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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development

BA, Political Science with Secondary Social Studies License


Are you excited to open the paper everyday to find out what is new in politics? Are you interested in helping middle and high school students understand how important it is to vote in a public election, how laws come into being, and how to keep in contact with their representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Do you want to encourage students to make a difference in their own communities? If so, you may make an excellent Social Studies teacher!

Preparing Social Studies teachers is a highly collaborative process between the Political Science & History departments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Education & Human Development at CU Denver as well as our highly experienced K-12 partner educators in the metro area. Through the Political Science & History department, you'll garner the essential content knowledge of a Social Studies teacher during the first 3 years of your bachelors degree. Then in your final fourth year, you will immediately begin "living the life of a teacher" as you quickly become a vital member of the teaching staff at one of our metro area urban professional development schools as a teacher candidate intern. At the same time you'll be simultaneously taking teacher education classes so that you can immediately apply what you learn in your internship classroom.

Our Urban Community Teacher Education program is nationally recognized for having one of the most innovative, collaborative teacher preparation models where top faculty work side by side with experienced K-12 partner educators to prepare you to have a profound impact on the lives of students in our most urban and diverse schools. In fact, our candidates enter their first year of teaching with the knowledge, skills, and confidence of 2nd and 3rd year teachers!

It is possible to complete the undergraduate BA and your teacher education path in 120 credit hours and 4 years, as part of your undergraduate studies.

  • Meet your undergraduate education advisor and start your teacher education graduation plan as soon as possible
  • Meet your advisor in Political Science
  • Complete all CU Denver and CLAS core and Political Science major requirements
  • Finish Level II in foreign language
  • Complete History day course HIST 5850 (History in the Community)
  • Maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Apply to the School of Education & Human Development
  • Interview for the program
  • Work with your advisors to make sure that you are on track to apply for graduation and apply for Colorado licensure
  • Finish your remaining teacher education courses and partner school internships by the deadlines
  • Satisfactorily complete final semester course work. To qualify for initial or professional certification in Colorado, you take the Colorado PLACE or PRAXIS II Social Studies exam. Please see your advisor for more details or visit the PLACE or PRAXIS II websites. 

Teacher Education Timeline


Immerse yourself with real work in our professional development schools, helping students ask questions, observe, analyze, explain, and draw conclusions.


Our teacher candidates are highly sought out by districts as our teacher preparation program has a strong reputation in the Denver Metro area and beyond. School administrators describe our teacher candidates as looking like "2nd and 3rd year teachers" coming right out of this program. We prepare to be a highly effective and compassionate teacher, especially for urban and diverse elementary, middle or high school classrooms or wherever you choose to begin your career. We also prepare you to be a teacher leader, as many of our graduates have gone on to unique positions of educational leadership as their careers have progressed, making a difference for students in multiple ways!​

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

1380 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80204 | Map It

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