The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in History Degree Programs
| TBS Staff
Are you ready to discover your college program?
History majors study the causes of Rome’s fall and the reasons the American Revolution succeeded. They explore topics like the Civil War, the Renaissance, ancient Egypt, and the French Revolution. Many history programs offer popular concentrations in fields like military history, U.S. history, and public history. The exciting major prepares graduates for a variety of career paths.
Earning an online bachelor’s degree in history builds career-ready skills, such as analytical thinking, research, and writing. During a history program, students build evidence-based arguments using primary sources, practicing their persuasive writing and research skills. Many employers look for job candidates with critical thinking, communication, and creativity — abilities history majors strengthen during their degree.
With a history degree, graduates can pursue career paths in business, education, government, and the nonprofit sector. Training in public history prepares history majors for careers in museums, archives, and libraries, while many graduates work in education teaching U.S. history or world history at the high school level. An undergraduate degree in history also prepares students for graduate programs in law, history, or public administration.
This page introduces the top ranked online bachelor’s programs in history. The page also explores history degree salary information, in-demand concentrations, and how to choose the best online history program.
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in History Degree Programs
Affordable Online Bachelor's in History Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the online history programs based on the quality of the program, types of online classes offered, faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.
If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.
We thank you for your readership and trust.
The Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in History Degree Programs
Based in Houston, Texas, UHD enrolls over 14,000 students annually. The school's bachelor of arts in history explores the social, political, and commercial history of both the United States and the world, while also developing skills in writing, reading, research, problem-solving, and cultural sensitivity. The program prepares graduates to identify and analyze the significance of historical developments and global change, recognize historical context, and use academic conventions of historical writing and research.
Candidates for the online bachelor's degree in history must complete 120 credits, including at least 33 credits of history courses and 6-8 credits of foreign language courses. The history curriculum includes nine credits of foundation courses, nine credits of U.S. history courses, and nine credits of non-U.S. history courses. Many candidates pair the history major with a complementary minor. Minor options include gender studies, ethnic studies, religious studies, and professional writing.
UHD allows history majors to select from a variety of courses to fulfill U.S. and non-U.S. history requirements. The college offers a particularly robust selection of U.S. history courses, with more than two dozen options that explore national, regional, and local history, including U.S. diplomatic history, history of the new South from 1865, studies in Texas history, and Houston: past and present.
A private Christian college located in Graceville, BCF offers all courses and degrees fully online, including a bachelor's degree in history. Preparing graduates to teach social studies and history for grades 6-12, the bachelor of arts in history/secondary social studies education explores general history and educational theory through a Christian moral framework. The degree requires no campus visits, and most courses are delivered asynchronously, making it suitable for working adult students.
The degree requires a minimum of 123 credits and includes a 12-credit biblical/theological foundation section. History degree candidates complete 60 major credits, including 27 credits of history courses and 33 credits of education courses. The history section covers topics such as history of economic thought, Western civilization: 1700 to present, and history of American social development. Education courses cover topics such as special education, general methods of teaching, and philosophy of the Christian school movement.
BCF is authorized to provide an online education to residents of most U.S. states, and the college offers the same tuition rate to all learners, regardless of residency. Students seeking teaching certification outside of Florida should consult their state board of education for individual state requirements. BCF's teacher education division can also assist in-state and out-of-state students in determining teacher certification requirements.
Founded in 1966 in Bellevue, Nebraska, BU has maintained a focus on adult education throughout its 50-year history. Today, most of the school's 10,000 students are over the age of 25. BU offers many distance education programs, including an online bachelor's degree in history. For students interested in education careers, the program offers a secondary education track that prepares graduates to teach history for grades 7-12. Most students pursue certification in history or history and social science.
The online bachelor of science in history examines the development and movement of societies through social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics, teaching students how to analyze historical patterns and relationships. Courses consider the influence of gender, class, and ethnicity on historical developments, building advanced skills in comparative analysis, critical thinking, research, and communication. The program offers varied approaches to historical study, examining regional, national, and international perspectives.
The degree requires a minimum of 127 credits, which are divided among 36 general education credits, 61 elective credits, and 30 history major credits. The history curriculum includes 10 courses, focusing on topics such as world history, American history, history of Nebraska, foundations of Eastern civilization, and social and political movements in Western civilizations. All BU students must also complete the Kirkpatrick Signature Series — a three-course sequence that explores the intellectual, cultural, and political institutions of Western society.
A nontraditional, fully online college designed for working adults, Excelsior serves more than 36,000 students worldwide. Known for its generous credit transfer policies and flexible distance education programs, the school also provides extensive support for returning students and veterans. Excelsior offers a fully online bachelor's degree in history that trains students to explore societal change over time, synthesizing historical evidence into incisive critical arguments.
