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The Best Online Master's in History 2020

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Students passionate about history and culture can pursue a variety of career opportunities after earning a master's degree in history.

A master's in history is a research-focused graduate program that usually requires 30-60 credits and takes around two years to complete. These programs may examine different fields, such as economics and sociology, as they relate to historical events, cultures, individuals, and movements.

History is an expansive field, including everything that has occurred over time, so students have innumerable options for personalization. Learners can study topics like legal history, historic preservation, history of a specific country or culture, historic literature, or the history of medicine.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), historians earn a median annual salary of $63,680, and jobs are projected to grow 6% between 2018-2028.

This page ranks the best online master's in history programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers for graduates.

Top 10 Online Master's in History Programs 2020

#1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
#2 Florida International University Miami, FL
#3 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
#4 Norwich University Northfield, VT
#5 University of Massachusetts-Boston Boston, MA
#6 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
#7 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
#8 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
#9 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
#10 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA

The Best Online Master's in History Programs 2020

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4

Norwich University 

Northfield, VT

About this school

Norwich is the oldest private military university in the nation; it was founded over 200 years ago. Its core values include tolerance, moral conduct, service, and academic excellence. Annual enrollment includes nearly 2,600 on-campus students and over 1,400 online learners.

Norwich offers nearly 20 online programs, including a master's degree in history. This degree requires 36 credits and a one-week residency, and students can graduate in as little as 18 months. Students can choose from tracks in public history, American history, world history, or legal and constitutional history. Each track requires a culminating capstone course or a thesis.

Courses may include archival studies, military thought and theory, directed readings in history, or 20th century America. Coursework provides the breadth and depth of understanding that graduates need to pursue careers like intelligence analyst, legislative staffer, or archivist. Norwich provides online students with a student support advisor, librarian research and resource support, a writing center, and technical support.

Graduate admission does not require GRE or GMAT scores. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a resume, three professional references, a letter of intent, and official transcripts. Norwich accepts up to 12 transfer credits from approved schools.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
62%
Percent Receiving Loans
73%
5

University of Massachusetts-Boston 

Boston, MA

About this school

UMass Boston is a public university and a member of the University of Massachusetts system. UMass Boston offers over 190 degrees across 10 colleges and schools, with nearly 16,000 students from 144 countries every year. While students can earn their degrees on campus, UMass Boston strives to accommodate working professionals through online coursework.

The College of Liberal Arts offers a 30-credit, online master's in history that prepares graduates for roles in academia, secondary education, and Ph.D. programs. Course options include theory and practice of European fascism, history of New York City, Native American history in the public sphere, and the progressive era.

History courses require up to 300 pages of reading each week and 25 pages of writing throughout the semester on average. UMass Boston uses the Blackboard online learning management system for distance coursework. Students can access support tools, including online tutoring and technical support.

Admission requirements include three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a maximum 10-page writing sample, and official transcripts. While UMass Boston does not require the GRE, students should consider taking the exam to establish a competitive edge. The Graduate Committee also values applicants with a minimum 3.33 GPA and an undergraduate degree in history.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
48%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
6

Louisiana Tech University 

Ruston, LA

About this school

Founded in 1894, Louisiana Tech is a public university that values economic development, teaching, and immersive learning experiences. Students can access over 100 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Louisiana Tech strives to accommodate diverse learning needs. For instance, nontraditional students considering a master's degree in history can earn their degrees with no in-person requirements.

This online history master's offers both a thesis and a non-thesis track. Students planning to earn a Ph.D. should complete the 30-credit thesis track, which includes six thesis credits, 15 500-level course credits, and elective credits. The non-thesis track requires 33 credits with at least 21 500-level course credits.

Courses include introduction to historiography and introduction to historical research. Louisiana Tech uses an asynchronous learning format, which allows working students to complete assignments on their own time. At the beginning of the course, professors provide a syllabus that outlines deadline dates. Assignments may include essays, group projects, exams, and supplemental readings.

Louisiana Tech provides distance learners with an academic advisor, technical support, and an online writing center. Admission to the program requires a GRE score, 21 credits in history, a statement of purpose, and official transcripts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
7

University of North Carolina Wilmington 

Wilmington, NC

About this school

UNCW is a public research school and a member of the University of North Carolina System. School values include research, service, and creative inquiry. With nearly 17,500 enrolled, the student body represents multiple states and 15 countries. Students can access nearly 100 programs, including over 35 graduate programs.

