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Earning a Masters Degree in History Online

Are you fascinated by objects from the past, such as historical artifacts, documents, or photographs? Do you love researching and interpreting events from history? Do you

like to visit churches, battlegrounds, or other places of historical significance? If so, you may be interested in pursuing an online history masters degree.i Jobs in this area may involve analyzing certain periods from history and the records from those periods.i They may deal with educating the public or writing articles about findings in this area.i If that sounds like something you might want to do, one way you could prepare yourself to pursue such a career is by earning a master’s degree in history online. Keep reading for more information on how to do just that!

Online History Masters Degree Overview

Before diving into the study of history, it’s important to take a second and go over exactly what a master’s degree program might entail. Generally considered a second-cycle degree,ii  or graduate degree, master’s degrees might require about two years of study beyond the bachelor’s level to complete.iii

While they may typically all involve high-level coursework, online history masters degrees might vary in the type of content their courses focus on. One category of master’s degree, the professional master’s degree, might generally be aimed at preparing students to pursue a certain career, and could involve classes related to the responsibilities of that field.ii

History, as a highly academic subject, might typically feature degrees that fall into the second category, research master’s degrees.ii A online history masters degree may generally involve coursework heavily focused on research and writing, and might involve a large-scale project called a thesis.ii Completing and presenting a thesis may be a requirement for graduation from research master’s degree programs.ii

Concentrations for Online History Master’s Degree Programs

History, as you might imagine, can be a very broad discipline. Each place in the world and era in time might be considered a different field within history. History can be looked at in many different ways and can focus on different trends or types of people. For this reason, many history students may choose to focus their online history masters degree on a specific field of history. This focus might be called a concentration or specialization. Depending on the school or online history masters degree program, there may be a lot of different options, but not every school may offer concentrations. Here are some potential options you might see if you enroll in an online history master’s degree program:

  • Public history
  • American history
  • Military history

If you’re curious what other options might be available to you, feel free to contact the schools you’re considering and ask what their programs might offer.

Coursework for a Masters Degree in History Online

With different degree types and concentrations available, it may not come as a surprise that there’s no standardized set of courses that you’ll need to take to earn a online history masters degree. Rather, you may have many options for subjects to study throughout a master’s degree program. Some potential examples of courses that you might come across could include:

  • Historiography
  • Comparative history
  • Digitization
  • Archive management
  • Civil War history
  • The Cold War
  • Early American history
  • History of the World Wars
  • Global history
  • Race and gender in history

Be sure to look at the curriculums for each program you’re considering so you know what courses might be offered or required. Keep in mind that all schools differ, and many may not offer the classes listed above.

Career Pursuits with a Master’s Degree in History

After earning a master’s degree in history, you may be able to pursue several different careers. One might be as a historian. Historians may generally analyze and interpret historical documents in order to learn about different eras throughout time.i They might write about their findings or present them to the public.i  Commonly, they’ll work in the public sector, with 61% employed by the state, local or federal government.iv  Their median annual income in 2015 was $55,800.v

Another potential career pursuit might be as a Curators might help select and design exhibits for museums and similar institutions.vii  They may help to acquire items to be displayed and promote their institution to the public by attending meetings and supervising other staff.vii They earned a median annual income of $51,520 in 2015.viii

Getting Started

If you’re done researching how to earn a master’s degree in history online, feel free to start your search right now! You can check out our sponsored listings here on and see if any programs meet your expectations. If you see anything interesting, be sure to reach out the school directly and request more information. Good luck!

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii]