Search form

Degree Overview

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program, Social Science (5-12) - Leads to Teacher Licensure

Have a bachelor’s degree and looking to become a social science teacher? The online social science teacher certification program is the fastest way to earn your social science teaching license. You’ll become a highly qualified teacher prepared to teach middle school or high school social science.

Note: WGU is the first exclusively online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure, a testament to the fact that WGU graduates "have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn."

Who the Program Is For:

  • Individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree (preferably in one of the social science disciplines) and want to become a certified middle school or high school social science teacher.
  • Unlicensed substitute teachers, career changers, retired military personnel, school paraprofessionals, and others with bachelor’s degrees who feel the call to teach.
  • Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.

To be considered eligible for enrollment in this program, you must meet the appropriate content requirements (PDF). Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to determine whether you have the sufficient background for entry into this program.

This program will be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Click here to learn how your program works.

More Info about Becoming a Teacher

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

This online degree program requires the completion of coursework to ensure you have the essential skills and knowledge you need to become a licensed teacher, as well as supervised practice teaching in an actual classroom and the completion of a professional portfolio.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Foundations of Teaching
  • Teacher Education Diversity
  • Instructional Planning and Presentation
  • Preclinical Experiences

Practice Teaching

In-classroom experience is an invaluable part of becoming a highly qualified teacher. Your in-classroom experience will help you elevate the academic knowledge and teaching skills you’ve developed into a practical way of effectively and confidently tackling the challenges of your own classroom.

Professional Portfolio

The online Post-Baccalaureate Social Science (5-12) Teacher Preparation Program also requires the successful completion of a professional portfolio.

Your professional portfolio is something to be proud of – it will include your resume and Philosophy of Teaching Statement and serve as a way to showcase the skills you have acquired throughout your program and demonstration teaching. You'll take what you've learned and apply it to a real-world situation by recommending strategies for effectively handling actual issues you'll face in the workplace.

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online teaching degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 15 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The standard time it takes to complete the online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program in Social Science (5-12) program at WGU is 1.5-2 years.

A personal evaluation of your transcripts from prior colleges is required prior to admission. While you cannot transfer credits directly towards completion of this program, your transcripts will be used to determine whether you have the necessary social science academic content background for enrollment.

WGU’s competency-based method, which allows you to advance through your courses using the skills and knowledge you already have, may allow you finish your degree in even less time.

The online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program, Social Science (5-12) requires a total of 27 Competency Units (CUs), which are WGU credit equivalents. Each course typically equals three or four CUs.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your Post-Baccalaureate Social Science (5-12) Online Teacher Preparation Program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Whether you're looking for a career change with your bachelor's degree or continuing your education with a master's degree, WGU's Teacher College is a quality choice." Mrs. Karen Pence,
First Lady of Indiana

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

WGU was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU’s online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.
  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.
  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.
  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.
  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. In fact, we haven’t increased tuition since 2008. And because we charge tuition at a flat rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.

Cost of Earning a Degree

You’ll pay the same low tuition each 6-month term, regardless of how many courses you complete. If you accelerate your degree program, you’ll pay less for your degree.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, you'll be expected to complete 8 competency units (credit hours) per term – each course generally represents three or four competency units. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

WGU's online Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay. A comparable degree at a traditional university can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. A typical two-year post-baccalaureate degree program at WGU is less than $13,000.

  • $2,890: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $1,000: One-Time Demonstration Teaching Fee
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $65: One-Time Application Fee

Learn more about tuition and fees.

WGU Is Half The Cost

WGU’s Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program in Social Science (5-12) is about half the cost of a comparable program at another online university.

Tuition Comparison: Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program, Social Science (5-12)

WGU Drexel Online
$2,890 per six month term.
If it takes two years = $11,560
33 credit hours x $843 per credit = $27,819

*Note: This chart is for illustration only and reflects the tuition information made public by other institutions and WGU’s standard tuition of $2,890 per term as of February 1, 2015. Tuition for the MBA and nursing programs is higher at $3,250 per term. Actual rates will vary depending on the number of terms needed to complete the program. Check the website for the most current tuition information.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.
  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.
  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.
  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU’s financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Same Accreditation as State Universities and Private Colleges

Western Governors University was the first exclusively online university to receive accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU has Teachers College graduates working in all 50 states, and has been recognized by the White House as an example of what works in postsecondary education.

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

The NCATE accrediting team extensively reviewed the entire WGU Teachers College curriculum to ensure that “candidates have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn.” This involved intensive interviews with students, faculty, graduates, school district personnel, and education experts, as well as a review of WGU student performance on national performance exams.

An online teaching degree from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:

90% of employers rate the teaching skills of WGU graduates as a very good or excellent.


of employers rate the performance of WGU grads as excellent.


of employers said they would not hesitate to hire another WGU graduate.


of employers agreed that WGU graduates meet or exceed their expectations.


of employers rated WGU grads as equal to or above other employees who graduated from other colleges or universities.


of employers consider WGU graduates strongly prepared for their jobs.

Note: 2013 Survey of Employers by Harris Interactive

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye, WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn Competency Units (CUs), or credit equivalents.

WGU sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the seven easy steps to getting started.

You may also be required to take and pass the WGU Readiness Assessment — a short, multi-part online admissions test that helps determine the likelihood of success in a WGU program.

See More about Teachers College Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

Questions and Answers

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.

Is WGU a good fit for you?

Take the quiz

You’re using an unsupported version of your browser..

You’ll still have full access to the site, but some functionality may be lost. For the best experience, upgrade your browser by following the links below.