Students considering a history master's can earn their degrees online at UNCW. This degree requires at least 30 credits, including 24 history credits and 12 concentration credits. UNCW offers multiple tracks, including both thesis and non-thesis tracks, a specialty track for educators, and a public history track. UNCW accepts up to six transfer credits from approved programs.

Courses include topics in Latin American history, topics in African history, European colloquium, and seminar in U.S. environmental history. UNCW requires students to complete a comprehensive exam in order to graduate. Distance learners can access an online bookstore, digital databases, career services, and a writing center. UNCW also provides an academic advisor, who assists students throughout the duration of the program.

Admission to the program requires GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a 250-word essay, and a writing sample. UNCW participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, which helps out-of-state learners from member states earn their degrees.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
8

Western Kentucky University 

Bowling Green, KY

About this school

Founded in 1906, WKU offers 175 programs to over 17,000 students annually. School values include diversity, inclusion, and applied learning experiences. In fact, WKU is recognized as a Gilman Top Producing Institution for sending the most first-generation college students and minorities abroad in STEM fields. WKU designs its curricula to meet the needs of working students through online programs.

Students interested in a history master's can earn their degrees online without ever attending class on campus. Graduates gain pertinent knowledge and skills that can lead to careers in academia or secondary schools. This non-thesis degree requires 36 credits, and students typically earn their degrees in three years.

WKU's history master's program offers multiple concentrations, including pre-modern Europe and world, modern Europe, non-western world, pre-Civil War United States, and post-Civil War United States. Core courses include statistics and historiography.

This program allows up to nine transfer credits from an approved graduate program. Distance learners can access online resources, including an IT service desk, bookstore, digital databases, and online tutoring.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, at least a 3.0 GPA, a 750-word personal statement, and a five-page sample research paper. Students also need to complete the GRE.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
9

Sam Houston State University 

Huntsville, TX

About this school

SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System and one of the oldest public schools in the state. Enrollment includes over 21,500 students every year, with 160 degrees offered in traditional classrooms or online. Over 75% of SHSU students work while earning their degrees.

Distance learners at SHSU can access an online master's in history that does not require in-person attendance and prepares them for careers in civil service, academia, or secondary schools, or to pursue a Ph.D. in history. This degree requires 30-36 credits and offers three concentrations: rights and identity; war and violence; and encounters and exchanges.

Courses include methods in history, recent African-American history, the Japanese colonial empire, and legacies of the reformations. Students may choose to complete a written portfolio that does not require a presentation or a thesis. SHSU offers library services, a writing center, online tutoring, and student mentoring for distance learners. SHSU also pairs students with an academic advisor.

Admission requires GRE scores, a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, and official transcripts. SHSU accepts up to six credits for thesis students and nine credits for non-thesis students.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
10

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania 

Slippery Rock, PA

About this school

SRU is a public university and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. School values include diversity, leadership, and applied learning experiences. Students can access over 190 degrees in traditional classroom settings and online.

Distance learners at SRU can earn a master's degree in history that does not require any in-person sessions. This degree requires 30 credits, including three required credits and 27 course selection credits. Students must complete a comprehensive exam to graduate and typically earn their degrees in two years with full-time attendance.

Courses include ancient Roman history and legacy, Russia in the twentieth century, Mexico and the southern cone, and the history of medicine. Distance learners access coursework through the Desire2Learn online learning management system. Courses may follow a synchronous or asynchronous format. Assignments offer opportunities for engagement through group work or discussion forum posts.

Courses in the fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks, and the optional intensive summer sessions are 12 weeks. Admission to the program requires official transcripts, a 500-word essay analyzing a current event from a historical perspective, a 3.0 GPA at minimum, and a letter of intent.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
80%
11

Missouri State University-Springfield 

Springfield, MO

About this school

Missouri State is the second largest university in Missouri, with over 24,100 students representing nearly all 50 states and 85 countries every year. Missouri State prioritizes academic excellence and student-centered learning. School pillars include ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement. Students can access nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Working students considering online options can earn a master's in history at Missouri State. This degree prepares graduates for careers in fields like journalism, public history, and educational leadership. The degree offers three tracks: American studies, global area studies, U.S. and world, and the secondary education sub-track. While this program does not require a thesis, students planning to earn Ph.D.s should complete one.

This program requires 30 credits, and students typically earn their degrees in 18 months. Missouri State also offers an accelerated option, which allows students to earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in history within five years. Admission to the accelerated program requires a recommendation letter from a faculty member and a minimum 3.25 GPA, and students may apply during their junior year.