Excelsior's bachelor of science in history requires 120 credits, including a minimum of 33 history credits. Degree candidates complete courses in U.S. history, world history, European history, and non-Western history, along with electives that explore specialized historical topics. History majors enjoy many options to fulfill major credit requirements, including unique courses such as witches: a literary and cultural history; pirates on the high seas; and introduction to public history: museums, media, and the material world.
Excelsior offers several ways to help students expedite graduation, including a generous credit transfer system. Students can transfer up to 117 credits toward their bachelor's degree, and the median learner brings in 68 transfer credits. Students can also gain credit for professional certifications, military training, relevant work experience, and college credit exams.
A public college in northern Louisiana, ULM serves more than 8,000 students annually through on-campus and distance education programs. The school's fully online bachelor of arts in history builds skills in research and critical analysis, giving students a broad overview of U.S. and world history. All history majors at ULM must choose a minor, and the school offers several options, including French, Spanish, geography, political science, and communication.
Degree candidates complete 36 credits of history courses, including 12 foundation credits, nine U.S. history credits, nine non-U.S. history credits, and six elective credits. The curriculum covers general and specialized history topics, with many courses that focus on the history of the American South, including Louisiana history; the American Civil War; the Old South; and voodoo, hoodoo, and conjure.
Online learners at ULM benefit from a fully online format that requires no campus visits. The school delivers most courses asynchronously, allowing students to balance assignments with work and family obligations. ULM provides a variety of resources for distance learners, including academic advising, library resources, and technical support.
ULM participates in the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, which enables online learners to enroll in courses at other member institutions. The Electronic Campus offers a wider selection of online courses for history majors, allowing students to take many courses unavailable to traditional on-campus learners.
Founded in 1972 in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU honors the spirit of its namesake, emphasizing self-directed education for working adult students. The school is a longstanding proponent of distance education, with most of its 17,000 students enrolled in online courses. TESU's online offerings include a bachelor of arts in history, which explores major topics in American history, world history, and Western civilization. The program trains students to recognize the interconnectedness of historical periods and identify historical research sources.
TESU's bachelor's degree in history requires a minimum of 120 credits, with 33 credits dedicated to the history major. The history curriculum includes 18 credits of foundation courses, 12 credits of history electives, and a three-credit liberal arts capstone. Core coursework includes required classes in U.S history, historical methods/historiography, non-Western history, and a choice of world history or Western civilization. Elective options include American labor history, gender in American history, history of New Jersey, and the Cold War.
At the program's conclusion, all degree candidates must complete a capstone, which demonstrates their knowledge of history methodologies and their ability to synthesize program concepts. The capstone typically takes the form of an applied research project, requiring students to explore a historical area of interest and produce an in-depth paper or other project. Students must complete most of their required credits before enrolling in the capstone course, which they usually take during their final semester of study.
Based in Victoria, Texas (about 120 miles southwest of Houston), UHV serves more than 4,000 students annually, offering a variety of campus-based and distance education programs. The school's fully online bachelor of arts in history builds a strong liberal arts foundation along with generalized knowledge of major periods in American and world history. Students also develop widely applicable skills in writing, research, critical analysis, and interdisciplinary thinking.
UHV's bachelor's degree in history offers generalist and secondary teacher certification tracks. The generalist concentration requires 18 credits of upper-division history courses. Students can choose to complete a minor in disciplines such as communication, political science, or Spanish. The teacher certification track requires 24 credits of history courses and 24 credits of professional development/education courses. Students who complete the certification track can teach history or social studies for grades 7-12.
UHV offers comprehensive support for distance learners, providing dedicated academic advisors and coaches for students. For degree candidates with less than 45 credits, the school provides student success coaches who assist students with initial general course selections, study strategies, and adjustments to the challenges of higher education. Students with more than 45 credits work with academic advisors from the School of Arts and Sciences, getting help with major course selection and preparation for graduation.
A public college located in Portales — near the Texas border — ENMU serves more than 6,000 students annually, offering online education to students across New Mexico. The school's online bachelor's degree in history teaches students tools to understand the modern world by studying the past. Emphasizing critical thinking and the evaluation of historical sources, the degree offers flexibility to working students and does not have any required campus visits. Online learners also benefit from services like library resources and career counseling.
ENMU offers a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in history. Both degrees hold similar curriculum requirements, though the bachelor of arts requires proficiency in a foreign language; some languages may not offer all required courses online, so students unable to visit campus should check with an advisor to determine course availability. For students interested in teaching at the high school level, ENMU also offers a bachelor of science in social studies with an emphasis in history, which includes secondary social studies licensure.
