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Best Online History Degrees

An online history degree program is an excellent choice for students who want to explore historical events, themes, and people.

Graduates of these programs can pursue careers in various fields, including law, education, government, and journalism. Below are the top 10 online history degree programs for budding historians:

Each of these programs offers a unique set of courses and opportunities for students to specialize in specific areas of history. They also provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen careers.

Key Takeaways for Online History Degree Programs

  • Flexible Learning: Online history programs, like those at Liberty University, offer self-paced classes, enabling students to balance their education with life’s other commitments, making it ideal for adult learners and working professionals.
  • Career Readiness: Schools such as Maryville University integrate practical experiences like internships into their history programs, boosting graduates’ job prospects in research, museums, and government roles.
  • Affordability: Institutions like Sterling College provide cost-effective online history degrees, broadening access to education for students from diverse financial backgrounds.

Reasons to Get an Online History Degree

An online history degree offers several benefits to students seeking to pursue higher education. The flexibility of online learning allows students to study whenever and wherever they want, accommodating a variety of schedules.

Online programs offer accelerated, part-time, and asynchronous delivery, making it easier for students to balance work and family commitments.

Students have access to a wider range of schools and programs, enabling them to find the most suitable curriculum, faculty, and support services. Furthermore, online programs may lead to cost savings through limited travel and lower tuition rates.

Online history degree programs may bring together a more diverse global student body, which can improve classroom perspectives and networking possibilities. This diversity can also enhance a student’s understanding of different cultures and historical events.

Overall, an online history degree provides students with a flexible, cost-effective, and diverse learning experience.

Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in History Programs

Here are the top 10 online bachelor’s in history programs.

1. Sterling College – Sterling, KS

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $145
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $145
  • Credits to Graduate: 124
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $26,000
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $13,860
  • Students Enrolled: 653
  • Institution Type: Private

Sterling College, a private Christian institution in Sterling, Kansas, offers an online bachelor’s in history designed to enhance critical thinking and reasoning skills. The program, suitable for aspiring writers, lawyers, or researchers, includes concentrations in American history, European history, or non-western history. It features a comprehensive curriculum with a research methods course and a senior thesis requirement, catering to students aiming for careers in writing, law, or research, and includes coursework that may lead to Kansas teacher licensure for grades 6-12.

2. Eastern New Mexico University – Portales, NM

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $170
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $255
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $3,996/$5,994
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $7,044/$9,342
  • Students Enrolled: 5,685
  • Institution Type: Public

Eastern New Mexico University provides an online bachelor’s in history program focusing on historical approaches to modern problems. The program, available to students interested in teaching, includes courses like U.S. history I and II and western civilization, concluding with a one-credit portfolio. Though the licensure part of the degree might not be entirely online, it offers a comprehensive education in historical studies.

3. Nicholls State University – Thibodaux, LA

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $275
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $275
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $4,922/$6,015
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $5,686/$6,779
  • Students Enrolled: 6,491
  • Institution Type: Public

Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, offers an online bachelor’s in history that emphasizes coherent thinking and writing about the contemporary world. The program requires 36 credits in history, covering world history, the historian’s craft, and pop culture in America, preparing students for a variety of careers in the historical field.

4. Westfield State University – Westfield, MA

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $330
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $330
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | Yes
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $970/$7,050
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $1,890/$1,890
  • Students Enrolled: 5,795
  • Institution Type: Public

Westfield State University’s online bachelor’s in history is tailored for graduates from Massachusetts community colleges or their equivalents. The curriculum spans U.S., European, and world history, with courses like the historian, western experience, and introduction to historical research and analysis, culminating in a senior seminar. It accepts up to 79 transfer credits from two-year schools.

5. University of Illinois at Springfield – Springfield, IL

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $362
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $362
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | Yes
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $9,520/$15,948
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $8,270/$15,240
  • Students Enrolled: 4,275
  • Institution Type: Public

The University of Illinois at Springfield offers an online bachelor’s in history designed to develop students’ research, analysis, and communication skills. The program, which can lead to careers in politics, journalism, law, or public administration, includes courses in egyptology, the making of the west, Islamic civilization, and the history of Russia, and is accessible to students living more than 50 miles from campus or those with documented disabilities.

6. University of Louisiana at Monroe – Monroe, LA

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $400
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $400
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $5,788/$17,888
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $6,490/$18,590
  • Students Enrolled: 8,673
  • Institution Type: Public

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online bachelor’s in history ideal for students aiming for careers in law, journalism, foreign affairs, or civil service. The program includes 39 major credits, with courses in historian’s craft, world civilization, and U.S. history, and offers courses in eight-week blocks for a flexible learning schedule.

7. Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $390
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $390
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $15,417
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $7,980
  • Students Enrolled: 85,586
  • Institution Type: Private

Liberty University, a Christian institution in Lynchburg, Virginia, provides an online bachelor’s in history degree that helps students develop critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of the past. The program offers courses in U.S. and world history, including geography and the history of western civilization, and is designed for completion in 3.5 years with the possibility of transferring up to 90 credits.

8. Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $331
  • **Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit:** $331
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $9,846/$29,445
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $12,933/$24,975
  • Students Enrolled: 31,719
  • Institution Type: Public

Oregon State University’s online bachelor’s in history program prepares students to write and think critically about historical events and their impact on the present. The program includes diverse courses such as African history, medieval Europe, and the global history of sports, and offers opportunities for internships and participation in the university’s history students association.

9. Ottawa University – Ottawa, KS

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $499
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $499
  • Credits to Graduate: 120
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $11,976
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $11,430
  • Students Enrolled: 261
  • Institution Type: Private

Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, offers an online bachelor’s in history that synthesizes the past with contemporary issues through courses in American government, religion in American culture, and global issues. The program, suitable for students aiming for careers as historians, curators, or park rangers, may also include a concentration in secondary education.

10. Maryville University of Saint Louis – Saint Louis, MO

  • In-State Avg. Cost per Credit: $500
  • Out of State Avg. Cost per Credit: $500
  • Credits to Graduate: 128
  • Program Information: Degree Completion Program | No
  • Format: 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes
  • Average Undergrad Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $26,070
  • Average Graduate Tuition (In-State/Out-of-State): $14,346
  • Students Enrolled: 10,013
  • Institution Type: Private

Maryville University of Saint Louis provides an online bachelor’s in history that equips students with skills in research, writing, and digital literacy. The program includes courses in world history since 1500, historical methods, and American foreign policy since WWII, and requires an internship and a portfolio project, preparing students for careers in research centers, museums, or government agencies.

Best Online History Degree Programs Ranking Insights

Cost:

  • The most affordable option is Sterling College at $145 per credit (both in-state and out-of-state).
  • Eastern New Mexico University comes in at a close second at $170 (in-state) and $255 (out-of-state).
  • The most expensive option is Maryville University at $500 per credit.

Delivery format:

  • All programs offer 100% online options, but some also have a campus component.
  • If flexibility is important, consider programs with self-paced classes.

Program features:

  • Some programs offer specific concentrations, like secondary education or teacher licensure.
  • Others highlight internships, research opportunities, or international study options.
  • Consider your career goals and interests when evaluating these features.

Accreditation:

  • All programs listed are accredited, which is crucial for financial aid and future education opportunities.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Student success: Look at retention rates and graduation rates to gauge student satisfaction and program effectiveness.
  • Faculty expertise: Research the faculty’s credentials and areas of specialization to see if they align with your interests.
  • Support services: Check if the program offers academic advising, career counseling, and other resources to help you succeed.
  • Your personal preferences: Consider factors like program size, location, and learning style when making your final decision.

Remember:

  • The “best” program is ultimately the one that best meets your individual needs and goals.
  • Research each program thoroughly and contact them with any questions you may have.

How Accreditation Works for a History Degree Online

When pursuing an online history degree, it’s crucial to ensure that the program is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Institutional accreditation is the primary form of accreditation for online history degrees, and it provides quality assurance for your degree. Accredited institutions ensure that you’ll have access to federal financial aid, making it easier to fund your education.

While programmatic accreditation for history degrees is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, it’s still important to ensure that your program is offered by an accredited institution. Accreditation also ensures that you’ll be able to transfer credits and receive a tuition discount if you decide to pursue further education.

What Courses Do You Take for an Online History Degree?

An online history degree program offers a broad array of courses covering various cultures and time periods. The coursework includes tools from fields like sociology, anthropology, political science, gender studies, and economics to examine the impact of and relationships between different historical events. Students can customize their coursework to focus on a specific geographic area and/or time period.

Most bachelor’s programs in history require students to take multiple classes on U.S. history. In addition, there are several other courses that students can take, including:

  • African history
  • Civil rights era
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Colonial America
  • East Asian civilizations
  • History of Western civilization
  • Latin American history
  • Medieval Europe
  • Middle Eastern history
  • Native American history
  • Roman Empire
  • World War II

Some programs also offer concentrations in non-Western history, military history, women’s history, and more.

In addition to these courses, students will also take general education courses, electives, and a capstone course that requires critical thinking, research, and writing skills. The capstone course is designed to help students understand the historian’s craft and interpret historical research.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,300 active historians across the country in May 2021. Thus, students with an online history degree can pursue various careers as researchers, educators, writers, and more.

