Civic Education Policies: State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies

Civic Education Policies: State administrative code addressed civics, citizenship education or social studies

December 2016

Data are collected using publicly available state statute, administrative code and, in some cases, curriculum and standards frameworks. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Description Citation
Alabama N/A
Alaska A goal of the state public school system is to provide a working knowledge of...government and citizenship..."

Additionally, high school graduation requires 3 units of credit in social studies.
04 AAC 04.030, 4 AAC 06.075
Arizona High school graduation requires 1.5 credits in the essentials, sources and history of the U.S. and Arizona constitutions, and instruction in American institutions and ideals and in the history of Arizona. A.A.C. R7-2-302.04
Arkansas Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools: Grades K-8 curriculum must include civic education. Accredited high schools must teach 1 unit of civics or civics/government every year. One-half credit civics or government required for graduation. Code Ark. R. 005 19 007:
California Subjects that may be added as supplementary authorizations to a valid teaching credential include U.S. government and U.S. civics.

Subjects that may be added as specific subject matter authorizations to a valid teaching credential include Civics/Government.
5 CA ADC § 80089.1, 5 CA ADC § 80089.4,
Colorado School districts must report annually on progress toward school and district accreditation indicators. One of the Accreditation Indicators for Compliance is the achievement of district or (state charter school) institute established achievement goals in the listed curriculum areas which include civics. 1 CCR 301-1
Connecticut N/A
Delaware Instructional programs offered in the public schools of Delaware shall be in alignment with the appropriate content standards documents," to include Social Studies Curriculum Framework.

"Local school districts and each charter school shall provide instructional programs in social studies for each grade K to 12. All public school students in each grade K to 8 shall be enrolled in a social studies program. All public school students in grades 9 to 12 shall complete the credits in social studies necessary to graduate from high school."
CDR 14-500, CDR 14-503.4
District of Columbia N/A
Florida Florida code requires Next Generation Sunshine Standards to be incorporated into curriculum design at the district level. These standards also serve as the basis for assessments. Social studies and history are included topics in state standards. 6A-1.09401
Georgia Local boards of education are required to implement at the high-school level the state-approved course of study in United States history, the state-approved course in citizenship education and implement at the eighth grade the state-approved course of study in Georgia history and government.

LUA’s are also required to instruct students on civic competencies that ask students to “demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for democratic values, institutions and ways of life in the United States and how this country compares to other nations.”
Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 160-4-2-L, Ga. Comp. R. & R. 160-4-3-e-3-IV
Hawaii N/A
Idaho At appropriate grade levels, "Social Studies will include instruction in history, government, geography, economics, current world affairs, citizenship, and sociology."

Schools will provide instruction and activities necessary for students to acquire the skills to enable them to be responsible citizens in their homes, schools, communities, state and nation.

IDAPA 08.02.03 103, IDAPA 08.02.03 170
Illinois N/A
Indiana Elementary and middle school curriculum is to include social studies and citizenship.
511 IAC 6.1-5-2.6, 511 IAC 6.1-5-3.6,
Iowa Topics that must be taught in grades 1-12, include social studies. "Social studies instruction shall include citizenship education, history, and social sciences. Democratic beliefs and values, problem-solving skills, and social and political participation skills shall be incorporated." Also requires a 0.5 U.S. government and one unit of U.S. history for graduation and requires that students' knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights be assessed. 281 IAC 12.5(256), 281 IAC 12.5(5)(256),
Kansas N/A K.A.R. § 88-29-17
Kentucky N/A
Louisiana Describes content standards and benchmarks for social studies, and specifically civics, history and economics. Provides a curriculum framework for local curriculum development.