The history curriculum includes 44 required major credits, including a 17-credit core, 18 credits of upper-division history courses, and nine credits of supplementary courses. The program core introduces topics in historical methods along with surveys of American history, Western civilization, and non-Western civilization. Upper-division courses explore U.S., European, and non-Western history in greater depth, while supplementary courses cover related disciplines, including geography, anthropology, economics, and humanities.
A public college based in central Illinois, UIS serves more than 5,000 students annually, offering a variety of campus-based and distance programs. The school's bachelor's degree in history features a fully online format; however, admission into the online program is only open to students who live at least 50 miles from the UIS campus or those with a documented physical disability.
The history major requires 33 credits: six credits in historical methodology, eight credits of non-U.S. history courses, and 19 credits of upper-division history electives. Methodology courses include a senior capstone seminar. Students enjoy dozens of options to complete the non-U.S. history section, such as Caesar to Charlemagne, ancient sport and spectacle, history of the Soviet Union, and women in Chinese and Japanese history. Students can fulfill electives with any 300- or 400-level history course.
Online students receive comprehensive academic support, with each student assigned both a faculty advisor and an academic advisor. Advisors work with students to design an individualized plan of study aligned with personal and professional goals. UIS recommends that students consult advisors throughout the course of their education, but particularly prior to their first and last semesters.
Consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most innovative colleges in the country, ASU hosts a top distance education program. ASU's academic reputation and comprehensive distance education offerings draw students from around the country. The college's online bachelor's degree in history offers a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous course content, with 7.5-week classes and several start dates each year.
ASU's bachelor of arts in history stresses historical, critical, and comparative perspectives of texts and other sources, with a core curriculum grounded in the humanities. The program also acknowledges the evolving nature of historical research, with an interdisciplinary curriculum that incorporates the natural and social sciences as well as digital media tools and quantitative analysis. History majors complete a total of 45 upper-division credits, including courses such as studies in Asian history, methods of historical inquiry, and history in the wild.
As one of the largest colleges in the country, ASU provides a sizeable selection of community and support services for online learners. Some of the school's numerous student services include libraries, career counseling, disability resources, military support, and online tutoring. Distance students can also work with success coaches through the college's Success Center. These trained professionals offer academic advising, study strategies, tips for adjusting to college life, and connections to additional academic resources.
A member of the University of Louisiana System, NSU serves more than 11,000 students from its main campus in Natchitoches and through a popular distance education program. The school's online bachelor of arts in history offers a multicultural perspective of the past and its relationship to the present, exploring the experiences of Western and non-Western individuals and societies. NSU supports distance learners through a variety of student services, including academic advising, library resources, and career counseling.
The program uses a primarily online format with very limited campus requirements; some courses may require students to visit campus to complete finals or midterms, though most allow for remote test proctoring services. Courses use a mixture of synchronous elements (e.g., live lectures and class meetings) and asynchronous elements (e.g., discussion boards).
History students complete 42 major credits, including 24 required upper-division credits. As part of their upper-division requirements, candidates must complete 12 credits of U.S. history courses and 12 credits of non-U.S./European history courses. Some of the program's courses include slavery in the Americas, Europe since 1945, and history of modern China. NSU also offers an 18-credit Creole studies minor, which explores the cultural heritage of Louisiana and the Creole people.
Located in Huntsville, Texas — about 70 miles north of Houston — SHSU is a major public college that enrolls more than 20,000 students each year. U.S. News & World Report ranks SHSU's online bachelor's programs among the best in the country, and the school's distance offerings include a bachelor of arts in history. Available entirely online with no required campus visits, the program features affordable tuition and flexible enrollment options; students can pick from start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.
The bachelor's degree in history requires 120 credits, including 36 history credits. Degree candidates complete four foundation courses in U.S. history and world history; one course in U.S. history, European history, and world history; and 18 history electives. Students can select from many course options to fulfill major requirements. For example, the American history section includes courses such as urban and suburban history, American diplomatic history, and Mexican Americans since 1848.
History majors must also complete 14 credits in a foreign language as well as an 18-credit minor. SHSU offers several relevant minors for history majors online, including American studies, French, geography, political science, and Spanish. For candidates interested in pursuing a career in education, the history major offers an optional teacher certification track that prepares participants to teach history or social studies at secondary schools.
A small public college that serves around 1,200 students annually, UMPI offers a variety of distance programs, including a bachelor's degree in history. This fully online degree track explores the impact of globalization and cultural conflict on historical change, giving students a broad understanding of American, European, and non-Western history. Full-time students typically complete the program in about four years, though summer course options enable some candidates to finish in three years.
