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Overview and Graduation


Social Studies is the integrated study of the social sciences to prepare young people to become responsible citizens.

The purpose of social studies is to develop social understanding and civic efficacy (the readiness and willingness to assume citizenship responsibilities and to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a democratic society.)

The social studies curriculum builds four capacities in young people: disciplinary knowledge, thinking skills, commitment to democratic values, and citizen participation.

-- Michigan Department of Education

Graduation Requirements

Studies show students taking more social studies coursework have higher ACT reading test scores, knowledge of basic concepts of democracy and government and the basic foundation necessary to be responsible citizens.

What the Michigan Merit Curriculum Law Says:
Sec. 1278a(ii) – The board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy shall not award a high school diploma to a pupil unless the pupil has successfully completed at least 3 credits in social science that are aligned with subject area content expectations developed by the Michigan Department of Education and approved by the Michigan State Board of Education, including completion of at least:

  • 1 credit in United States history and geography,
  • 1 credit in world history and geography,
  • ½ credit in economics, and
  • ½ credit of civics.

MMC High School Graduation Requirements Overview

Michigan Merit Curriculum High School Graduation Requirements FAQs

High School Content Expectations: Social Studies