Admission to the traditional program requires three letters of recommendation, a 2,000-word writing sample, and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Missouri State does not require the GRE.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
12

University of Nebraska at Kearney 

Kearney, NE

About this school

UNK is the oldest school in Nebraska. It values multidimensional learning, public service, and innovation. Classes typically do not exceed a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Students at UNK can continue working while earning an online master's degree in history that teaches them how to analyze historical evidence. UNK offers both thesis and non-thesis tracks, each designed to prepare students for careers in fields like education, business, or law. There is also a specialty track for public history. Non-thesis students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher and compile a comprehensive portfolio of essays.

This degree requires 36 credits, and students may enroll part or full time. Courses include museums and historic site interpretation, public history administration, community history, and national parks history. Distance learners access courses through the Canvas online learning management system, and coursework typically follows an asynchronous format.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with at least 18 credits in history, at least a 3.25 GPA, a letter of intent describing students' professionals goals and interests, and two letters of recommendation, at minimum. Students also need to submit writing samples that display the analytical skills required to successfully complete this program.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
13

Indiana State University 

Terre Haute, IN

About this school

ISU is a public university that offers a diverse college experience. With over 12,000 enrolled annually, the student body represents all 50 states and 65 countries. ISU prioritizes experiential learning in its 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. While students can earn their degrees on campus, ISU also designs its curriculum with distance learners in mind.

Students at ISU can access over 30 programs entirely online, including an online master's degree in history that prepares them for careers in teaching, law, government service, business, and research. This degree requires 33 credits, and students can earn their degrees in two years with full-time attendance or 3-5 years with part-time attendance.

This program offers multiple concentrations, including U.S. history, European history, and history of the wider world. Courses include historical research and methods, social movements in historical context, history of labor in the U.S., race and nationality in the U.S., and women in history. ISU requires a culminating research project to graduate.

Online courses use a synchronous format, which requires live sessions accessed through students' webcams. Assignments may include essays, group projects, and exams. General admission requirements include official transcripts and GRE or GMAT scores. However, individual departments may require additional documentation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
41%
Percent Receiving Loans
67%
14

Pittsburg State University 

Pittsburg, KS

About this school

Established in 1903, Pitt State is a public university and a member of the Kansas Board of Regents. Enrollment exceeds 7,400 students annually, including over 1,400 graduate students. Pitt State prioritizes practical learning, innovation, and accessible coursework. Students can access four colleges both on campus and online.

Students considering a master's in history can earn their degrees online at Pitt State. This program requires 30-33 credits, emphasizes investigative and research skills, and prepares graduates for careers in many industries. The history master's program offers three tracks: a thesis track, an applied research track, and a coursework track, which requires four graduate seminars. Core courses include historical research and historiography.

Pitt State uses the Canvas online learning management system to administer all coursework. Assignments may include interactive discussion board posts, essays, online quizzes, and projects. Distance learners can access student services like the Gorilla Geeks IT Department, academic counseling, and online tutoring through Zoom.

Pitt State offers four annual start dates for this program and in-state tuition for all online learners. Admission to the program requires official transcripts from an accredited school and a personal essay. International applicants also need to submit a current bank statement, a financial statement of support, and a copy of their passport.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
15

Ashland University 

Ashland, OH

About this school

AU has offered postsecondary coursework for over 135 years, designing its coursework through a Christian lens. Core values include character development, innovation, and academic excellence. Enrollment exceeds 6,600 students annually, and students benefit from a 50,000-member alumni association.

AU offers an online master's in history that also requires on-campus sessions during the summer. This degree requires 32 credits and focuses solely on American government and history; students interested in the teaching specialization must complete an additional four credits. Students can earn the degree in 15 months with full-time attendance. AU also offers exam, thesis, and capstone tracks.

Distance learners can access coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. Courses use a synchronous format in which students engage with their peers through live online sessions. Assignments typically include essays, quizzes, and projects. AU also offers online support tools for distance learners, including tutoring, career services, academic counseling, and technical support.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, official transcripts, and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may apply for conditional admittance.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
61%
Percent Receiving Loans
83%
16

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

About this school

Liberty is a private school and one of the largest Christian universities in the United States. Enrollment exceeds 100,000 students annually. Students can access 15 colleges and schools that offer over 700 programs. Liberty prioritizes accessibility and strives to meet the needs of learners through online coursework.

Liberty offers online students over 450 distance programs, including a master's degree in history that prepares graduates for career opportunities across several fields. This program requires 36 credits, and students typically earn their degrees in 18 months. Courses include Protestant reformation, historical methods, historiography, and American Christian heritage.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. Assignments often include supplemental readings, essays, and group projects. Courses follow an eight-week format, and students can choose from eight annual start dates. Liberty provides students with an academic advisor, one-to-one tutoring, and a digital library.