Degree candidates complete a total of 120 credits, taking at least 48 credits within the history major. The history curriculum includes 21 credits of foundation courses, 15 credits of history electives, six credits of political science courses, and six credits of foreign language courses. Foundation courses include world civilization, U.S. history, non-Western history, and pre-modern history. Candidates enjoy many options when fulfilling elective requirements, including unique options like films of the Cold War and zombies in American culture
Online learners benefit from support services, including full-time academic advisors who serve as teachers and student success coaches. Advisors assist with course selection, degree planning, and credit transfer. UMPI offers several pathways to earn credit for relevant professional experiences, such as professional certifications, trainings, and work experience. Students can also complete faculty-designed Challenge Exams, which assess subject mastery, or submit a portfolio of relevant work.
A public college based in Russellville, ATU serves around 10,000 students annually. The school's online bachelor's degree in history features an interdisciplinary curriculum that incorporates relevant topics in behavioral science, geography, economics, communication, and political science. Students gain a broad understanding of history methodologies along with political theory and international relations, learning to research, evaluate, and integrate relevant historical sources.
The history curriculum includes foundations in world history and U.S. history, along with required courses in European history, historical methods, public history, and the history of Arkansas. Candidates must also complete 15 credits of upper-level history courses, with required courses in U.S. and world/European history. Degree candidates enjoy a variety of options to fulfill curriculum requirements, choosing from courses like Latinos in the United States, the frontier in American history, grant writing for historians, and digital history.
History majors enjoy multiple opportunities to complete internships or practicum experiences during their junior or senior year. Taking place in a relevant professional setting, such as a museum, historical society, or government agency, these experiences allow students to apply academic learning to professional practice under close supervision. For students who reside near ATU's campus, the school offers a practicum in public history, which explores the skills, theories, and concepts that characterize contemporary public history practice.
A major public college in Grand Forks, UND offers an online bachelor of arts in social science. This interdisciplinary program allows candidates to devise their own course of study under faculty supervision. Students choose from at least three primary fields of study, with options including history, geography, anthropology, political science, and economics. Given the varied nature of interdisciplinary study, not all courses are available online; however, UND offers enough courses for students to complete their degree entirely online.
Degree candidates complete 120 credits, at least 60 of which must be dedicated to their primary area of study. Online learners pursuing studies in history can follow a course of study similar to UND's bachelor's degree in history, completing courses in North American history, European history, and world history. Some of UND's history course offerings include women in early America, the invention of Latin America, and European social history. At least 24 of the degree's 60 major credits must be upper-division courses.
Social science majors can augment their history knowledge with specialized studies in related disciplines. For example, candidates interested in the relationship between history and geography can take courses such as population geography, community development, and historical geography. Alternatively, those interested in the political dimensions of history might complete courses in comparative politics, urban politics and administration, and American political thought.
Located in Thibodaux, Louisiana — about 50 miles southwest of New Orleans — Nicholls enrolls over 6,000 students each year through campus-based and distance education programs. The school's online bachelor's degree in history offers flexibility for working students, with a fully online format and accelerated eight-week courses. The program emphasizes American, European, and Asian history, teaching students to critically interpret history and identify historical connections to contemporary issues.
The history major requires candidates to complete a minimum of 36 major-related credits, divided evenly between required courses and history electives. Required courses cover major topics in U.S. history, world history, and Western civilization, while electives include courses such as pop culture in America and Russian history. History majors can complete an academic minor, such as geography, political science, or sociology. Students who plan to pursue graduate study are encouraged to complete a foreign language course sequence.
History majors conclude their studies with a capstone seminar in history, which requires students to synthesize major program concepts and develop their own original research concerning an approved topic of their choice. Degree candidates can also complete a history internship at a museum, cultural organization, or similar setting. Internships allow students to gain practical history experience and develop professional connections in the field. Online learners typically complete internships near their homes.
A public college based in Adelphi, Maryland, UMUC focuses primarily on online education, serving more than 90,000 students worldwide. The school boasts more than 20 years of distance education experience, and UMUC was one of the first institutions in the country to offer history programs online. The school's bachelor's degree in history uses a fully online format, though UMUC offers some hybrid courses that include campus sessions at its main academic campus in Largo or satellite locations around the Baltimore-Washington metro area.
UMUC's bachelor of arts in history trains students to research, interpret, evaluate, and present historical knowledge from a variety of sources, applying historical precedents to contemporary issues. Framing the study of history in a moral and ethical context, the degree also trains students to communicate fluently about history to diverse audiences. For candidates interested in teaching history, the program segues into UMUC's online master of arts in teaching program, enabling history majors to reduce required master's coursework by 12 credits.
The history curriculum comprises 33 credits, including 21 core credits and 12 elective credits. The program core covers key topics in historical methods, historical writing, U.S. history, and world history. Elective selections enable students to concentrate their studies, with two optional focus areas available in U.S. history or world history. Degree candidates can also select their own path of study to create a customized focus.
