Major Requirements

The BFSS major allows students to gain a broad perspective on the human condition as taught through the various social sciences and history. This prepares students for a variety of careers by providing them with transferable skills in critical thinking, scholarly research, and effective communication, while also fostering a well-rounded perspective in which to understand past events in relation to present lives. 

Potential Careers

•  Teacher/professor
•  Program administrator
•  Admissions counselor
•  Museum education coordinator

•  Legislative aide
•  Foreign service officer
•  Lobbyist
•  Policy advisor

•  Archivist
•  Museum guide
•  Historic preservationist
•  Living history interpreter

•  Grant writer
•  Information specialist
•  Library specialist

•  Attorney
•  Paralegal
•  Legal researcher

•  Communications director
•  Public relations officer
•  Journalist

Entry into the Major

Students should declare BFSS as their intended major as early in their college career as possible by filing a Declaration of Major/Change of Advisor form with the registrar. The student should simultaneously switch to an advisor in the History Department. The advisor will provide the student with an application for formal acceptance into the major, which generally occurs at the end of the sophomore year.

Students must complete at least two history and two social science courses from the required lower division courses with no less than a “C+” in each course. Students must also have a GPA of 2.0 or above. Students will be notified of formal acceptance into the major by the chair of the History Department, who will also notify the registrar.

Students who seek state licensure for secondary level (grades 5–12) teaching of social studies must first meet all requirements for “Entry into the Education Major” (see education majors) as well as all requirements for the BFSS major. Then students are required to take the courses listed below with an asterisk (*) and the courses listed under “State of Minnesota Teaching Licensure in Social Studies.”


Core Requirements

Required lower division courses: The Broad Field Social Studies major consists of 57 credits so it does not require a minor. Twelve of the required 57 credits also fulfill general education requirements.

One of the following:

Two of the following:

One of the following:

Major Electives

Social Science upper division electives (6 credits required):

Fifteen additional credits in upper division history courses with at least three credits from American history, three credits from European history and three credits from a course dealing mostly with matters after 1815 (which may simultaneously fulfill either the American or European requirement).

American History (choose at least one of the following) *either HIST410 or HIST420 is required for state licensure):

European History (choose at least one of the following):

Post-1815 courses (choose at least one of the following which may simultaneously fulfill either the American or European requirement):

Recommended Religion electives to compliment the BFSS major:

Lower division

Upper division


Minnesota Teaching Licensure Track

Students seeking teaching licensure for the secondary level (5-12) are required to consult an academic advisor in both the History and Education Departments. In addition to the BFSS major requirements students who seek state licensure for secondary level (grades 5–12) teaching of social studies are required to take the courses listed previously with an asterisk (*) AND the following courses:

Additional requirements of all students completing Minnesota Teaching Social Studies licensure track at Bethany Lutheran College:

  • Maintain 2.75 GPA
  • Complete all standards based courses with a “C+” or better
  • Pass the following Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams: 
    1. NES: Basic Skills Assessments in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
    2. MTLE: Pedegogy K-6 or 5-12
    3. MTLE: Subject matter/content 5-12 Social Studies
  • Complete the Human Relations/Diversity Component
  • Complete all courses required for Minnesota State Licensure
  • Satisfactory completion of Teaching Internship and Seminar
  • Satisfactory completion of STEEP and Professional Portfolio 

Note: An appeals process is outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Handbook. According to Minnesota Statue 122A.09 Subdivision 4(c), a candidate who remains unsatisfied with a dispute regarding recommendation for licensure may appeal the decision to the Minnesota Board of Teaching.