Online History Degree

By Nikita Nath

Updated January 14, 2024
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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.

Degrees

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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History informs the present and future by relating to current global events and challenges. The online history degree is designed to help students better grasp contemporary global concerns by looking for patterns and linkages in our history. This undergraduate degree provides students with a diverse foundation that may be used to pursue a variety of career options. Graduates with an online bachelor’s degree in history who want to work as historians can become historiographers, protohistorians, or genealogists. Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 4% increase in job growth in these professions. Read on to discover more about the online history degree and what curriculum, specializations, and career options one can expect.

History online

Best Online History
Degree Programs

Students must examine various criteria while evaluating an institution’s reputation, including its infrastructure, the quality and expertise of its teachers, the availability of student support services and program options, affordability, accreditation, graduation rates, and so on. FBD teams have compiled a list of the best online history degree programs based on these and numerous other crucial ranking components: *

Fort Hays State University (FHSU), founded in 1902, is a public university in Hays, Kansas. FHSU comprises five colleges offering over 60 academic majors for undergraduates and 20 for graduate students.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Fort Hays State University 600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601 $5,430 50%

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 Online
History Degree Program

The online history degree program is a thorough education emphasizing the relationships between historical civilizations and contemporary societies. History degrees require a significant amount of reading and writing, which are valuable skills for those planning to pursue graduate degrees or seek employment. Programs are either online or on-campus, with some schools offering a hybrid model that blends online and offline classes.

At some colleges, students might be able to design their own course of study, including coursework from various periods of human history. They could also structure their degree around a particular historical theme, like politics, global history, or religion. Some programs require students to consolidate all their learning in a final capstone research seminar. Additionally, there will be opportunities for internships and experiential learning, allowing students to gain knowledge of the real world and prepare for the job market.

Students can put the world into a historical perspective through the core and elective courses in an online history degree program. Research, writing, and analytical skills are heavily emphasized in foundational history courses. They also emphasize the variety of historical vantage points at work in every global event. Some of the common courses (depending on the chosen concentration) in this degree program include:

Making History

This course is built around a simple yet complex question of what history is. It investigates this question by examining different types of history, witnessing the various ways of communicating historical stories and arguments, and learning how historians make history through close, rational analysis of historical sources.

America in the 1960s

This course examines the 1960s in the United States, paying special attention to the cultural, social, and political changes that occurred during this time. Students gain an understanding of this pivotal decade in American history and participate in contemporary debates about its many meanings.

World War II

This course studies the interwar and World War II eras from 1919 to 1945, focusing on the events that led to the war in Europe, the rise of Nazi Germany, and the war’s aftermath. The rise of the Japanese Empire and the events leading up to the outbreak of war in Asia and the Pacific are also covered.

World Civilizations: Prehistory-1500

This course is an overview of the world’s most influential civilizations from prehistory to 1500. The political, socioeconomic, and cultural-intellectual aspects of important societies are examined.

Other courses one may come across in the online history degree program are:

  • Lesbian And Gay Rights in the Modern U.S.
  • Global History of Sports
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • World History
  • Roman Republic
  • African History
  • Medieval Europe
  • Modern China and Japan
  • Native North America
  • Modern Latin America
  • Military History
  • Social Change and American Popular Music

Degree Types for Online History
Degree Programs

Prospective students can choose from two types of history to pursue their undergraduate studies – the Bachelor of Arts in History or BA in History and the Bachelor of Science in History or BS in History.

Bachelor of Arts in History

The Bachelor of Arts in History or BA History degree program is intended to familiarize students with the study of history by providing them with a foundation in the profession’s key ideas and methodologies and a wide liberal arts and humanities education. The program aims to teach students about the linked nature of history and other disciplines such as commerce, law, and science.

Bachelor of Science in History

The Bachelor of Science in History or BS History degree program emphasizes research while also covering diverse history ideas and approaches from a more technical standpoint. A considerable proportion of BS history students begin their history careers soon after graduating.