A major public college based in Tucson, UA enrolls more than 44,000 students annually, with an online program that serves students across the country. The school's bachelor of arts in history offers a holistic approach to the field, synthesizing macro concepts (e.g., economics, politics, and religion) with micro subjects (e.g., family dynamics and workplace behavior). Encompassing knowledge in the arts, humanities, and sciences, this interdisciplinary program encourages students to discover, interpret, record, and preserve the human experience.
UA's online bachelor's degree in history requires a minimum of 42 upper-division credits. Courses cover topics in U.S., Western, and world history. Some of the program's unique courses include history of crime in America: 1607-present, the culture of food and health in Japan, the history of epidemics, and games and play in medieval and early modern Europe. All history candidates must also complete four semesters of foreign language courses.
Near the end of the program, students complete a senior history capstone, which takes the form of an extensive research essay on an approved topic. Students complete a research proposal and several drafts of the essay, which must demonstrate an understanding and synthesis of major program concepts. The capstone concludes with a presentation of student research to faculty and peers. History majors typically complete their capstone experience during their last or second-to-last semester.
Serving more than 21,000 students annually, UofM ranks among the largest colleges in Tennessee. Students earning a bachelor's degree in history through the UofM Global platform benefit from a highly flexible, fully online program with no required campus visits. Distance learners can also access support services, including academic advising and tutoring.
History candidates complete 33 major-related credits, including foundational courses in U.S. history and world history. Students must complete a minimum of 21 upper-division history credits, including at least six credits of non-European, non-U.S. history. History majors can complete up to 18 credits of study in one of seven main areas: African, ancient, Asian, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or United States history. Online courses include Tennessee history and history of the Byzantine Empire.
All online students can complete up to 12 credits of history internships Typically taking place at government agencies, cultural organizations, or other relevant agencies, internships allow students to experience practical applications of history. Online students commonly intern with organizations in their local community, and UofM may assist with placements. While internships can be repeated for up to 12 credits, only six of these credits count toward history major requirements.
A public college in central Nebraska, UNK serves more than 7,000 students annually. UNK offers two online history programs: a traditional bachelor of arts in history and a bachelor of science in history - social science comprehensive. The BA focuses on general U.S., European, and non-Western history, while the interdisciplinary BS emphasizes the connection between history and other social sciences, like psychology and sociology. Both degrees require 120 credits and are available fully online.
The online BA in history requires 36 major credits, including 12 credits of foundation courses in American history and Western civilization. Students can also fulfill foundation requirements with courses in non-Western world history or introduction to Latin American history. History majors fulfill their remaining 24 credits with advanced electives, dedicating nine credits to U.S. history, nine credits to European history, and six credits to non-Western history.
UNK's BS in history - social science comprehensive requires 60 major credits and includes similar foundation requirements to the traditional history degree. Candidates also complete 27 credits of social science courses, choosing one primary field of study from five options: economics, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology. Candidates complete 15 credits in their primary field and three credits in the other fields.
All history students complete a culminating capstone course, which demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between history and other fields of study.
UCF's bachelor of arts in history explores the cultural, historical, and societal forces that shape the modern world, training students to engage in critical thinking and analysis. This fully online bachelor's degree in history offers open enrollment with no set admission requirements (outside of a GED certificate or high school diploma), making the program suitable for students of all backgrounds.
History candidates complete a minimum of 36 major credits, including at least 18 credits of upper-division history courses. Students take core courses in Western civilization and world civilization, along with a core requirement in history and historians. All candidates must also complete 21 credits of approved history electives, with at least 18 credits dedicated to three of four geographic regions: Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; Britain and Europe; Latin America; and the U.S. and Canada.
At the end of the program, all students must submit a history portfolio that compiles their best work. This capstone portfolio should demonstrate mastery of program learning objectives and key topics in history and historiography. Candidates interested in pursuing graduate studies in history can enroll in an accelerated BA/MA pathway that enables students to complete both degrees online with fewer total required credits.
Serving more than 26,000 students annually, UWM ranks as the largest college in the Milwaukee area. The school's online bachelor's degree in history stresses critical analysis, problem-solving, and communication skills, training students about both the practical and theoretical dimensions of history.
Degree candidates complete 36 credits for their history major, including six credits in European history, six credits in U.S. history, and nine credits in non-Western or world history. Students end the program with a seminar in history, although those with a minimum 3.3 GPA and advisor approval may complete a two-semester history thesis instead.
UWM emphasizes research for students of all levels, offering opportunities for undergraduates — even during their first year. Working alongside faculty and graduate students, UMW's undergraduates can gain significant research experience and even publish in peer-reviewed journals. The school's undergraduate opportunities make it a good choice for students looking to pursue graduate study.
