Social Studies is the interdisciplinary study of citizenship and government, economics, geography, history, and other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Social Studies empowers learners to become inquisitive, informed, and engaged members of society who use critical thinking, inquiry, and literacy to prepare for college, careers, and civic life.
Social Studies Standards are Currently Being Reviewed and Revised
In accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Minnesota’s academic standards are reviewed and revised on a 10-year cycle. During 2020-21, the department is in the process of facilitating a review of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies.
Second Draft Public Comment Open Through August 16
The second draft of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards is available for public comment beginning Friday, July 30, 2021. A questions and answers document is also available, which provides information about the standards review and revision process, and updates in the second draft.
Minnesotans can use the public comment survey to provide feedback on the second draft. The survey allows you to provide comments on individual standards and benchmarks, and/or on the draft as a whole. If you are unable to use the survey, you can send your comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that you will receive an automatic reply, and your comments will be shared with the committee. You can also send comments via postal mail, postmarked by August 16 and sent to:
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
This public review and comment period will be open July 30 through 4 p.m. on August 16, 2021.
Social Studies Standards are Being Reviewed and Revised by Minnesotans
In accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Minnesota’s academic standards are reviewed and revised on a 10-year cycle. During 2020-21, the department is facilitating a review of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies. The standards are being revised for Minnesota public schools, by Minnesotans. The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards for Social Studies review and revision is being conducted by a committee that includes 36 members from across Minnesota with varying perspectives and backgrounds. Minnesota Statutes outline who must be represented on the committee, including parents, currently licensed and in the classroom teachers, licensed school administrators, school board members, post-secondary institution faculty teaching core subjects, and business community members. The committee began meeting in September 2020.
Next Committee Meeting is Tuesday, August 17Our students’ education is at its strongest when Minnesotans are engaged in the planning process. During the standards review process, all committee meetings are open for the public to observe. The next meeting is on Tuesday, August 17, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Watch the August 17, meeting. The link to the meeting will not go live until the scheduled time.
Past 2020-21 Meetings
- Meeting Agenda - September 16, 2020
- Meeting Agenda - October 22, 2020
- Meeting Agenda - November 16, 2020
- Meeting Agenda - January 11, 2021
- Meeting Agenda - March 25, 2021
- Chat Summary for Committee Meeting - 3-25-21
- Meeting Agenda - April 8, 2021
- Chat Summary from Committee Meeting – 4-8-21
- Meeting Agenda - May 6, 2021
- Chat Summary from Committee Meeting - 5-6-21
- Meeting Agenda - June 17, 2021
- Chat Summary from Committee Meeting - 6-17-21
Watch this Page for Updates on the Revision Process
Watch this page for information and updates on the revision process, future public comment periods and meetings. With the extended time period to provide time for feedback, review, and revision, the final draft of the standards will not be completed until fall of 2021. The full standards review process is extensive and standards will not be implemented until 2025, at the earliest.
More Information on Social Studies Standards Review Process
- Minnesota K-12 Social Studies Standards Review Process Timeline
- 2020-21 Minnesota Social Studies Standards Committee
- Social Studies Town Hall Meetings
- First Draft of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies
- Academic Standards: Social Studies K-12 (2011) - Spreadsheet
- 2020-21 Social Studies Standards Committee’s Guiding Assumptions
Current Social Studies Standards, Assessments, and Graduation Requirements
- Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies 2011
- Social studies students in grades 6-12 must also complete the Literacy in History/Social Studies Standards included in the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts (2010) (pages 80-90).
- Frequently Asked Questions: 2011 Social Studies Standards
- Academic Standards: Social Studies K-12 (2011) - Spreadsheet
Students are also required to satisfactorily complete three and one-half (3.5) credits of social studies, encompassing at least U.S. history, geography, government and citizenship, world history, and economics sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in social studies.
- A one-half credit of economics taught in a school’s agriculture education or business department may fulfill a one-half credit in social studies if the credit is sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in economics (Minn. Stat. § 120B.024, Subd. 2(a)).
The high school social studies standards are banded and must be taught within the grade span of 9-12.
At any grade level, the benchmarks from multiple disciplines can be combined to facilitate integrated, or interdisciplinary, learning experiences.
The standards represent the minimum requirements; schools may offer courses in additional disciplines including psychology, sociology, archaeology, and anthropology.
Resources for Instruction and Learning
- Learning Law and Democracy Foundation (LLAD)
- Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE)
- Minnesota Council for History Education (MNCHE)
- Minnesota Council for the Social Studies (MCSS)
- Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE)
- Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS)
- Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC)
Standards and Related Information
Second Draft of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies - 7/30/21
2020-21 Minnesota Social Studies Standards Committee - 5/12/21
Social Studies Standards Committee Meeting Questions and Answers 3-25-21 - 4/7/21
Frequently Asked Questions: 2011 Social Studies Standards - 3/30/21
Academic Standards: Social Studies K-12 (2011) - Spreadsheet - 3/23/21
This spreadsheet allows for sorting of the standards and for adding columns for instructional resources and assessments.
First Draft of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies - 11/30/20
2020-21 Social Studies Standards Committee’s Guiding Assumptions - 3/2/20
Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies 2011 - 12/24/14
Adopted May 6, 2013. These standards were to be implemented by schools by the 2013-14 school year.