

Information for past semesters:

What I Wish I Knew Prior to the Program
  1. “Nap now or forever hold your peace.” –Kelly Sykes, Class of 2014

  2. Like the Facebook page for JMU Future Social Studies Educators and get involved.

  3. Realize that you will be in debt until you’re forty. Make peace with this early.

  4. Get used to acronyms. FYI, acronyms will become part of your daily vocabulary.

  5. Keep a list of fun and weird ideas for your classroom. This may make you a nerd, but your life will be so much easier later.

  6. “Invest in dining dollars for coffee.” – Taylor Irish, Class of 2013

  7. Your classmates are your new BFFs; you’ll never get through it alone.

  8. One bad grade won’t ruin your life. Get over yourself.

  9. Planners only cost $10 at Target but at least you save your sanity.

  10. Club Carrier is not an actual dance club… but Carrier Library does stay open until 2 A.M.

Contact Information


Dr. David Dillard, ISS Advisor
Department of History
Wilson Hall, Room 3004, MSC 2001


Dr. Alison Sandman, ISS Coordinator/Advisor
Department of History
Wilson Hall, Room 2015, MSC 2001

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