Social Studies

The Social Studies Department offers a variety of courses to meet the 3.5 semester credits necessary for graduation. We also offer electives to pique your interest in many topics and issues that are relevant to the world today. Courses include human geography, U.S. civics, economics, U.S. history, world history, European history, politics, psychology and sociology. Choose from a variety of levels and formats, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Spanish Immersion, Chinese Immersion, VANTAGE, and online. Learn about and understand the world around you with courses that prepare you for critical thinking, discussion, and analysis skills necessary for post-secondary education and beyond.

Course Listing

American Studies 10 Honors

Course: #1009 - English, S1    
Course: #1010 - English, S2
Course: #2012 - Social Studies, S1
Course: #2013 - Social Studies, S2
*Students must register for all four courses.
Grade(s) offered: 10
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Any English 9 Course Concurrent enrollment in Social Studies 2012 & 2013

This honors-level interdisciplinary course meets across two class periods and fulfills the requirements for both 10th grade social studies and English.

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AP Comparative Government 

Course: #AP216
Course: T140, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall W=winter
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None    

This college-level course analyzes the political systems of the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Mexico, Nigeria and Iran. By examining these six countries, students will develop an understanding of political concepts and themes.

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AP European History

Course: #AP208, S1
Course: #AP210, S2
Course: #T143F, Tonka Online
Course: #T144W, Tonka Online
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Contemporary U.S. History; AP U.S. History; American Studies 10 Honors (B or better)

This class will survey the major trends and events in European history from the Renaissance (1350) to present day.

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AP Human Geography

Course: #AP200, S1
Course: #AP202, S2
Grade: 9
Credits: 1.0 (year-long course)    
Prerequisites: B+ or better in 8th grade English and Social Studies

Human Geography is the study of humans and their interaction with their surroundings. An emphasis on spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences are the guiding ideas behind this course.

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AP Macroeconomics 

Course: #AP218
Course: #T136*, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall W=winter
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None    

Students will study economic growth, inflation, unemployment, foreign trade, monetary, and fiscal policies at a college freshman level.

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AP Psychology 

Course: #AP220
Course: #T108*, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall W=winter
This course may also be taken as part of VANTAGE #V200
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None    

Psychology is the study of behavior and mental process. This AP class is an introduction to college-level Psychology using a college text, “collegiate-style” pace and classroom climate, and college-level exams.

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AP United States History 

Course: #AP204, S1
Course: #AP206, S2
Grade(s) offered: 10
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Civics and Human Geography; AP Human Geography 

Students complete advanced level reading, writing, and analysis on topics in the history of the U.S. Reading assignments come from a college-level text, and students work with others to become more skilled at writing historical essays.

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AP U.S. Government and Politics

Course: #AP214
Course: #T142, Tonka Online 
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None

Through readings, research, discussions, field experiences, and media presentations, students will study political ideologies, parties, campaigns, elections, interest groups, bureaucracy, civil liberties, role of the media, the judicial, legislative and executive processes, and the creation of public policy.

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AP World History

Course: #AP224, S1
Course: #AP225, S2
Course: #T120*, part 1, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall
Course: #T122*, part 2, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, W=winter
Grades Offered: 11-12
Credits: 1.0 (year-long course)
Prerequisites: Contemporary U.S. History; AP U.S. History; American Studies 10 Honors (grade B or better)

Students complete advanced level reading, writing, and analysis on topics in World History.

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Chinese Film and Culture

Course: #IM140
Grades Offered: 9-12
Credits: .5 (one-semester course)
Prerequisites: K-8 enrollment in Chinese Immersion

This course will offer the opportunity for students to further develop their language skills by studying, watching and analyzing films from the Chinese-speaking world.

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Contemporary U.S. History

Course: #2000, S1
Course: #2004, S2
Course: #T100F, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall
Course: #T102W, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, W=winter 
Grade(s) offered: 10    
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Human Geography and Civics; AP Human Geography

This two-semester course will provide a thematic study of persons, events and national developments in U.S. History with a focus on the 20th Century to the present. This course will prepare students for an understanding of the role of the U.S. in the world after WWI.

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Global Studies and Economics

Course: #2203    
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
This course may also be taken as part of VANTAGE #V300 (choose one).
Prerequisites: None    

This course covers economic concepts through the prism of international issues such as: globalization, the rise of China, and the many issues involving the Middle East.

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IB Economics SL

Course: #IB412, S1
Course: #IB414, S2
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: 1 (year-long course)
Prerequisites: None

This one-year course covers macroeconomics and microeconomics as well as development and international economics.

