Associate Degree in History

By Nikita Nath

Updated March 21, 2024

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.


Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online

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An associate degree in history is an excellent starting point for a job in a history-related field, creative, or business endeavor. This degree program provides insight into American and international history, civics, global historical events, and other historical materials. The history associate degree prepares students to look back to go forward with more wisdom and understanding. For those who desire to comprehend culture, government, or history or intend to pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree in the future, this program is a good starting point. This guide explains the many aspects of the associate degree in history program, including concentration options, the curriculum, financial aid, accreditation, etc.

History online

Best Associate Degree in
History Programs

An institution’s reputation often rests on several factors that students must consider, including its infrastructure, the quality and experience of its faculty, availability of student support services and program options, affordability, accreditation, graduation rates, etc. Based on these and several other critical ranking components, FBD teams have drawn up a list of the best associate degree in history programs: *

American Public University System (APUS) is a private, for-profit, online learning university system that is composed of American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). APUS is an open enrollment institution offering about 200 degree and certificate programs across six academic schools through American Military University and American Public University.
Univ Address
American Public University System 111 W Congress St, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Associate
Degree in History

Students of the associate degree in history program will delve deeply into the fascinating historical eras that shaped the modern world. They will learn to recognize contemporary viewpoints and appreciate events with an enlightened perspective. With an associate degree in history online, one can learn from the past and gain insights that can be very useful in a variety of careers. Students will take history classes in addition to foundational courses in English, math, and other subjects that will help them succeed in a wide range of fields. And while some schools allow students to take their courses online, others offer only on-campus classes or a hybrid model that blends online and offline classes.

The associate degree in history coursework not only gives students instruction in American and global history but also the soft skills necessary for successful organizational performance. They can learn more about history and the outside world through these courses, some of which include:

World Civilizations since 1650

The history of the human community from 1650 to the present is covered in this survey course. It discusses the beginnings, progress, and accomplishments of the principal civilizations and emphasizes the connections between historical societies and cultures by contrasting the encounters of various peoples and civilizations.

African-American History before 1877

This course looks at both internal and external influences that influenced the economic, cultural, and political experience of black people throughout history. Even though the course is structured to proceed chronologically, significant themes like the rise of racism, the slave community, abolitionist ideas, and the influence of free blacks are highlighted.

Western Civilization

This course focuses on the interactions between Christianity and culture as it relates to the trends, peoples, groups, concepts, institutions, and events that shaped western civilization from the prehistoric period to 1500. It identifies and investigates significant Christian movements and thinkers, as well as their interaction with the art, philosophy, and issues of the time.

U.S. History From 1877

This course studies the post-Civil War era to the present-day political, social, and economic evolution of American society. Students look into the emergence of a party system of government, the growth of industry, American involvement abroad, labor issues, the effects of the Great Depression, and the current state of American society.

Some of the other courses one can expect are:

  • History of Women in the United States
  • American History to 1877
  • Western Civilization Before The Thirty Years War
  • Western Civilization Since The Thirty Years War
  • World Civilization before 1650
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Native American Literature
  • Global Studies

Degree Types for the Associate
Degree in History

The history associate degree online comes in two different versions – the Associate of Arts in History and the Associate of Science in History. Both degree types are similar yet distinct.

Associate of Arts in History

The Associate of Arts in History or AA History degree program prepares students to transfer to four-year institutions. In addition to history, students study interdisciplinary topics from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, making the AA in history an excellent choice to move over to a bachelor of arts in history or take up entry-level jobs in some sectors.

Associate of Science in History

The Associate of Science in History degree program, also known as AS History, examines history through scientific and mathematical perspectives. The AS n history is more technical in its approach to history and is an excellent choice for those moving on to a bachelor of science in history or seeking entry-level jobs in the field.

Areas of Specialization in an Associate
Degree in History

Concentrating one’s efforts on a particular subject area increases one’s chances of finding satisfying employment in that field. Not only that, but it is also the surest way to boost one’s employability and résumé. Due to the introductory nature of the associate’s degree in history, students rarely get the chance to focus on a specific area in their studies. However, one could further specialize in a subfield of history if one pursued a bachelor’s degree in the field, with several options to choose from, such as:

  • Religion, Culture, and Society
  • War and Diplomacy
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • American History
  • Jewish History
  • Empires and Colonial Societies

Why should I do an Associate
Degree in History?

The associate degree in history program offers a solid education in world and American history, civic engagement, and the interpretation of historical documents. It gives students the tools to reflect on the past so that they can move forward with more knowledge and understanding. For students interested in learning about culture, government, or history or who want to pursue a 4-year bachelor’s degree later, this program is a good starting point. They can approach the future with clarity and understanding by viewing the past through several lenses and perspectives. Read the Guide to Associate Programs for more information on an associate degree.