Areas of Specialization in Online
History Degree Programs

Specializations are an excellent option for students to drill down into a subject. History, a vast subject, has many concentration areas one could specialize in and become experts in. The online history degree program has a unique choice of regional and thematic concentrations. As the terms suggest, regional concentrations focus on a geographical region, while thematic ones emphasize a topic or theme. Some of the available specialization options in both categories include:

Regional Concentrations

Degree Specialization Description Career Options
American HistoryThis specialization is about the evolution of the United States. It traces the expansion and growth of the U.S., providing a compelling perspective on how our nation now fits into the dynamic global environment.Entry-level historian positions at historical associations, museums, or other similar organizations.
European HistoryThis specialization provides in-depth historical information about Europe. It examines the numerous changes that have occurred throughout the continent’s lengthy history, from ancient Greece and Rome to its participation in World Wars I and II.Entry-level historian positions at historical associations, museums, or other similar organizations.
Middle Eastern HistoryThis specialization investigates the Middle East, from the rise of Islam to its involvement in various regional and global conflicts. It examines the regional religious, political, and economic realities over time.Entry-level historian positions at historical associations, museums, or other similar organizations.
World HistoryThis specialization introduces students to a period of non-western history. They will investigate international issues using a methodological lens to examine viewpoints from outside of North America.Entry-level historian positions at historical associations, museums, or other similar organizations.

Thematic Concentrations

Degree Specialization Description Career Options
Military HistoryThis specialization investigates how warfare has impacted the growth of civilization and culture. Students study the civil war, the industrial era of World War I, America’s rise as a global power and the cold war, and the impact modern warfare has on non-western societies.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and at local museums or other organizations.
Diplomatic HistoryThis specialization studies the past, present, and future relationships between nations and regions and the many aspects that influence them, such as international trade, economics, human rights, foreign policy, etc.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations.
Intellectual HistoryThis specialization studies the evolution of human thought, culture, and expression, essentially the factors that have made it possible for humans to be the only members of our species to use our minds and communication tools to mediate our interactions with the natural world.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations.
Economic HistoryThis specialization examines the many different economic systems people have created and contested throughout history, including evolving forms of slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and socialism.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations.
Gender HistoryThis specialization investigates how gender has changed historically and culturally as a crucial element of economics, politics, social relations, and culture. It includes studying the comparative history of women, gender, and sexuality.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations.
Jewish HistoryThis specialization focuses on the history of the Jews. It investigates the relationship between the Jews and Muslims in the modern world and covers the holocaust, rabbinic literature, biblical exegesis, modern Israel, etc.Positions in historical societies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations.

Why should I do an Online
History Degree?

An online history degree focuses on examining the historical occurrences, individuals, and cultures that shaped the development of contemporary civilization. Students’ ability to think critically and analytically, conduct fruitful research, and write effectively will be tested by the online bachelor’s in history program, preparing them for diverse careers in advocacy, research, education, communications, and more.

Those interested in past events and how they shape the present world, and the current events that will shape the coming world, will find the online history degree very interesting. The curriculum gives students a flexible foundation that they can use to pursue a variety of career paths or for a graduate-level program.

Some of the skills students would have gained upon graduating from the online history degree include the ability to:

  • use historical analysis to evaluate the past critically;
  • identify and develop one’s own moral principles by delving into a few ethical dilemmas while expanding one’s historical knowledge;
  • consider documents and other types of evidence in the context of their historical development;
  • write a compelling historical argument that is well-organized;
  • assess the scope and significance of historical changes that occur in a society or culture within a reasonable scope;
  • write a summary of historical events that span multiple eras, countries, or cultures;
  • determine the historical factors that have influenced current human issues and social change;
  • show a thorough understanding of the historical writing pertinent to the field.
  • encourage civil discourse and civic participation while engaging effectively in local, national, and international communities; and
  • integrate information and pose inquiries about various societies and cultures to create a well-informed belief system.

Free Courses for Online History
Degree Students

Numerous free courses related to history are available online, but most are not accredited or credit-granting. Nonetheless, they can be useful study aids or sources of additional information for schoolwork. Students pursuing an online history degree can explore some of the free courses listed below:

Course Description Provided by
Orson Welles and the 1938 The War of the Worlds BroadcastThis course provides an overview of the background and events surrounding the Mercury Theater’s 1938 production of The War of the Worlds (including the panic reactions).Udemy
Topics Related to HistoryMIT OpenCourseWare has about 77 undergraduate courses in history and includes topics like American Urban History, History of Western Thought, 500-1300, Jewish History from Biblical to Modern Times, etc.MIT OpenCourseWare
Topics Related to HistoryedX has hundreds of courses in history and topics related to history, many of which are free and created by reputed universities such as Princeton, Harvard, and MIT.edX

How to get into the Online
History Degree Program?

