2018 Top Online Schools for History

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges offering history degrees online.

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School Rankings

1

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade University of Honolulu offers a Bachelor of Arts in Historical and Political Studies, and this program is available online. This program combines the study of history with the study of politics, and it is available in three different concentrations: the career in law concentration, the career in education concentration, and the career in government concentration. This program is 120 credit hours, and students will take such courses as World Civilizations, America through Civil War, and American Government & Politics.

2

Coastline Community College

Coastline Community College offers an Associate in Arts in History, and this degree can be pursued online. This program is 100% online, and there are no mandatory residencies or campus visits. History students will graduate with a comprehensive understanding of significant events in U.S. and World History, and history students will also develop critical thinking skills and communication skills, which will be helpful in a number of careers. This degree is also ideal for students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution.

3

College of Southern Idaho

The Social Science Department at the College of Southern Idaho offers an Associate of Arts in History degree, which can be pursued online. This program is 100% online, and there are no residency requirements. In the program, students will take a look at central themes of United States History and World History, demonstrate an understanding of the past and different perspectives about it, and demonstrate the ability to use critical thinking skills. Students enrolled in the program will take such courses as U.S. History, Western Civilization, and Latin American History.

4

College of Southern Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada offers an Associate of Arts degree in History, and this degree program may be pursued online. This program can be completed 100% online, and there are no residency requirements. Graduates of the history program will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the field of history that includes social, economic, political, cultural, and constitutional history. Students will also develop critical thinking skills and efficient written and oral communication skills. Students enrolled in the program will take courses such as European Civilization to 1648 and World History.

5

College of Western Idaho

The College of Western Idaho offers an associate degree in history online. This program consists entirely of online courses and does not require any campus visits. Many graduates of this program pursue careers as professional editors, teachers, employees in museums, or employees with state and federal government agencies. Students who pursue a history degree will be able to demonstrate knowledge of key historical facts and ideas that have shaped civilizations, demonstrate efficient writing and communication skills, have a comprehensive understanding of different points of view, and construct historical arguments.

6

Columbia College

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Political Science Department at Columbia College offers a Bachelor of Arts in History that can be pursued online. This program is entirely online, and there are no campus visits that are required. Many graduates of the history program go on to work in the fields of politics, historical societies, public relations, social work, teaching, law, journalism, and more. Students enrolled in the program will take courses such as Twentieth Century American Diplomatic History, The U.S. and the Vietnam War, and The European Renaissance.

7

Eastern Oregon University

The History Department at Eastern Oregon University offers a bachelor's degree in history, and it is available online. This is a 100% online degree, and there are no residency requirements for online students. Many graduates go on to law school or graduate school, others become teachers at the elementary or secondary level, and others pursue a wide variety of careers. History majors will develop critical thinking skills and communication skills that will be helpful to an individual in any career. Students may take courses such as World History to 1500, The Great Depression, American Constitutional History, and History of Sexuality.

8

Excelsior College

The School of Liberal Arts at Excelsior College offers an online bachelor's degree in history. This degree is available 100% online, and there are no mandatory residency requirements. Excelsior also grants academic credit for various forms of military training as well as professional education. Online students of history will receive the same high quality education as traditional students. Students enrolled in this program will take courses in U.S. History, European History, and Non-Western/World History. Online students will have access to a number of student services such as academic assistance from advisors, research materials, and access to the library.

9

Harvard University

History is an available field of study for students who enter the online Bachelor of Liberal Arts program that Harvard University offers through the Harvard Extension School. This program requires students to "earn their way in" with an admission process that requires them to successfully complete three courses for the degree before applying to the program. The bachelor's degree requires 128 credits, and students must complete at least 32 credits in the field of study through Harvard. While many courses are offered online, students must complete at least 16 credits on the Harvard campus. Ways to meet that requirement include a full-time semester on campus, online courses that require a weekend on campus, or three- or seven-week classes in-person courses.

10

Indiana State University

Indiana State University offers a Master of Arts in History and a Master of Science in History, and both of these programs may be pursued online. These are 100% online programs, and there are no campus visits that are required for online students. Both programs are 33 credits, and they can be completed in about two years. History majors often enter a variety of professional careers, become teachers, or go on to pursue graduate school or law school. Students enrolled in these programs will take such courses as Historical Method and Theory, Seminar on Popular Movements in the United States, and History of Labor in the United States, and Race and Nationality in the United States.