The well-rounded education provided by the associate in history degree education can make students valuable members of many organizations. They can also educate individuals on significant historical occasions and dates so that they are better able to impart that knowledge to others. A career in history-related fields, education, business, or creative endeavors can be launched with this degree.

Upon graduating with an associate degree in history, students would have acquired a host of skills, such as the ability to:

  • learn and understand more about different cultures around the world;
  • read, interpret, and analyze primary sources used in historical research;
  • interpret, argue, and reach conclusions through a broad understanding of the human experience and how the past shaped the present;
  • develop questions, analyze evidence, conduct research, and reach defensible conclusions using the historical method;
  • use historical reasoning, consider the chronology, context, causes, and resulting changes of past events; and
  • examine the past from various angles.

Free Courses for Associate Degree
in History Students

There are many online courses free of charge, but the vast majority are not accredited or credit-granting. Even so, they can serve as helpful study aids or sources of supplementary information for schoolwork. Students pursuing an associate degree in history may be interested in the following free courses or online resources that offer free courses:

Course Description Provided by
Introduction to U.S. Army HistoryThis course provides an overview of the history of the United States Army. It is geared toward Americans, but anyone interested in American history or military arts can benefit from it.Udemy
Topics Related to HistoryedX offers hundreds of courses in history and topics related to history, many of which are free and authored by reputed universities such as Princeton, Harvard, and MIT.edX
Topics Related to HistoryMIT OpenCourseWare has about 77 undergraduate courses in history and includes topics like Trials in History, Introduction to Environmental History, Food in American History, etc.MIT OpenCourseWare

How to get into the Associate
Degree in History Program?

The best thing about an associate degree in history program is that one does not need to have any background in the subject when enrolling, making admission and pursuing the program easier. Before making admissions decisions, most colleges require valid high school, General Education Development (GED), or home school transcripts or certificates. Some colleges may ask students to submit ACT or SAT scores to be admitted to a program. The following are some typical associate degree in history admissions requirements:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more (higher grades in English and Math preferred).
  • SAT or ACT Score (required by some schools)
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (required by some schools)
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

Note: Admission requirements change depending on the school and program. It is always best for students to check with the admissions office at their selected school for precise criteria.

How Long does it take to complete the
Associate Degree in History?

An associate degree in history typically requires between 60 and 65 credits, or about 2 years of full-time study depending on the program, college, and core and elective courses. Part-time college programs for working adults range from 2 to 3 years (sometimes even longer). It is worth noting that the program’s duration could increase if there are any required projects or coursework in general education. To sum up, this is how long it usually takes to get a history associates degree:

  • Time to complete full-time associate degree in history: about 2 Years.
  • Time to complete part-time associate degree in history: between 2 and 3 years.

Accelerated Associate Degree
in History Programs

Multiple community colleges offer a 2-year associate degree in history program. Students may be able to complete their degrees two to three months earlier than the typical 2 years, depending on their area of study, course load, and school. Some universities provide accelerated degrees with a twist: after finishing an associate’s program, students may transfer most or all their credits into a bachelor’s program, reducing the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree from the standard 4 years to 2. Other universities compact their programs to fit into about 1.5 years, such as the one offered by Liberty University.

Accreditations for Associate Degree
in History Programs

One of the most crucial factors for potential students to consider is accreditation status. The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) approve organizations that accredit colleges and universities in the country. The accreditation procedure entails a thorough evaluation of a school’s academic offerings and student support services. The transferability of course credits and a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid are both impacted by a school’s accreditation, so prospective students should confirm that the institution offering the program has received national or regional accreditation from agencies such as the:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Read the Guide to College Accreditation for more information on accreditation.

How to Pay for an Associate
Degree in History?

It is increasingly difficult to find a low-cost university in the United States. Community college associate degrees in history are typically less expensive than four-year bachelor’s degrees at universities, but the costs for many will still prove to be very high. Therefore, it is wise for students to seek means to pay for their education. Some potential options for funding include:


Scholarships are very common because the money awarded does not have to be repaid. They are awarded to students who have shown exceptional promise in some area, whether it be academics, athletics, the arts, or music.


Grant recipients are selected primarily based on financial need, with consideration also given to the applicant’s demonstrated ability and potential. Grants are non-repayable financial aid, just like scholarships.

Student Loans

Another funding option students could turn to is student loans. Banks, credit unions, and the federal government are just a few of the places one can apply for and potentially receive a student loan. Notably, the high-interest rates on loans are a major contributor to the rising cost of higher education. Read about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to learn how to apply for loan forgiveness and avoid having to repay student loans.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid through which prospective and current college students can check their eligibility for federal aid and receive the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about financial aid and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

FAQs Related to the Associate
Degree in History

What is an associate degree in history?

The associate degree in history is an entry-level 2-year undergraduate degree program that helps students learn about important historical periods while also exploring events and cultures from various perspectives.

