EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features

Earning an Online History Degree

Are you fascinated by the past? Do you love to learn more about the events that shaped our world or played specific roles in the creation of modern governments, organizations, and institutions? Do you find yourself drawn to historic buildings or important sites such as battlefields? If so, you may be interested in earning a history degree from an online program.i  Career pursuits in history may be deal with the analysis and examination of documents and records from the past, so this type of program might be suited to someone with analytical skills, plus an ability to research, write and communicate.ii  If that sounds like you, keep reading for more on how to earn a degree in history online and pursue a career in the field!

We asked people who have earned their degree in History: Do you believe obtaining a History degree provided you with the skills to become a Lawyer?

"I think that a history major is just as effective as any other major choice when preparing to attend law school. In retrospect, the skills that I learned through my history studies, which included a heavy focus on research, writing, and contemporary analysis of historical events, did a great job preparing me for law school."
Scott Kimberly, & Attorney at law
Click To Tweet!click to tweet
- Scott Kimberly,  Attorney at law

Overview of Degree Options

History is considered a liberal arts subject, and as such, earning a degree in this field might help you learn skills such as problem-solving and writing that could be applied to a number of career pursuits.iii The first step, though, should be to figure out which type of history degree you might want to earn. There may be many different options. Let’s break them down by level.

Associate’s Degree in History Onlineiv

An associate’s degree may typically be considered a flexible degree, available to those who have completed their high school education. Generally requiring about two years of study, which might come out to around twenty courses, these degrees may help prepare students to either pursue further education or enter the job force at the entry level. Associate’s degrees focused on preparing students for further education may typically be known as transfer degrees, as they are designed to be transferred into a bachelor-level program. Career-focused degrees might generally be known as occupational degrees.

Bachelor’s History Degree Onlinev

A cornerstone of the American higher education system, the bachelor’s degree may take about 4 to 5 years of coursework to complete. Offering instruction that is both broad and deep, bachelor’s degree programs may allow students to specialize in a major (such as history) while also completing general education requirements. Bachelor’s degrees may help qualify students to pursue a number of careers,vi  or help them prepare to further their education in higher-level degree programs. History degree programs at this level may often be known as a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Master’s Degree Programs in History Onlinevii

Considered a second-cycle degree, or graduate degree, master’s degrees may be earned by students after they’ve completed their bachelor’s degrees, and generally take about one to two years of study to complete. Master’s degrees in academic subjects such as history may be known as research master’s degrees and could focus on writing and research in their coursework. Oftentimes, a student may need to complete a master’s thesis, a type of large-scale research project, on order to graduate. Master’s degree programs may help students prepare to pursue a career in their field, but they may also be a requirement for enrollment in a higher-level program, such as a doctoral degree program.viii

Earning a PhD Degree in History Onlineviii

The most common degree type at the highest level of education in the United States, the Doctor of Philosophy, or PhD, may generally take between four and five years of study to complete, past the bachelor’s degree PhD degrees may usually involve high-level coursework and a lot of research and writing. Students may need to complete a large-scale research project called a dissertation in order to graduate.

Coursework in History Degree Programs

With so many degree levels available, and many fields to study within history, there may be a number of different courses you could take in order to earn a degree in history online. While there’s no standard curriculum, some potential examples of these class topics could include:

  • Historiography
  • Research methods
  • Public history
  • Digitization
  • Global history
  • Military history
  • United States history
  • Constitutional history
  • European history
  • Women’s history

Keep in mind that not every program may offer these courses, so be sure to look into the curriculums of the schools you’re considering before applying.

Career Pursuits in History

One career you may be able to pursue after earning a degree in history online is as a historian.ii Historians may typically analyze the past using various sources such as records, recordings, artifacts or newspapers.ix  They may typically work for state or local governments, the federal government, or various research-focused institutions.x In 2015, they earned a median annual salary of $55,800, though their predicted job growth by 2024 is slower than average.xi

Getting Started

If you’re ready to begin your search for the perfect online history degree program, feel free to get going right here on Check out our sponsored listings and if you see any programs that might be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to the schools directly. Good luck!

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi]

Find Schools