Among the key concepts taught in this curriculum is citizenship, which is described as “the application of the understanding of the ideals, rights, and responsibilities of active participation in a democratic republic that includes working respectfully and productively together for the benefit of the individual and the community; being accountable for one's choices and actions and understanding their impact on oneself and others; knowing one's civil, constitutional, and statutory rights; and mentoring others to be productive citizens and lifelong learners.”
LAC 28:CXXI.101-1301
Maine Content standards are include social studies and history and require students to comprehend informational texts in this subject matter area. CMR 05-071-131 §3
Maryland Requirements for civics courses shall teach students:
  1. To understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of government including authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on the democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.
  2. Engage in political participation and contribute to the public process.
Additionally, students must complete three credits in social studies including, United States history, world history, and state and local government aligned with state standards in order to graduate from high school.
COMAR 13A.04.08.01(G), COMAR 13A.03.02.03(B)(6)
Massachusetts N/A
Michigan For purposes of school district pupil accounting for distribution of state aid a nonpublic or home school pupil may enroll in nonessential elective courses in grades 1 to 12, but may not be enrolled in essential courses which include social studies, "the constitution of the United States, the constitution of the state of Michigan, and the history and present form of civil government of the United States, the state of Michigan, and the political subdivisions and municipalities of the state of Michigan."
Mich. Admin. Code R 340.2 -20B
Minnesota N/A
Mississippi Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, all high schools must offer at least one (1) Advanced Placement (AP) course in each of the four (4) core areas (mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies)."

"All school districts may offer Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) courses in each of the four (4) core areas (mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies)."
CMSR 36-000-001.2903-II
CMSR 36-000-001.2903-III
Missouri State requires students to earn 3 credits in social studies for high school graduation. CSR 20-100.190
Montana N/A
Nebraska The elementary and middle school social studies curriculum "includes experiences drawn from geography, history, economics, government, citizenship, career awareness, human relations, current affairs, and cultural studies."

Minimum requirements for instructional programs in grades 9-12 include "Social Science - 40 instructional units. The curriculum includes content drawn from American and world history, geography, economics, civics, government and citizenship and may also include content from other social science areas such as sociology, psychology, and anthropology. This includes instruction in the U. S. and Nebraska Constitutions, the benefits and advantages of our government, the dangers of Nazism, Communism, and similar ideologies, the duties of citizenship and the appropriate patriotic exercises to include Lincoln's birthday, Washington's birthday, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day as provided in 79-724 R. R. S. All history courses stress contributions of all ethnic groups in the development and growth of America."
92 NAC 10 §004.02A3 and §004.03A4, 92 NAC 10 §04.04B2
Nevada Civics curriculum guidelines as follows: K-2, 3rd grade, 4th – 5th grade, 6th – 8th grade, high school. In schools where subjects are taught by different teachers, the required course of study for 7th and 8th grades includes "Social studies, which must include instruction in at least three of the following areas by completion of the eighth grade: (a) Civics. (b) Economics. (c) The history of Nevada. (d) The history of the United States. (e) The geography of the world." 
NAC 389.2437, NAC 389.254, NAC 389.2942, NAC 389.372, NAC 389.511.3, NAC 389.395 
New Hampshire The required credits in program areas offered by each high school" shall include 5 credits of social studies.

"... the local school board shall require that a social studies program in each middle school provides: (1) Opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and understanding of civics, economics, geography, and history; (2) opportunities to practice citizenship in the school and community; (3) instruction in history and government and the constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire; ..."

 "... the local school board shall require that a social studies program in each high school provides: (1) Opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and modes of inquiry in the areas of civics, economics, geography, world history, and United States and New Hampshire history in a program consistent with RSA 193-C:3, III, including the related areas of sociology, anthropology, and psychology; (2) Opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective participation in the life of the community, the state, the nation, and the world; (3) Pursuant to RSA 186:13, opportunities to practice citizenship in the school and community; (4) Courses totaling at least 5 credits in social studies comprised of offerings in each of the following areas: a. At least one credit in national and state history pursuant to RSA 189:11; b. At least one credit in world history or global studies; c. At least one credit in geography; d. At least ½ credit in United States and New Hampshire government/civics; e. At least ½ credit in economics; and f. At least one credit, which may be interdisciplinary or integrated, to be chosen from the areas of geography, economics, world history, civics/government, state or national history or both, or behavioral studies; and(5) Systematic instruction and activities designed to enable students to acquire the skills of critical thinking, effective decision making, and human relations." 
N.H. Code Admin. R. Ann. Chapter Ed 306.27g-c, N.H. Code Admin. R. Ann. Chapter Ed 306.42, RSA 193-C:3, III, RSA 186:13, RSA 189:11
New Jersey N/A
New Mexico New Mexico administrative code includes social studies academic standards by grade. Included in those standards is the study of United States history, United States government, world history, economics, and New Mexico history and government. Standards include desired student competencies at the end of each grade level in this subject area. NMAC 6.29.11
New York General school instruction requirements include instruction in New York State history and civics.

