Frequently Asked Qestions

What are the pre-requisites for entry into the program?

There are specific undergraduate content requirements in history, political science, geography, and economic that need to be taken prior to the program. These are detailed in the content checklist. In addition you are expected to have taken and passed: 1) Praxis Core or equivalent substitutes, 2) Praxis II (Social Studies Content Knowledge test code: 5081), and 3) the VCLA tests as admission requirements . In order to be competitive for the program it helps to have a grade point average of 3 or above for regular admission. You will still be considered for provisional acceptance with a GPA of 2.75. However it is important to recognize that this is a competitive program. For more details go to Program description and admission.

Is this program just for VT graduates?

No this program is open to all highly qualified students. A transcript analysis will be conducted (and syllabi may be requested) to determine that you have the equivalent undergraduate coursework that is required for admission into the program.

What if I cannot get all the required courses in my schedule? Are there other courses that meet the same requirements?

The key is to plan ahead and work with your undergraduate advisor to make sure you can complete all the required coursework. Within the content checklist alternatives choices are given where appropriate. Depending on the development of new courses, other courses may serve as substitutes but this is going to be rare. If you want to check if required courses can be substituted with other courses you will be expected to provide a syllabus and course description prior to signing up for the course. Course substitutions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

What if I do not have all the required undergraduate content courses?

The content courses are important for licensure and highly qualified teacher status. You have a number of options here if you do not have all the required courses:

  • If you have many courses to take, or do not have a degree in a social science then this program may not be for you due to cost and time. One option for you is to explore programs at other colleges or alternative licensure.
  • If you have over 9-12 hours of required coursework and have already graduated, you do not have to take another degree, but you should look to complete these courses at VT or another college-(community college is fine). You should then apply at a later date and supply a transcript to document your successful completion of the required content.
  • If you need to take 9 hours or less, you should consider contacting the program advisor and applying for the 2 -year program. This will give you time to complete these content requirements in your first year. You will need to complete all other application requirements.

How long will the program take?

There is some flexibility in how long the program can take. This depends to a great extent on how you want to approach the program. If you have all your undergraduate content courses taken, you may either start in the spring of your final semester as a dual status student (here you must have room to begin to take graduate level courses while finishing up your undergraduate content and have a GPA of 3 or above), or you can start in the summer. You would then complete the program by the following May. However if you have not completed the required undergrad coursework (up to 9 hours required) or have completed your coursework but prefer to work at a steady pace you can start in the fall and complete a 2 year program.

Am I eligible for a graduate assistantship in the program?

Unfortunately there are no graduate assistantship lines available through the History and Social Science Program for graduate level preservice teachers. Assistantships go to PhD students who work with graduate level preservice teachers as university supervisors. However this does not mean you are not eligible for assistantships across the college and university. The grad school may be able to provide more insights into how to locate other graduate assistantships. In addition there are scholarships through the School of Education that are worth applying for.

How do I apply to the program? When should I apply to the program?

Application procedures can be found here. In short you should apply (online is best) to the grad school and also complete the program application that should be sent directly to the Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education. The program requires a minimum of 3 academic references, you should work out with your referee whether they are completing the references online or with a letter. The third maybe from a non-academic reference.

There are a couple of important deadlines- September 20 for entry in the Spring and Summer and February 20 for entry in the Summer (IF SPACE PERMITS) and Fall (FOR THE TWO YEAR PROGRAM). However it is important to note that there is a rolling application. If there is room in the program, applications will be considered after the deadlines.

How competitive is entry into the program?

The program is small (max 10-13 people) and selective. Making individual appointments to see me because you have a low GPA or have not met the undergrad licensure requirements will not really help your application. Acceptance is based upon a range of evidence including: Passing scores on required tests; GPA; a writing sample that forms part of the program application; academic references (2 academic references- you 3rd letter can be a character reference); and an interview. In addition you should also seek to show evidence that you have worked with children in the past (ideas include but not limited to camp counsellor, teachers aide, coaching, substitute teacher, sunday school teacher, student tutor /mentor). In addition it is important to read this information on criminal background checks.

Are GRE’s required?

No, but there are a number of exams that are required including Praxis Core (SAT scores can replace Praxis 1), VCLA, and Praxis II. You should make sure that your results at sent directly to VT. In addition it is a good idea to make a copy for yourself include it in your program application and finally check with Ellen Agee ( in the Office of Academic Programs to see if all your test results are in. The VCLA test actually comes directly to you. So you should definitely makes copies and deliver to the Office of Acadmic Programs.