11

Merced College

Merced College estimates that 85 percent of the courses needed for an Associate of Arts in History are available online. Merced's history degree is a transfer degree, and students who complete the program can transfer as a junior to schools within the California State University system. To earn their transfer degree, students must complete 60 units, with about 37 of those credits dedicated to general education requirements. Within the major, students will take survey courses in the history of civilization, U.S. history, and a couple of history electives.

12

Missouri State University-Springfield

Missouri State University's online Master of Arts in History is a 30-credit program that allows students to select an area of concentration such as U.S. history or global studies. While students can start the program in any semester, the department recommends online students start in the summer when the foundational course is delivered online. Applicants must have at least 24 undergraduate credits in history and must submit GRE scores or have a valid teaching certificate in social studies. Another online option is the History for Teachers Graduate Certificate, which has a U.S. history focus. Undergrads can add a history minor to their degree through online coursework. The minor requires 18 credits in history classes.

CAG Score 92.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

22,273 Students

13

Nicholls State University

The Department History and Geography at Nicholls State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History, which can be pursued online. In this program, students will study America, Europe, and Asia in particular. Students in the program will develop critical thinking skills and communication skills which can be useful in many different careers. This program can be completed entirely online, and there are no residency requirements. Students enrolled in the program have a computer literacy requirement to meet, a general education requirement, oral communication requirement, and university requirement.

14

Norwich University

Norwich University offers a Master of Arts in History, which can be pursued in online courses. This program is 100% online, and it does not require any sort of residency. The program takes about 18 months to complete, and a Master's degree in history prepares students for the opportunity to teach high school and community college. Students will also be able to go on to pursue a PhD in history if they wish. This program is available in an American History track and a World History track. Students enrolled in the degree program will take such courses as American Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early National History; 19th Century America; Introduction to History and Historiography; and The Late Agriarian Era to 1800.

15

Ottawa University

Ottawa University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History that can be pursued online. This degree can be obtained by taking only online courses, and there are no residency or campus visit requirements. Students in this program will explore topics that touch on the interrelationships between society and the environment, movements for social change, and issues of war and peace. Graduates of this program may go on to become teachers, professionals in a wide variety of careers, and graduate students. Courses in this program include Ethnicity in American History, Religion in American Culture, and World Regional Geography.

16

Pittsburg State University

The Department of History at Pittsburg State University offers a Master of Arts in History online. This degree program is entirely online, and there are no required campus visits that students must make. This degree program has a thesis option and a non-thesis option. Students who graduate with an M.A. in History may choose to become teachers, to continue with their studies at the Ph.D. level, or to enter a variety of careers. Graduates of this program will have a multitude of critical thinking and communication skills. Students enrolled in this program may take courses such as World History to 1500, American History to 1865, and History: Theory and Practice.

17

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University has online programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History. The MA program attracts a range of students, including those interested in teaching, the military, and students who plan to continue their studies and seek a Ph.D. Applicants must have taken at least 18 credits in history while earning their undergraduate degree, and they must submit GRE scores. Students can choose a thesis option, which requires 30 credits, or a non-thesis option, which requires 36 credits. The Bachelor of Arts in History is a 120-credit program. SHSU was No. 54 on the 2018 U.S. News list of Best Online Bachelor's Programs.

18

Sinclair Community College

The Liberal Arts, Communication, and Social Sciences Division at Sinclair College offers an Associate of Arts in History. This degree can be pursued online, and there are no residency requirements that online students must meet. This degree is meant for students who wish to transfer to a four-year university or college to pursue a history-related degree. Students in this program will have a comprehensive understanding of the interdependence of world cultures when they graduate. Courses in the program include United States History, Western Civilization, and Multicultural Electives.

19

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University offers a Master of Arts in History that can be pursued online. This program is 100% online and does not require any campus visits. It is a 30-credit program which will provide students with the opportunity to participate in advanced studies of American, European, and World History. Students who pursue a Master's degree in history will be prepared for careers in education, government, military, industry, and private and public business. The online history Master's degree offers students the flexibility to fit their studies into their busy lives, and the online courses are taught by highly experienced faculty members.

CAG Score 94.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,611 Students

20

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in History that can be pursued online. The bachelor's degree is available in four different concentrations: American History, European History, Middle Eastern History, and Military History. The Master's degree is available in three different concentrations: American History, Military History, and Public History. Students in the bachelor's degree program will take courses such as World Civilizations: 1500 - Present and United States History. Students enrolled in the Master's degree program will take courses such as Historiography, Historical Methods, and Historical Lenses and Scholarship.