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IB Global Politics SL (Spanish Immersion)

Year-long social studies elective course which can be applied to the 12th grade required social studies credit
Course: #IM264, S1
Course: #IM265, S2
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: 1.0 (year-long course)
Prerequisites: K-10/11 enrollment in Spanish Immersion

This course aims to develop international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives while studying contemporary political issues around the world

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IB History HL

Course: #IB400, Year 1, S1
Course: #IB402, Year 1, S2
Course: #IB404, Year 2, S1
Course: #IB406, Year 2, S2
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: 2.0 (two-year course)    
Prerequisites: AP U.S. History, Contemporary U.S. History, American Studies 10 Honors

This course is a two-year introduction to contemporary world history. The first year of the course begins with units that include the Industrial Revolution in Britain, Europe, and Japan as well as a study of Imperial Russia, revolutions and the emergence of the Soviet State.

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IB Language and Literature SL, Language A (Chinese Immersion)

Course: #IM116, Year 1, S1
Course: #IM117, Year 1, S2
Course: #IM118, Year 2, S1
Course: #IM119, Year 2, S2
Grade(s) offered: 11 (year 1); 12 (year 2)
Credits: 2.0 (two-year course)
Prerequisites: Chinese Humanities Honors (or AP Chinese Language and Culture with teacher recommendation)

This two-year course represents a new way of looking at the Chinese language, examining how language develops in specific cultural contexts and how it impacts the world.

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IB Language and Literature SL, Language A (Spanish Immersion)

Course: #IM216, S1
Course: #IM217, S2
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: 1.0 (year-long course)
Prerequisites: Hispanic Humanities Honors (or AP Spanish Language and Culture with teacher recommendation)

This course represents a new way of looking at the Spanish language, examining how language develops in specific cultural contexts and how it impacts the world.

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IB Psychology SL

Course: #IB408, S1 
Course: #IB410, S2    
Grade(s) offered: 11-12
Credits: 1.0 (year-long course)
Prerequisites: None

IB psychology examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behavior.

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Model UN, Tonka Online

Course: #T940W, winter only, Tonka Online
Grade(s) offered: 10-12
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Open to students in grades 10-12 who are returning members of the Model UN Club

The purpose of this course is to increase knowledge about international issues, policy making and the activities of the United Nations.

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Pre-AP U.S. History (Tonka Online)

Course: #T130S, summer only, Tonka Online 
Grades Offered: 10
Credits: .5 (summer)
This course completes .5 toward an elective credit
Prerequisites: Students should be registered for AP U.S. History in the fall; this is an optional course for the preceding summer.

Students will complete online study and practice learning activities to prepare for the rigor and pace of Advanced Placement U.S. History.

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Psychology*

Course: #2220    
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None
*This course does not fulfill your 3.5 credits in Social Studies but may be taken as an elective in addition to your required coursework.

Psychology is the study of behavior and mental process. Topics include the brain’s influence/control of everyday activity, sleep and dreams, human development, learning and thinking, psychological disorders, relationships, and the influence of social settings on behavior.

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Sociology*

Course: #2224    
Grade(s) offered: 11-12    
Credits: .5 (semester course)    
Prerequisites: None    
*This course does not fulfill your 3.5 credits in Social Studies but may be taken as an elective in addition to your required coursework.

Sociology is the study of humans and their behavior in groups. Through readings, individual research, speakers, discussions, and audiovisual presentations, students will study culture, change, relationships, socialization, and social organization.

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Spanish Film and Culture

Course: #IM240
Grades Offered: 9-12 
Credits: .5 (one-semester course)
Prerequisites: K-8 enrollment in Spanish Immersion

This course will offer help students further develop their language skills by studying, watching and analyzing films from the Spanish-speaking world.

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World History

Course: #2100, S1
Course: #2102, S2
Course: T116*, part 1, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, F=fall
Course: T118*, part 2, Tonka Online 
*Select term S=summer, W=winter 
Grade(s) offered: 11    
Credits: .5 (per semester)
Prerequisites: Contemporary U.S. History; AP U.S. History; American Studies 10 Honors

This course concentrates on the historical and geographic themes of the world from the Renaissance through the Modern World.

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Washington DC


VANTAGE Logo

VANTAGE is Minnetonka High School’s advanced professional studies program. Through experiential learning, VANTAGE offers a unique opportunity for students to apply their coursework in real-world settings. There are seven areas of study:

  • Business Analytics
  • Design + Marketing
  • Digital Journalism
  • Global Business
  • Global Sustainability
  • Health Sciences
  • User Experience (UX) Design

View all VANTAGE Courses