The best part about an associate degree in history program is that no prior knowledge of the subject is required to enroll, making admission and completion of the program easier. The main criterion at most colleges is a respectable Grade Point Average (GPA) and proficiency in English. Aside from this, some of the typical online history degree admissions requirements are:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • A High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 or more.
  • American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Test Scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (varies by school)
  • 1 to 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

Note: Admission requirements vary by school and program. Students should always check with the admissions office at their selected school for precise criteria.

How Long does it take to complete the
Online History Degree Program?

Depending on the school, students can earn their online history degree in as little as 4 years by completing the required 120 to 130 credits. This would, of course, depend on the program, college, and core and elective courses required. It may take 4 to 6 years to finish a part-time program designed for working adults; some institutions offer these programs. The typical duration of the program is as follows:

  • Time to complete full-time online history degree program: about 4 Years.
  • Time to complete part-time online history degree program: between 4 and 6 years.
  • Typical number of credits: 120 to 130 (average range; varies by program)

Accelerated Online History
Degree Programs

It is unusual to find an online history degree that may be completed in less than the required 4 years. However, some students try to reduce their time spent in class by using various methods. Accelerated online history degree programs often use transfer credits, work experience credits, accelerated course schedules, and other methods to speed up and simplify the degree completion process. Moreover, those with an associate degree in history can earn their bachelor’s in history in only two years. At some institutions, undergraduate majors can apply for admission to a masters history program in the second semester of their junior year. If accepted, a set number of senior-year classes will be counted toward the undergraduate and graduate degrees. In fact, rather than the traditional 4+2 years, a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in history can be completed in 4+1 years or even 4 years. Florida International University, the University of Louisville, and Georgetown University are examples of universities that offer such combination programs.

Accreditations for Online
History Degree Programs

Accreditation is one of the most important factors for prospective students to consider when enrolling in an online history degree program. The organizations that accredit colleges and universities in the United States are approved by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). A thorough evaluation of a school’s academic offerings and student support services is required as part of the accreditation process. Because a school’s accreditation affects both the transferability of course credits and a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid, prospective students should confirm that the institution offering the program has received national or regional accreditation from organizations 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 to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for an Online History
Degree Program?

It is increasingly difficult to find low-cost educational options in the United States. While the tuition may be affordable for some, the additional living, food, and transportation expenses that students must bear may make the program unaffordable for others. Fortunately, online students do not have these additional expenses to meet, but tuition fees and other associated technological costs may still be beyond reach. Students should, therefore, actively seek out means by which to finance their education. Common sources of financial support include:

Scholarships

Scholarships are common because recipients do not have to worry about paying back the money. They are awarded to students who have excelled academically or shown talent in extracurricular activities such as art, sports, or music.

Grants

Grants are non-repayable financial aid, just like scholarships. Scholarships are awarded primarily based on academic merit, but grants are given to those who demonstrate a greater financial need.

Work-Study Programs

Students can earn money toward tuition and living costs by working part-time through a work-study program. Through these programs, students gain financial aid and work experience that could be useful in the future.

Student Loans

Another option to consider for funding a college education is a student loan. The distribution of student loans is often through financial institutions, banks, and state and federal governments. It is important to remember that loans come with interest and must be paid back on time, which can significantly increase the total cost of college. Learn about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to learn how to apply for loan forgiveness and avoid repaying student loans.

FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid. All prospective and current college students can apply to check if they can receive federal aid and get the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about What is Financial Aid? and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online History
Degree Students

Obtaining a scholarship is an excellent way to offset the high costs of an online history degree program. Those with a strong academic record are more likely to be eligible for scholarships offered by academic institutions, private organizations, non-profits, and businesses. Examples of scholarships history students may apply for include:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Nellie Martin Carman ScholarshipThe Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship, established in 1949, is available to graduating seniors from public high schools in Washington state’s King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.$2,000March 01, 2024
Ashbrook ScholarshipThe Ashbrook Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship to Ashland University awarded to “the most promising students majoring or minoring in Political Science, Political Economy, or History.”$2,000Varies
The Lucinda Beneventi Findley History ScholarshipThe Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Award is given to two graduating high school seniors who have shown a strong interest in history and intend to major or pursue studies in history at a full-time accredited college or university in the United States.$2,000January 31, 2024
America 250! ScholarshipUp to four college students majoring in American history will receive the America 250! Scholarship. Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S.-accredited university or college and have a minimum 3.75 GPA.$5,000January 31, 2024

FAQs Related to the Online
History Degree Program

What is a major in history?

A history major trains students to analyze the past critically, preparing them to be informed professionals who comprehend the complexities of society. Instead of memorizing dates and facts like they might in some high school history classes, undergraduate history majors emphasize research, assessment, and evaluation more.

Can I do a history degree online?

What can you do with a history degree?

How long is a history degree?

Is a history degree worth it?

How much is a degree in history?

Do I need a master’s degree in history to get a job?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
an Online History Degree

The online history degree is a great starting point for graduate work in history, education, law, and related fields. It can also prepare students for a wide range of careers where communication, research, and analytical skills are valued. A history bachelor’s degree qualifies professionals for entry-level historian positions at museums, historical associations, or other related organizations. Most bachelor’s degree in history holders, however, typically work in education, publishing, journalism, business, law, or communications.

According to Payscale, the average historian’s salary is $54,760. Listed below are some roles online history degree holders take up, their median annual salary, and job growth. It is noteworthy that specific roles may require experience and additional qualifications.

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
HistoriansHistorians study historical documents and sources to research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past. They collect historical data from various sources, then analyze and interpret it to determine its authenticity and significance.Communication skills, research skills, foreign language skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills$63,9404% (as fast as average)
High School TeachersHigh school teachers assist students in preparing for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons as well as various skills that students will need to attend college or enter the workforce.Communication skills, resourcefulness, patience$61,8205% (as fast as average)
Political ScientistsPolitical scientists investigate the formation, evolution, and operation of political systems. They conduct political research and analyze governments, political trends, policies, and other related issues.Critical-thinking skills, analytical skills, communication skills, creativity$122,5106% (as fast as average)
Anthropologists and ArcheologistsAnthropologists and archaeologists investigate human origins, development, and behavior. They research people’s cultures, languages, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics around the world.Critical-thinking skills, analytical skills, communication skills, physical stamina$61,9106% (as fast as average)
Archivists, Curators, and Museum WorkersArchivists appraise, process, catalog, and preserve permanent records and historically significant documents. Curators manage art and historical collections and may perform public service for an institution. 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)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
History Degree Students

Professional certifications go above and beyond academic credentials to demonstrate to the public and potential employers that the candidate possesses the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise in the field. Certifications also demonstrate competency and capability while adding significant weight to one’s résumé. History is not one of the many disciplines that offer professional certifications to students and professionals. Those interested in teaching, however, would need to obtain a teaching certification as well as state-specific licensure. More information on history teaching certification and licensure can be found here.

Additional Resources for Online
History Degree Students

History is widely acknowledged to be a vast subject. As a result, the more information and insights one can obtain, the better. To that end, membership in professional organizations provides numerous benefits, such as increased credibility and opportunities to network in the field. In general, these organizations seek to promote the study, transmission, and preservation of priceless historical records and narratives. Here are a few to consider:

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

The American Association for State and Local History is a national membership organization dedicated to fostering the growth of the history community. For more than a century, the AASLH has given direction and support to its members who work to interpret and preserve state and local history so that all people can better understand the past.

Organization of American Historians (OAH)

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

Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is a nonprofit membership organization that supports a global network of institutions and people who, through their work or personal interests, are interested in the history of the built environment and how it has influenced modern society.

World History Association (WHA)

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

National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS)

The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) was founded by representatives from more than twenty historical sites associated with American women and representatives from twenty other organizations dedicated to preserving women’s history. NCWHS advocates for historical sites that focus on preserving and interpreting women’s and gender non-conforming people’s essential roles in the American story.

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.

Degrees

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

Disclaimer:

The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.