21

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers a Master's degree in history, and it can be pursued online. The program is available in three tracks: thesis, non-thesis, and education. This program is available 100% online, and there are no mandatory residencies or required campus visits. History students will be prepared to enter a wide variety of careers, to teach at the elementary or secondary level, or to go on to graduate school. Students enrolled in this program will take courses such as American South, American West, Religion in America, Ages of Faith, and Modern Europe 1848 - 1945.

22

Sul Ross State University

Sul Ross State University's online Master of Arts in History can be completed with a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option requires 18 credits in history coursework, six credits from courses outside the History Department, and six credits for thesis work. The non-thesis option includes 24 credits in history classes and 12 credits in a minor field, which must be approved by the graduate adviser. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0, or a GPA of 2.5 and qualifying GMAT or GRE scores.

23

SUNY Empire State College

Online students at SUNY Empire State College can earn a bachelor's degree in historical studies. Within that broad study area, students can choose to concentrate in areas such as American history, women's history, or social and economic history. Students who plan long-term can combine a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Historical Studies with a Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Empire State to become a social studies teacher. Online classes are asynchronous and delivered in a format that fits two terms into a traditional semester, so students can concentrate on fewer classes at one time.

24

The Baptist College of Florida

The Baptist College of Florida offers an online program for students who want to earn a Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Studies. To earn the degree, students complete 120 credits, including 33 general education credits, 18 credits in biblical/theological foundations, and 52 credits in the major. Courses in the major cover topics such as U.S. history, English history, the history of Christianity, the history of Southern Baptists, and the history of the Middle East. History/social studies majors also take classes in U.S. government, economics, world religions, and sociology. Online coursework is typically delivered in an asynchronous format.

25

Troy University

The Department of History and Philosophy at Troy University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History (with an emphasis in American/Latin American or European/Asian African) as well as a Master of Arts in History (with an emphasis in American History or European History) (thesis and non-thesis). These programs are available 100% online, and they do not require campus visits. The online courses are taught by the same qualified faculty that teach the on-campus classes. A degree in history will prepare students for a wide variety of careers in a wide range of settings. Other students may choose to pursue further studies by going on to a Ph.D. program.

26

University of Arizona

Undergrads can earn a Bachelor of Arts in History through the University of Arizona. History majors take at least 33 credits in history classes, with more than half of those credits from upper-division courses. They must take courses covering history in different geographic areas and at least one course covering history from before 1500. All history majors must complete a senior capstone project. Another online option is a Bachelor of General Studies in Global and Intercultural Understanding, a program that lets students take courses in history, geography, literature, and other subjects to gain an understanding of various cultures. The Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies is interdisciplinary and includes courses in history plus contemporary issues.

CAG Score 93.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

42,595 Students

27

University of Central Florida

The History Department at the University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in History that is available online. This program is 100% online, and there are no residency requirements. Students who obtain a history degree may go on to pursue graduate studies in history or positions in libraries, museums, etc. The history program also equips students with many critical thinking skills that will be valuable in any career. This program consists of 120 credit hours, and it includes courses on World History as well as American History.

CAG Score 94.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

62,953 Students

28

University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois - Springfield offers a Bachelor of Arts in History, which can be pursued online. This program is completely online, and it requires no residency component. Students who graduate with a history degree have the skills and knowledge to work in many different fields or to go on to pursue graduate school. History majors will acquire critical thinking skills as well as communication skills that are also useful in a number of careers. Students in this program must take American history classes, world history classes, and history electives. This program is 120 credit hours, and it takes four years to complete.

29

University of Louisiana-Monroe

University of Louisiana Monroe offers a Bachelor of Arts in History as well as a Master of Arts in History, and both of these degrees can be completed online. These programs are 100% online, and they do not require a residency component. The B.A. in History requires all students to have a minor. The M.A. program is a non-thesis program that is 30 credit hours. A degree in history can prepare students for careers in fields such as law, journalism, publishing, education, public relations, counseling, state and federal service, and foreign affairs. Other students who graduate from the bachelor's degree program will pursue a Master's degree, and students who graduate from the Master's degree may pursue a Ph.D.

30

University of Maine at Presque Isle

The University of Maine at Presque Isle offers a bachelor's degree in history that can be pursued online. This degree program is available 100% in online courses, and there are no mandatory residencies or campus visits. The online courses are taught by the same high quality and experienced professors who teach the on-campus courses. Online students are assigned an advisor who will assist them with their educational plans. The history program is 120 credit hours, and it takes about four years to complete.