UWM serves students around the state, offering advising services at many of its two-year campuses, including Waukesha, Marinette, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, and Rock County. Advisors at these locations can help students transfer seamlessly into UWM's online history program, assisting with credit transfer processes and other application requirements. While UWM offers all required history courses online, other requirements — such as language courses — may only be available on campus.
Founded in 2002 in Henderson, NSC primarily serves working adults, with more than half of its 4,200 students attending part time or identifying as first-generation college students. Accordingly, the school offers flexible distance education programs, including an online bachelor of arts in history. Exploring major topics in historical research, theories, and methodologies, the program offers an average of six online or hybrid history courses each semester.
NSC's bachelor's degree in history requires 36 credits, divided between a 12-credit core and 24 credits of electives. The core includes courses in U.S. history, historical investigation, and a senior seminar in history. Elective courses cover specialized historical topics, and students must complete at least nine credits focused on one of two major areas: cultural and social diversity in the United States or non-American/non-European history. Candidates end the program with a senior seminar, which combines skills in research, analysis, and writing.
Online learners enjoy access to many helpful resources, including academic tutoring. NSC's Academic Success Center offers one-on-one and group tutoring sessions during regular campus hours, along with workshops and other supplemental instruction sessions. For students unable to visit campus, NSC offers access to 24/7 online tutoring in most subjects through Smarthinking. Students also benefit from resources such as admissions counseling, academic advising, and career services.
A public college located in Moscow — near the Idaho-Washington border — U of I offers a BA and a BS in history, with both tracks available online. Students in the BA track can select from optional concentrations in American history, European history, or a generalist concentration, while the BS only offers a generalist concentration. U of I offers in-state tuition to all full-time online students, making this bachelor's degree in history a practical choice for students, regardless of where they live.
U of I's history program emphasizes experiential learning, and students enjoy many opportunities for hands-on activities and internships. All first-year students complete an introductory research course, while sophomores must take a historical methods course. The program also offers opportunities for independent and collaborative research, including direct studies courses that enable students to perform research on approved topics of interest. Seniors end their studies with a research capstone seminar that integrates key program topics.
All online degree candidates can complete a professional internship in an approved professional setting, such as a government agency, museum, or historical society. U of I can help students find internships at various locations around the state, and most participants intern with an organization in their community. In the past, U of I students have interned with U.S. senators, the U.S. State Department, and the Idaho State Historical Museum.
Located in La Grande, EOU is a small public college that serves around 3,700 students annually. The school's small size enables students to work closely with faculty. Candidates in the bachelor of arts in history program take upper-level courses that commonly feature just 10-15 students. Available online or on campus, EOU's bachelor's degree in history builds skills in writing, reading, research, and critical thinking. Along with affordable tuition, history majors can apply for several history scholarships and fellowships.
Degree candidates complete 60 major-related credits, divided among lower-division courses, core courses, and upper-division courses. Lower-division courses cover foundational topics in U.S. and world history, while the core includes courses in historical methods and research. Upper-division courses cover three major areas: U.S. history, European/world history, and Western/comparative history. Students can choose from several options to fulfill their upper-division credits, such as environmental history, U.S. women's history, and the West in film.
All students end the program with a capstone project, choosing from three options: a thesis, a public history project, or a teaching capstone. The thesis requires candidates to conduct research on an approved historical topic and produce a research paper. The public history option requires students to perform archival, digitization, or museum work. The teaching option requires students to develop a history curriculum for secondary students; this last option may be especially attractive to candidates who wish to become history teachers.
The Advantages of a History Education
Professionals with a bachelor’s in history typically earn more than those with only an associate. Professionals with an associate in history earn an average of $54,000 a year, while professionals who hold a bachelor’s in history earn an average salary of $63,000.
By earning an online bachelor’s degree in history, students strengthen their critical thinking, persuasive writing, and research skills. Through analyzing historical documents and building source-based arguments, history majors build transferable skills that many employers seek in employees. Many of these positions require a bachelor’s. For instance, history majors who become high school teachers must hold a bachelor’s to earn a state teaching license. Similarly, a bachelor’s degree is the entry-level educational requirement for writers, museum curators, and journalists.
While some career paths, such as lawyer or historian, require additional education, a bachelor’s in history leads to above-average salaries in many fields.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Associate Degree in History||$54,000|
|Bachelor's Degree in History||$63,000|
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
History Degree Salary Information
A versatile degree, a bachelor’s in history prepares graduates for careers in business, education, the nonprofit sector, and government. Many history graduates pursue advanced degrees, including in history and law, to become historians or lawyers. The degree also leads to entry-level roles in public history, writing, and museums. The critical thinking, research, and persuasive writing skills gained during a history degree help graduates pursue multiple career paths.