Academic support services include an online writing center, supplemental instruction, technical support, and career services. Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, and official transcripts. Liberty accepts up to 18 transfer credits from approved programs.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
50%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
17

Troy University 

Troy, AL

About this school

Troy has over 130 years of experience offering postsecondary coursework, enrolling approximately 17,000 students from 65 countries each year. Students can benefit from Troy's active alumni network, which has over 160,000 members.

While students can earn their degrees on campus, Troy also offers online options for students who require flexible access to coursework. Offerings include a history master's degree that prepares graduates for work in secondary schools. This degree requires 36 credits, including 18 core credits, 18 history credits, and three certification requirements, if not previously completed.

Required courses include collaboration for inclusion, psychological foundations of education, educational technology in the curriculum, and research methodology. Online courses last for nine weeks and follow an asynchronous format. Assignments include discussion posts, quizzes, and essays. Students engage with classmates and faculty through online chats and email.

Available online tools include career services, tutoring, library services, and technical support. Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.25 GPA, a letter of recommendation, official transcripts, and GRE scores. Students who do not meet the minimum requirements may apply for provisional admission.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
43%
Percent Receiving Loans
81%
18

Southwestern Assemblies of God University 

Waxahachie, TX

About this school

SAGU provides rigorous postsecondary coursework through a Christian lens. School values include academic excellence, civic engagement, and spiritual formation. Students can access over 70 programs offered in both traditional classroom settings or online with no in-person requirements.

The Harrison Graduate School at SAGU offers an online master's degree in history that explores historical topics and prepares graduates for careers in many industries. This degree requires 33-36 credits, depending on the track students select. Track options include thesis, non-thesis, and education.

Courses include biblical backgrounds, research literature and technology, religion in America, and military history. SAGU also offers a historical and cultural study tour, where students receive travel credits.

Students access assignments, gradebooks, and supplementary reading materials through the Blackboard online learning management system. Assignments may include discussion board posts, group projects, and essays. SAGU also provides a career center, a wellness center, academic advisors, and technical support.

Students enrolling after the 2020 spring semester qualify for a 20% grant that awards $1,000 each semester. Admission requirements include a Christian character form, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, at least a 2.5 GPA, and an essay. Transfer students from accredited institutions may apply.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
82%
19

Fort Hays State University 

Hays, KS

About this school

FHSU was the first public school in Kansas. Today, it enrolls over 15,900 students annually, including nearly 7,000 online learners. FHSU has provided distance education for nearly 110 years and now offers over 200 online degree and certificate programs. School values include diversity, innovation, and civic engagement.

FHSU offers an online master's in history that requires at least 30 credits, including three credits in historiography, six seminar credits, and 21 history electives. Students considering a career in academia can complete the thesis track, while non-thesis students must complete a comprehensive exam. Courses include world civilization, approaches to U.S. history, topics in public history, and the American civil rights movement.

FHSU uses the Blackboard learning management system for all online coursework. Assignments include essays, discussion forum posts, and projects. FHSU offers multiple online support tools, including a writing center, tutors through Smarthinking.com, a digital library, and technical support. FHSU courses follow either 16-week or eight-week sessions.

Graduate admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a minimum 2.5 GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate credits. FHSU also participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which allows students to take online courses from other member universities.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
20

Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH

About this school

Every year, SNHU serves over 60,000 students, who benefit from a diverse student body and a vast alumni network with over 100,000 members. SNHU values immersive learning experiences and offers over 200 academic programs.

Students interested in a master's in history can earn their degrees without sacrificing personal and professional responsibilities. The program requires 33 credits, and students can graduate in as little as 15 months. This degree emphasizes advanced research, analysis, and critical thinking. It offers three concentrations: American history, military history, and public history. Courses include comparative history and research, historical lenses and scholarship, digitization of history, and archival management.

This program requires six culminating capstone credits and also offers an optional internship. SNHU provides multiple support services for distance learners, including online peer tutoring, digital databases, and technical support.

Admission requirements include official transcripts from an accredited school, at least a 2.75 GPA, and a graduate attestation form that lists students' final GPAs. Students with at least a 2.0 GPA may apply for provisional acceptance.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
21

Eastern Illinois University 

Charleston, IL

About this school

Established in 1895, EIU enrolls nearly 7,500 students annually and offers 83 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. EIU values inclusion and accessible coursework. While students can earn their degrees in a traditional classroom setting, EIU also offers online programs.