Curriculum and teaching objectives for supplementary education centers and services include improving the quality of instruction and learning in civics education by allocating grant money to schools. One of the objectives is for schools to "develop programs in civic responsibility which attempt to produce politically mature citizens who will understand the democratic form of government, are skilled in its methods and procedures and committed to its principles."
NYCRR § 100.2, NYCRR § 2302.30
North Carolina N/A
North Dakota N/A
Ohio State requires 9th graders to pass a social studies exam in which the United States citizenship exam may substitute. OAC 3301-13-01
Oklahoma Oklahoma administrative code includes social studies academic standards by grade. Included in those standards is the study of United States history, United States government, world history, economics, and Oklahoma history and government. OAC 210: 15-3-90 to OAC 210: 15-3-104.4
Oregon State regulations require students receive character education defined as “the process of helping student develop and practice the core ethical values that our diverse society shares and holds important. These values include, but are not limited to, respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, and civic virtue and citizenship.” OAR 51-021-0200
Pennsylvania Public schools provide instruction throughout the curriculum so that students may develop knowledge and skills in the following areas: ... Social studies (civics and government, geography, economics and history)."

Social studies is one of the content areas for which schools "may develop, expand or improve existing academic standards." Civics and government are described as "Study of United States constitutional democracy, its values and principles, study of the Constitution of the Commonwealth and government including the study of principles, operations and documents of government, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, how governments work and international relations."
Civics and government are established as part of the social studies curriculum and instruction for elementary, middle and high school levels.

Each school entity shall design an assessment system to determine the degree to which students are achieving academic standards, which include civics and government.
22 Pa. Code § 4.11, 22 Pa. Code § 4.12, 22 Pa. Code § 4.21, 22 Pa. Code § 4.22, 22 Pa. Code § 4.23, 22 Pa. Code § 4.52
Rhode Island Civic education is included in the state’s Basic Education Program. Social studies should be “a high quality program…[that] fosters life long participation in civic life and social action that leads to effective and productive citizenship in world that is culturally diverse and interdependent.” Code R.I. Reg. G-13-1.3.3
South Carolina N/A
South Dakota Requires students to complete 3 credits of social studies for high school graduation. Courses include United States history, United States government, .5 unit of geography, .5 unit world history. SD Admin. R. 24:43:11:04
Tennessee State standards require “social studies curriculum shall consist of three units and shall include United States history, world history/world geography, economics, and government. The requirement may be met either by combining these subjects or by separate courses.” Tenn. Admin. Rules R0520-01-03-.05
Texas State administrative code includes learning standards for social studies, history, and government by grade. Coursework aims to teach students “ principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded and on the structure, functions, and powers of government at the national, state, and local levels.” Code also includes standards for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 2.113
Utah State requires students receive patriotic and civic education. Instruction should include United States government as well as coursework discussing the philosophical underpinnings of American government and comparative governments.

Additionally, schools are required to provide civic and character education through integrated coursework.
UT Admin. Code. R277-475
Vermont State curriculum requires schools to allow students to demonstrate proficiency in global citizenship including the concepts of civics, economics, geography, world language, cultural studies and history.
CVR 2120.05
Virginia N/A
Washington State has a social studies requirement for high school graduation. Courses must include “Washington state history and government which shall include study of the Constitution of the state of Washington and is encouraged to include information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian people who were the first inhabitants of the state.”

Additional courses in “economics, sociology, civics, political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on current problems may be accepted as equivalencies.”
WAC 180-51-075
West Virginia Goals of the West Virginia Board of Education include "All students and school personnel shall develop and promote responsibility, citizenship, strong character and healthful living." W. Va. CSR § 126-13-2.5.3
Wisconsin Social studies credits required shall incorporate instruction that reflects the integrated nature of social studies, including civics, state and local government, economics, geography, history, and the behavioral sciences.

State also includes the purpose of promoting good citizenship in education for employment programs.

PI 18.03, PI 26.01
Wyoming For graduation, students are required to demonstrate competency in core subjects including social studies and government and civics including state and federal constitutions. Wyo. Rules Chap. 31 § 7(a)

© 2018 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3609 or

Your Education Policy Team