- High School Teacher
- High school teachers create lesson plans, instruct students, and assess student learning in several different subject areas. With a bachelor’s in history, educators can teach U.S. history, world history, European history, civics, and U.S. government. To earn a state teaching license, candidates may need additional teacher preparation training.
- Museum Curator
- Museum curators direct the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of museum collections. They research historical items, categorize material in the collection, and manage educational programs. Many museum curators design exhibits and programs to educate the public on the collection. They also oversee museum technicians.
- Historians conduct research to understand the past based on historical documents and sources. They analyze and interpret sources to reach conclusions about the past, and many historians write on their findings. A bachelor’s meets the entry-level requirement for some historian positions, though other roles require a master’s or higher.
- Writers create content for books, magazines, scripts, advertisements, and other media. They write fictional and nonfictional material, including biographies, often working with editors to improve and shape drafts for publication. Some writers create advertising copy, while others write speeches, scripts, or web content. A bachelor’s in history prepares writers with research, critical thinking, and writing skills.
- Journalists inform the public about current events and news and work for newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and websites. They conduct research and interview people to craft news stories, which they prepare for print, online, or broadcast sources. Journalists typically work closely with editors to identify, develop, and improve stories.
Salary by Experience Level for History Careers
|High School Teacher||$40,000||$42,000||$48,000||$55,000|
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Choosing an Online History Degree Program
Prospective history students face many choices when considering an online bachelor’s degree in history. Students can feel overwhelmed when narrowing down the options. Considering several factors can help students choose the best program for their career goals and interests.
For instance, prospective students can consider degrees with the lowest program costs. In general, in-state, public colleges and universities charge the lowest tuition rates, while private institutions charge the highest rates. However, some public institutions offer flat tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, and many private institutions provide financial aid to lower the cost.
- Program Cost: The price of an online history degree varies depending on the institution, with public schools often charging the lowest tuition rates. In addition to tuition costs, prospective students should research online fees, technology fees, and the estimated cost of books. Financial aid, including scholarships and grants, can help cover program costs.
- Transfer Policies: Prospective students with extensive transfer credits should look for a history program with a generous transfer credit policy. Applying transfer credits to cover general education and elective requirements can significantly shorten the length when obtaining a history bachelor degree online. Applicants can contact an admissions advisor to learn more about transfer policies.
- School Size and Type: Some students prefer the small class sizes and lower student-to-faculty ratio at small schools, while others prefer a larger cohort of history majors and the more extensive alumni network of large institutions. In addition to school size, students may prefer either a public or private institution.
- Program Length: While most bachelor’s programs take four years, the total length of an online bachelor’s degree in history varies depending on program requirements. Students may look for programs with part-time or accelerated options, which shape program length. Many programs offer transcript evaluations to determine how many semesters students must complete to earn their degree.
- On-Campus Requirements: Online history programs may include on-campus requirements, such as an on-campus orientation or residency weekends. Local students may prefer programs with on-campus requirements, while those considering programs out of state might want a 100% online program.
Accreditation for Online History Degrees
Prospective history students should always check a school’s accreditation status before applying. Accredited institutions meet the highest standards for conferring degrees, which communicates to potential employers the value of a candidate’s degree.
Accreditation benefits undergraduates in several ways. Accredited degrees meet the qualifications for many professional certifications and licenses. For instance, states typically require an accredited degree to earn a teaching license. History majors considering graduate programs often need an accredited bachelor’s degree to gain admission. Also, accredited institutions meet the qualifications to offer federal financial aid.
To earn accreditation, colleges and universities agree to a voluntary review from an independent accrediting agency. These agencies evaluate an institution’s graduation requirements, student learning outcomes, and faculty qualifications. Accredited institutions must renew their status on a regular basis through additional evaluations. Both regional and national accrediting agencies grant institutional accreditation; for liberal arts and research institutions, regional accreditation remains the highest standard.
In addition to institutional accreditation, degree-granting programs can hold programmatic accreditation in a particular field. For instance, business schools, teacher preparation programs, and counseling programs often hold programmatic accreditation. History departments undergo review during the regional accreditation process rather than through separate programmatic accreditation, so prospective history majors should look for regionally accredited colleges or universities.
History majors often choose a concentration to specialize their degree. These concentrations train students for advanced study in a particular topic, including through a graduate program in history. A concentration can also prepare graduates for specific career paths. A public history concentration, for example, helps graduates work in museums or archives.
- U.S. History:
One of the most common history concentrations, U.S. history studies America from the colonial era to today. Within the concentration, students can focus on early American history, 19th century U.S. history, or 20th century U.S. history. Most bachelor’s programs offer multiple U.S. history courses and electives.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: High school teacher, museum curator, historian
- European History:
A European history concentration explores the history of Europe from the ancient period through the medieval, early modern, and modern eras. The concentration examines social, political, military, and cultural change over Europe’s history. Students often choose a period within European history, such as 19th and 20th century Europe, Renaissance Europe, or medieval Europe.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Historian, high school teacher, foreign service officer
- Military History:
A military history concentration examines military conflicts, changes to military technology and tactics, and the role of the military in statecraft. Students study historical conflicts, including the Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Hundred Years’ War to explore the causes and resolutions of historical wars.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Intelligence officer, foreign service officer, high school teacher
- Women and Gender Studies:
Many history departments offer a concentration in women and gender studies, through which students explore changing notions of gender roles, the evolving place of women in the public sphere, and notions of masculinity and femininity. The concentration may include the impact of gender theories on policy-making, medicine, and the economy.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: High school teacher, museum curator, social activist
- Public History:
A public history concentration trains students to convey historical information to the public, with an emphasis on museum studies and historic preservation. Students learn how to design history exhibits, use methodologies in the field, and conduct research for public history projects. The concentration prepares graduates for positions in museums, archives, historical societies, and libraries.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Museum curator, archivist, museum worker, librarian
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in History?
Earning a bachelor of history online typically takes four years for full-time students. Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 credits of coursework, which includes general education requirements, major coursework, and electives. Several program characteristics shape the length of a bachelor’s in history, including graduation requirements and enrollment options. Some programs, for instance, require a senior thesis or internship, which can add time to the degree.
Online programs often design their curriculum for working professionals balancing school with their career. However, students may prefer a part-time option, which can add time to the degree. Students interested in earning their bachelor’s in less time can choose an accelerated enrollment option, which includes higher course loads or accelerated classes.
Similarly, undergraduates with transfer credits can finish their degree faster by choosing a school with a generous transfer credit policy. Many bachelor’s programs accept up to 90 credits toward a 120-credit degree, meaning students can earn their bachelor’s in history in as little as one year.
Courses in an Online Bachelor's in History Program
- World History
Many history programs include survey courses on world history, which cover the ancient world through the modern world. Topics in world history courses include the development of civilizations, empires, and different forms of government; changing social and economic systems; and the role of trade, disease, and technology in history.
- U.S. History
American history survey courses examine the development of U.S. history from the colonial era to today. The course explores the causes of the American Revolution and the Civil War, political and economic history, and social movements. The class prepares history majors for advanced courses in U.S. history.
- 20th Century Military History
Courses on 20th century military history examine the diplomacy and military conflicts of the era, including World War I and World War II. Students learn about military technology, evolving military strategy, and theories of military history. The course may also examine the Cold War, the Suez crisis, and the Gulf War.
- Renaissance and Reformation
Renaissance and Reformation courses examine European history from the 15th through 17th centuries, exploring cultural and religious movements that impacted people’s lives. The course may address Luther’s reasons for breaking with the Catholic Church, the impact of the Black Plague on the Renaissance, and the emergence of modern states.
- History of Science
Courses on the history of science explore changing explanations for the natural world, from ancient Greek Aristotelian physics through Copernicus and the modern era. The course may examine the Scientific Revolution, the rise of Darwinism and theories of evolution, and modern technology.
Paying for Your Online Bachelor's in History Degree Program
Degree-seekers should not let education costs keep them from earning an online bachelor's degree in history. By applying for grants, scholarships, and work studies, learners can significantly reduce their expenses. In addition, federal grants can help students pay for the rest of their degree, and these loans may qualify for loan forgiveness. To apply for federal grants and scholarships, complete the FAFSA.
Scholarships for Accounting Students
Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution awards this scholarship to college juniors or seniors studying history, political science, government, or economics. Each year, the organization chooses two individuals to earn this scholarship. For specific requirements, email EnidHallMemorialScholarship@NSDAR.org.
The Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Each year, The Daughters of the American Revolution selects two outstanding high school students for this award. Applicants need least a 2.5 GPA, demonstrate an interest in history, and plan to pursue a history major at a full-time accredited university in the United States.
Annual Constitution Essay Student Scholarship Contest
Who Can Apply: The National Rifle Association and the National Foundation for Women Legislators team up every year to select six winners in their scholarship essay contest for women. Applicants must write an essay about the Constitution.
Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students who plan to take at least 24 credits in American history and American government may apply. This scholarship offers $2,000 per year, and it is renewable for students who continue to study in this field and maintain at least a 3.25 GPA.
Amount: Up to $8,000
Catherine W. Pierce Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students studying art or an art history discipline may apply for this scholarship. Recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA. Learners can apply by completing an online application and submitting transcripts. They must also write a one-page essay explaining their inspiration for choosing their career and describing their future career goals.
Amount: Up to $4,350
Popular with our students.
Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.
Take the next step toward your future with online learning.
Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.