31

University of Maryland-University College

University of Maryland University College offers a bachelor's degree in history, and this degree is available online. The program is 100% online and requires no campus visits. Students who graduate with a history degree often go on to become social studies or history teachers, employees of historic sites or museums, or graduate students furthering their studies. UMUC was one of the first schools to offer an online history degree program, and the online courses are taught by the same highly qualified professors who teach on campus courses. Students enrolled in the program will take courses such as History of the United States to 1865, World History, The American West, and Europe's Bloodiest Century.

32

University of Memphis

The Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in History as well as a Master of Arts in History, which can both be pursued online. The M.A. degree is 100% online and does not require any visits to campus. The B.A. may be completed online by combining online courses with classes that are offered on campus or transferred from other institutions. The bachelor's degree consists of 120 credit hours and the Master's degree consists of 33 credit hours. Students will take courses in American history, global history, and European history.

33

University of Nebraska at Kearney

The core requirements of the BA in History degree at UNK are geared toward American history enthusiasts. Upperclassmen, however, diversify by choosing three courses each from Advanced US History and Advanced European History options and two courses from Advanced Non-Western History. They then complete a multidisciplinary capstone project. Those who already hold a baccalaureate and 18 undergraduate history credits can apply to the MA in History program, which includes thesis and non-thesis options. Over a span of 36 credits, the non-thesis curriculum allows students to go in-depth in one of five areas: Early or Modern America, Early or Modern Europe, or Public/Digital History. By contrast, the thesis option mandates that students sample courses from each area.

34

University of North Alabama

The Department of History offers a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Bachelor of Science in History, and a Master of Arts in History, and these degrees can all be pursued online. The programs are 100% online, and they do not require any visits to campus. Many students with history degrees pursue positions as analysts, broadcasters, advertising executives, consultants, editors, campaign workers, foreign service officers, information specialists, journalists, lobbyists, etc. The B.A. can be completed in four years, and the M.A. degree can be completed in two to three years.

CAG Score 94.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

7,078 Students

35

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers an online program leading to a Master of Arts in History for History Educators. The program is delivered online over a two-year period, with students required to attend a summer institute on campus for one week in June each year. The program allows history teachers to do advanced study in history and to learn about the most recent historical research. During the fall and spring, students take two sequential courses each semester. As a capstone project, candidates must apply what they have learned to teaching and lesson planning instead of writing a thesis. Preferred applicants are history teachers with North Carolina certification.

CAG Score 94.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

14,918 Students

36

Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University offers a Master of Arts in History, and this degree is available for students to pursue online. This degree program is entirely online, and there are no mandatory residency components required. The program is 37 credit hours, and students may choose to complete a thesis or to take two additional classes. The courses are on a wide variety of topics on American history, European history, and world history. Students will take courses such as Studies in 20th Century History, Studies in Environmental History, and Studies in Warfare and Culture.

37

Western Kentucky University

The History Department at Western Kentucky University offers a Master of Arts in History, and the degree is available to pursue online. This program is taught in 100% online courses, and it requires no residency component. The online degree is a non-thesis option, and students are able to complete the degree in three years. The study of history will prepare students for a wide variety of careers, and it equips students with critical thinking skills that will be useful in any position. The program requires 36 hours of course work, and students enrolled must take courses such as History of Religion in America, The Atlantic World, and Civil War & Reconstruction.

38

Westfield State University

Students who have started their college education can complete a Bachelor of Arts in History through Westfield State University's online degree-completion program. Applicants to this program should have completed their associate degree at a Massachusetts community college so their credits will transfer seamlessly. However, students without that background may still be eligible for the program, which covers the upper division coursework typically taken in a student's junior and senior year of college. The history major requires students to earn 39 history credits, with 21 credits in required courses and 18 credits in restricted electives.

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,496 Students

Evaluating Online History Degrees

Technology has come a long way, and a number of schools are now offering online history degrees, especially master’s programs. If you enjoy personal interaction, but need some flexibility in your schedule, you can also consider “hybrid” programs. Thinking of K-12 teaching? In order to be eligible for state licensure, you must complete a number of supervised teaching hours before you can apply for a license. That means teacher certification programs are almost never 100% online.

Since there are a lot of online schools out there with bad reputations, we recommend you look for colleges and universities with:

  • Regional accreditation
  • Programs that arrange real-world internships, practicums and/or capstone projects in your local area
  • Solid “brick and mortar” reputation (e.g. top school rankings, strong research centers and distinguished alumni)
  • The same faculty who teach on-campus courses teaching online
  • Dedicated distance learning support services
  • Career centers with job placement figures

Avoid for-profit schools with low completion rates and high student loan default rates.

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