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Bachelors in History Online

An online bachelors degree in history teaches how to use historical research methods to analyze, interpret, and understand past events. Usually, programs are focused on examining primary and secondary sources in order to gain insight from different perspectives of the same event.

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Online Bachelors Degree in History

Online Bachelors Degree in History: All You Need to Know

Studying history is more than reciting dates and remembering who won which war and how it started. Instead, while earning an online bachelors degree in history, you’ll explore ways to empathize with people who are long-gone from this Earth to try and understand their motivations and actions.

Usually, this exploration is through a number of courses focused on reading, writing, and research. Students will examine past events and cultures to create in-depth analyses and persuasive arguments. Some key topics may include:

  • the origins of various societies
  • the social issues of a given time
  • and how we can avoid making the same mistakes that have led to the downfall of past cultures

As a result, many online history bachelors degree programs look for students who have demonstrated reading, writing, and research skills in the past. They may look to see if you have completed specific courses while earning your high school or GED equivalent diploma or while earning an online associates degree in history.

BA in History Online: Admissions Requirements

Some of the common admissions requirements for an online bachelors degree in history include:

  • High school or GED equivalent diploma
  • Official transcripts
  • SAT or ACT (depends on school)
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation (may be optional or not required at some schools)

Keep in mind that the specific admissions requirements vary from school to school. For instance, some schools may require that you have maintained a minimum GPA while earning your high school diploma or that you have earned a minimum score on a standardized test.

On the other hand, some online schools may not require a personal statement or letters of recommendation. Therefore, in order to find the perfect school for you, it’s important to check with a number of programs before you make that final commitment.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Bachelors Degree in History?

Many full-time students can earn their bachelors degree in four years. However, this can depend on a number of factors, such as when courses are available and the specific design of each program.

Many programs that offer an online bachelors history degree provide student-centered learning environments, which may include the option to earn your bachelors degree as a part-time student. While these programs may offer you more flexibility, usually it takes longer for part-time students to earn their degree.

What Are the Graduation Requirements?

Generally, in order to earn your bachelors degree, you need to complete three types of courses in order to reach the necessary amount of credits. These are:

  1. General education courses
  2. Major courses
  3. Free electives

Some schools also require that you complete a capstone or thesis project to earn your online bachelors degree in history. This is usually a written assignment, which you may work on with a professor. However, this is not a requirement at all schools.

There are some other schools that require you to maintain a minimum GPA, such as a 2.0, while pursuing your history bachelors degree online. However, like the thesis projects mentioned above, these are not required at all schools. Therefore, be sure to check all of a program’s requirements before applying.

What Is the Study of History?

The study of history is examining the past in order to better understand events and societies. This helps lead to greater insight into the human experience, both on a personal level and a societal level, in order to bestow a greater comprehension of modern society.

Through this type of analysis, the study of history may help people develop techniques they will use throughout their professional lives, such as:

  • Researching text
  • Analyzing data
  • Developing original interpretations
  • Enhancing communication

Therefore, it is important to study history to understand how modern struggles compare to the obtacles various societies from the past have wrestled with, whether successfully or not.

Earning an Online Bachelors in History

Earning a bachelors in history typically requires more critical analysis than other bachelor degree programs. Usually, courses require you to read a number of texts, examine past events and cultures, and complete writing assignments that interpret the actions of historical figures.

Another key component of history programs is understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to use both to create persuasive arguments. This may include understanding differing viewpoints and recollections of the same event.

Many programs are designed to provide a number of options to students. This may include allowing you to choose from a number of courses and electives. Many schools even offer a number of concentrations so you may tailor your course of study to focus your studies on a particular culture or time period.

Key Learning Outcomes in History

Choosing to study history is choosing to analyze the past. However, while earning your online bachelors degree in history, programs strive to teach the following learning outcomes:

  • Analyze primary and secondary sources in historical context
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key historical facts, values, and ideas
  • Use appropriate historical sources for oral and/or written analysis
  • Evaluate historical events from a global perspective
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the changing nature of historical interpretation
  • Make individual judgments about conflicting interpretations

These topics are focused on developing the skills centered on performing research, interpreting that research, and communicating your findings to others. Therefore, many programs teach the historical methods and data analysis to further cement your arguments.

Usually, learning outcomes are applicable to each of the available concentrations and do not change based on your selection. However, every program is different, so it’s important to research a number of schools in order to find the perfect match for you.

Bachelors in History Online: Common Courses

While pursuing an online bachelors degree in history, many programs require that you complete a combination of courses that meet your baccalaureate core, which typically includes general education requirements, major requirements, and electives.

Typically, your courses in history focus on developing writing, researching, and critical analysis abilities, as well as the content matter in each course. This is usually through participating in writing and reading assignments, as well as analyzing historical documents and events through class discussions.

Some of the common online courses in history include:

  • World Civilization
  • United States History
  • Gender in History
  • Twentieth Century Europe
  • Historical Methods
  • Historical Writing
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Modern Iran: Revolution and Aftermath
  • Environmental History of the United States
  • Historical Studies of Science and Politics

Keep in mind that every program has a unique curriculum. And, while the subject matter may be similar from school to school, specific courses may have different names. Therefore, before applying, check the curriculum of each school in order to find a perfect program for you.

Available Concentrations for a BA in History Online

Many schools offer students the ability to choose a concentration while earning a history bachelors degree. Some schools even require that you choose one in order to tailor your course of study to one particular aspect, though the majority of schools don’t have this requirement and only provide the option to students.

Some of the concentrations you can choose from include:

  • American History
  • European History
  • Middle Eastern History
  • Military History
  • Public and Applied History
  • Philosophy of Science and Technology
  • Global History
  • Ancient or Medieval History
  • Gender and Women

Keep in mind that your specific course of study is usually based upon the concentration you choose. Therefore, your curriculum may vary from the courses mentioned above depending on your concentration.

History Related Majors

As you can see, there are many aspects to earning an online bachelors degree in history. However, there are also some majors that are related, but not directly included under the history umbrella, such as:

  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Archeology
  • Art History, Criticism, and Conservation

Some students choose to pursue a minor in one of these subjects while pursuing a bachelors degree in history. Remember that some schools may not offer this as an option, so be sure to check the various programs at schools before applying.

What Skills Does a Student of History Develop?

Through the research demands that are usually required of history majors, some of the techniques programs strive to teach include the ability to:

  • Ask and answer complicated questions through research
  • Consider multiple interpretations and perspectives
  • Organize and critically analyze various types of informationi
  • Produce high quality written content

This is just a sample of some of the skills and knowledge you may develop while earning an online bachelors degree in history. Remember that every program is different and may focus on different aspects of teaching history.

In addition, these are overall skills related to earning a history degree. It does not include the specific topics covered in each course and the key historical events you will study while earning your degree.

Difference Between History and Historiography

"History" is the chronological record of significant events, often including an explanation or cause for those events. It can also be thought of as a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events.

On the other hand, "historiography" is the writing of history or a product of historical writing, such as a body of historical literature. Therefore, the historiography of a particular subject covers how historians have studied the topic using particular sources, techniques, and theories.

As a result, history is the study of the past through items that still remain, such as artifacts, and the interpretation of those items. Historiography is the interpretation of written items and other sources in order to understand how the history has been portrayed.

What Jobs Can You Do With a History Degree?

Some of the careers you can pursue upon earning your history bachelors degree include the following, listed along with their 2016 median annual salary and projected job growth from 2014 to 2024.

Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers:

  • 2016 Median Annual Salary — $47,230ii
  • Projected Job Growth 2014 to 2024 — 7%iii

Elementary School Teachers:

  • 2016 Median Annual Salary — $55,800iv
  • Projected Job Growth 2014 to 2024 — 6%v

High School Teacher:

  • 2016 Median Annual Salary — $58,030vi
  • Projected Job Growth 2014 to 2024 — 6%vii

Of course, you could also pursue a career as a historian. However, while you may find some entry-level positions available to those with only a bachelors degree, many employers require candidates to have an online masters degree in history or even a doctorate.viii

What Else Does a History Major Do?

Because programs that offer a bachelors degree in history are focused on teaching students how to improve research and writing skills, many view it as one of the more versatile majors available.

One of the most common post-graduation paths for those who have earned a bachelors degree in history is law school. In fact, some reports show that nearly 25% of history graduates go on to law school.

History is a natural major for many who want to enter the legal profession because lawyers need to know the law, but also where it came from and why it exists. Plus, lawyers spend many hours researching past cases and precedents.

While earning an online bachelors degree in history, those research skills usually lead to papers and presentations. Plus, the first year of law school is usually focused on legal history, which may be a good transition for history majors.

Earn Your Online Bachelors Degree in History

Are you interested in learning from the past so that we, as a society, are not doomed to repeat it? Then click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to take the next step to earn your online bachelors degree in history.

There, you can learn more about individual programs, such as curriculum, admissions requirements, and how to contact the school directly to request more information.

You can even learn how to apply today to the perfect school for you.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-5 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-6 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-6 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-6 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm#tab-4

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