How much is an associates in history?

What can you do with an associate’s degree in history?

Where can you get an associates degree in history?

Can you get a job with an associate degree in history?

Is an associate degree in history worth it?

How hard is an associate degree in history?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
an Associate Degree in History

Earning an associate degree in history allows students to investigate various fields of study while gaining employable skills. Research, writing, and public speaking are all skills that can be honed during an associate degree program in history that will serve well in a variety of careers. Whether one is already in the workforce and looking to switch fields or a recent associate degree holder curious about post-college prospects, the job market is diverse and full of opportunity. For example, associate degree in history holders can take up entry-level positions in historic preservation, business, consulting, history education, and more in roles such as:

  • Tutors
  • Legal Assistants
  • Tour Guides
  • Library Assistants
  • Curational Assistants
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Research Assistants
  • Journalists
  • Archivists
  • Congressional Interns

Students can also work in libraries, government departments, state and national monuments, literature, museums, and parks. Here are a few examples of some roles, their median annual salary, and job growth:

Occupation Job DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Teacher AssistantsTeacher assistants collaborate with licensed teachers to provide students with extra attention and instruction. They assist teachers with recordkeeping tasks such as attendance and grade calculation and review material with students to reinforce lessons.Interpersonal skills, communication skills, patience, resourcefulness$29,3605% (as fast as average)
Library Technicians and AssistantsLibrary technicians and assistants assist librarians with all aspects of library operations. They help customers, organize library materials and information, and perform clerical and administrative duties.Communication skills, interpersonal skills, listening skills, detail-oriented$34,050-4% (decline)
Archivists and Museum WorkersArchivists appraise, process, catalog, and preserve permanent records and historically significant documents, while museum technicians and conservators oversee the preparation and restoration of objects and documents in museum exhibits and collections.Analytical skills, organizational skills, customer service skills, detail-oriented$50,12012% (much faster than average)
Paralegals and Legal AssistantsParalegals and legal assistants assist lawyers by doing things like maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents.Organizational skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, research skills, computer skills$56,23014% (much faster than average)
Social Science Research AssistantsSocial science research assistants help social scientists conduct laboratory, survey, and other types of research. They aid in the preparation of findings for publication, as well as laboratory analysis, quality control, and data management.Organizational skills, interpersonal skills, research skills, communication skills, analytical skills$49,72011% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Associate
Degree in History Students

Professional certifications go beyond academic credentials to prove to the public and potential employers that the candidate has the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise in the field. Certifications also demonstrate competency and capability and add considerable heft to one’s résumé. Although many disciplines offer professional certifications to students and professionals, history is not one among them. Nevertheless, those interested in teaching would have to obtain a teaching certification and state-specific licensure. Additional details for history teaching certification and licensure are available here.

Additional Resources for Associate
Degree in History Students

It is common knowledge that history is a very vast subject. Therefore, the more knowledge and insights one can get, the better. To that end, participating in professional organizations brings numerous advantages, such as increased credibility and chances to make contacts in the field. These organizations generally aim to encourage the study, transmission, and preservation of priceless historical records and narratives. Here are a few to consider:

National Council on Public History (NCPH)

The National Council on Public History (NCPH) is a membership organization dedicated to making the past relevant in the present and promoting collaboration between historians and their audiences. NCPH establishes professional standards, ethics, and best practices, provides opportunities for professional development, and recognizes excellence in a wide range of public history activities.

American Historical Association (AHA)

The American Historical Association (AHA) is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to historians of all disciplines and professions. The AHA is a trusted advocate for history education, historians’ professional work, and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.

Organization of American Historians (OAH)

The Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the nation’s largest professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of American history. The organization’s mission is to promote excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, as well as to encourage broad discussion of historical issues and the equitable treatment of all historians.

National Council for History Education (NCHE)

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) provides intellectual and professional leadership to a community committed to teaching, learning, and appreciating diverse histories. NCHE empowers students to research and interpret the past through historical inquiry.

World History Association (WHA)

The World History Association (WHA) is a professional organization of scholars, teachers, and students dedicated to the advancement of world history through teaching, research, personal interactions, and publications. WHA’s mission is to “promote activities which will increase historical awareness, understanding among and between peoples, and global consciousness.”

Author Bio:

Nikita Nath

Nikita is a psychologist working primarily with children using a child rights-based approach. She also writes content for various websites and blogs on diverse topics, focusing primarily on academia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and discovering different coffee-making techniques.


Bachelors in English, Journalism, and Psychology; Masters in psychology with clinical specialization

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

  • 2 years of experience working as a content writer with various start-ups
  • 1 year of experience working as a child psychologist with Insight
  • Working on various projects of inclusion for neurodivergent children
  • 2+ years of experience teaching psychology online


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