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State Standards

Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies sets the minimum statewide requirements for K-12 students in the disciplines of citizenship and government, economics, geography, and history. For grades K-8, there are grade-specific standards for each of the four main disciplines. In grades 4-8, there is one lead discipline for each grade level. The high school social studies standards must be taught within the grade span of 9-12, but the specific order of the courses is not mandated by the state. 

Additionally, Social Studies students in grades 6-12 complete the Literacy in History/Social Studies standards included in the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts (pages 80-90).

Graduation Requirements

High school graduation requirements for Social Studies state that all students are required to satisfactorily complete three and one-half (3.5) credits of social studies, including:

  • World History (1 credit)
  • U.S. history (1 credit)
  • Human Geography (.5 credits)
  • US Government (.5 credits)
  • Economics (.5 credit)

Ethnic Studies courses are housed in the Ethnic Studies Department. There is a .5 credit required credit from the Ethnic Studies courses.


To see which advanced courses can substitute for the courses above, see the Rigorous Course Waiver page.

Course Overviews


  • Kindergarten: Foundations of Social Studies 
  • Grade 1: Foundations of Social Studies
  • Grade 2: Foundations of Social Studies
  • Grade 3: Foundations of Social Studies
  • Grade 4Geography of North America
  • Grade 5History of North America to 1800

Middle School

High School