Jobs You Can Get With an Online Degree in History

An online degree in history can prepare students for a variety of career paths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were over 1.1 million working professionals with a history degree in 2019. Graduates with an online degree in history can expect to develop essential soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and cultural awareness that will allow them to explore many non-history-related careers.

Here are ten popular jobs for online history degree-holders, their median annual salary (May 2021), and job growth rate (2021-2031):

JobMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth Rate (2021-2031)Minimum Education Required
Anthropologists$61,9106%Master’s
Archivists$60,0509%Master’s
Curators$60,11014%Master’s
High School Teachers$61,8205%Bachelor’s
Historians$63,9404%Master’s
History Professors$78,1307%Doctorate
Librarians and Library Media Specialists$61,1906%Master’s
Museum Technicians and Conservators$47,63013%Bachelor’s
Political Scientists$122,5106%Master’s
Writers and Authors$69,5104%Bachelor’s

In addition to these jobs, graduates with an online degree in history may also consider pursuing careers as museum curators, journalists, or government historians. Students can also gain valuable experience through internships or entry-level positions in fields such as research, writing, and editing.

While a bachelor’s degree in history can prepare students for entry-level positions, a graduate degree in history can help them develop a specialization and advance their research and analysis skills. A master’s or doctoral degree in history can qualify graduates for careers as historians, archivists, or college professors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online History Degrees

Can you earn a history degree online?

Yes, it is possible to earn a history degree online. Online history programs are designed to provide students with a flexible and convenient way to complete their degree. History degrees are well-suited for online learning because they emphasize research and theoretical components that can be learned and discussed without being in a classroom. Many schools offer online history degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

How fast can you get a history degree?

The length of an online history degree program varies depending on the level of the degree, the school, and the student. An associate degree in history typically takes about two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree takes about four years. A master’s degree in history usually takes about two years to complete, and a doctorate can take anywhere from four to seven years. However, an accelerated online history program can reduce the time to earn a degree if the student can manage a heavier course load.

Can you get a good job with a history degree?

Yes, a history degree can lead to many desirable and prestigious positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 45% of history graduates work in educational institutions, management occupations, or the legal field. Graduates with a history degree can also pursue careers in fields such as journalism, research, writing, and politics.

Are history teachers in demand?

The demand for history teachers varies by level and region. According to the BLS, high school teacher jobs are projected to grow by 5% between 2021 and 2031. For postsecondary history teachers, the BLS projects a 7% growth during that same period. The demand for history teachers is affected by factors such as population growth, budget constraints, and changes in educational policy.

Is a history degree worth it?

Many students find an online degree in history to be a valuable investment. A degree in history is essential for aspiring historians, museum curators, and history teachers. History programs can equip students with valuable life and soft skills, including effective communication, research, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Graduates with a history degree can pursue a variety of careers in fields such as education, law, journalism, and government.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the accreditation requirements for online history degree programs?

Accreditation is an important aspect of any degree program. Online history degree programs should be accredited by a recognized agency to ensure that they meet certain academic standards. The accreditation requirements for online history degree programs vary depending on the accrediting agency. Some of the most recognized accrediting agencies for online history degree programs include the Higher Learning Commission, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

How do the costs compare between traditional and online history degree courses?

The cost of an online history degree program can vary depending on the institution and the program. Generally, online degree programs are more affordable than traditional on-campus programs. This is because online programs do not require the same overhead costs as traditional programs, such as building maintenance and utilities. Additionally, students do not need to pay for transportation, room and board, or other expenses associated with on-campus programs.

What career opportunities are available with an online bachelor’s degree in history?

An online bachelor’s degree in history can open doors to a variety of career opportunities. Graduates can work in fields such as education, government, law, journalism, and business. Some of the most popular job titles for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in history include historian, archivist, museum curator, teacher, and writer.

What is the difference between a BA and a BS in History when studying online?

The main difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in History is the focus of the degree program. A BA in History typically focuses on the humanities, while a BS in History focuses more on the social sciences. The specific requirements for each degree program may vary depending on the institution. However, both degree programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of history and prepare them for a variety of career opportunities.

How do online history degree programs ensure a comprehensive learning experience?

Online history degree programs use a variety of tools and resources to ensure that students receive a comprehensive learning experience. These may include online lectures, interactive discussion forums, virtual field trips, and online research databases. Additionally, many online history degree programs provide students with access to academic advisors and career services to help them succeed in their studies and prepare for their future careers.

What are the prerequisites for enrolling in an online history degree program?

The prerequisites for enrolling in an online history degree program vary depending on the institution and the program. Generally, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for admission. Some programs may also require students to meet certain GPA requirements or have completed specific coursework in high school. Additionally, students may need to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, as part of the admissions process.