The Social Science Studies program has existed in its present form since , when the state of Illinois transformed the way it certifies high school social studies teachers to the present form where all social studies teachers become licensed to teach all social science subjects. In 2000, the state of Illinois mandated that by 2004 all certification in the Social Sciences comprise all social science disciplines: Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology-Anthropology. ALL social science teaching majors, no matter their history or degree program, take a core set of courses that cover these disciplines, and then they specialize in one particular area:
- History with Teacher Certification
- Social Science Studies—Geography
- Social Science Studies—Political Science
- Social Science Studies—Psychology
- Social Science Studies—Sociology-Anthropology
- Graduates meet licensure requirements to teach all social science courses as well as to teach honors and AP courses in their area of specialization.
The cross-disciplinary SOS program is closely linked to all its academic departments and especially to the History department. Until 1961, when it became a separate department, History was part of the collective Social Science department here at EIU, with its strong emphasis on preparing secondary teachers. In 1971, Social Science with Teacher Certification separated from History, though the coordinator of the inter-disciplinary Social Science BA/BS is in the History Department. The separate programs share a Teaching Methods course (SOS 3400) that is taught by a History professor.