Distance learners can earn a master's degree in history that explores multiple historical fields and prepares graduates for careers as K-12 teachers. This degree requires 32 credits, including 17 core credits and 15 elective credits. Students typically earn their degrees in three years by taking one course each semester and two courses during summer semesters.

Courses include proseminar in American history, proseminar in premodern history, and proseminar in modern world history. Students must complete a culminating capstone course to graduate. EIU requires one five-day, in-person residency during the summer at the beginning of the program.

Students access coursework through the D2L Brightspace learning management system. Assignments often include supplemental reading materials, essays, and projects. EIU provides technical support, live librarian research assistance, and academic advising. Admission requirements include official transcripts and GRE scores. Additional requirements may include writing samples or letters of recommendation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
22

University of North Alabama 

Florence, AL

About this school

UNA is the state's oldest public four-year university, offering some of the lowest tuition rates in the state. Enrollment exceeds 8,000 students annually, with over 170 degrees offered through traditional classroom settings or through the UNA online campus.

Students considering a career teaching K-12 or postsecondary students about the past can earn an online master's degree in history from UNA. This generalist program emphasizes U.S. history, and students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis track. Thesis students must complete the thesis defense course, while non-thesis students must complete a comprehensive exam to graduate.

UNA requires 33 credits, including 15 core credits and 18 elective credits that allow students to customize their degrees. Courses include historiography and methodology, seminar in world history since 1815, seminar in world history until 1815, and seminar in world history since 1877. Students access coursework through the Canvas online learning management system.

Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.75 GPA, GRE scores, a personal essay describing historical areas of interest, and a four-page writing sample. Students should also submit three letters of recommendation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
46%
Percent Receiving Loans
69%
23

University of Louisiana at Monroe 

Monroe, LA

About this school

Founded in 1931, ULM is a public postsecondary school and a member of the University of Louisiana System. Enrollment includes over 9,000 students from nearly 40 states and 47 countries. ULM students can access 96 majors and minors. ULM strives to accommodate nontraditional learners through distance coursework, including 35 online programs.

The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at ULM offers an online master's degree in history that requires 30 credits. This program does not require a thesis, but non-thesis students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate. Students considering a career in academia or a Ph.D. should complete a thesis. Courses may include Native American history, renaissance and reformation, Louisiana in the Civil War and reconstruction, and American heritage.

Online courses follow an eight-week format. Distance learners use the Moodle learning management system to access coursework, gradebooks, discussion forums, and supplementary materials.

Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA or at least a 2.5 GPA with a combined score of 283 on the GRE. Admission requirements also include a bachelor's degree from an accredited school with at least 18 history credits, a sample research paper that does not exceed 10 pages, and recommendation letters.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
24

Union Institute & University 

Cincinnati, OH

About this school

Since 1964, Union has developed innovative methods to meet diverse learning needs. Union has over 50 years of distance learning history and offers many programs 100% online. School values include diversity and inclusion. With just 2,150 students enrolled annually, the Union student body represents 40 states and over 35 countries.

Union offers an online master's in history that allows students to tailor their degrees to meet the requirements of their desired career paths. This 36-credit degree allows students to graduate in 16 months with full-time attendance, though there are also part-time options. Courses include elements of scholarship and research methods.

Online students access coursework through the Brightspace learning management system. Union uses a trimester system, which requires three 10-week terms and offers an extended winter break.

Class sizes typically do not exceed a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Union also provides online resources, including academic counseling, career services, one-on-one tutoring, a writing center, digital databases, and technical support.

Union does not require the GRE, and transfer students from regionally accredited institutions may apply. Union also maintains partnership agreements with schools in other states.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
11%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
25

Wayland Baptist University 

Plainview, TX

About this school

WBU is a Christian university that offers over 65 programs. WBU at large enrolls over 5,100 students across 13 campuses annually, with the Plainview campus hosting about 1,400 students and offering small classroom sizes. WBU prioritizes accessible coursework; distance students can access more than 20 online degrees. School values include applied learning, research, and civic engagement.

WBU offers a 37-credit, fully online master's degree in history with both thesis and non-thesis tracks. Courses include American Civil War and southern reconstruction; U.S. colonial and revolutionary history; ethic and gender history; and post-1945 U.S. history. Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system.

Online courses primarily use an asynchronous format, which allows working students to access and complete coursework at any time of the day. Weekly modules include deadline dates, assignments, and supplementary materials. Students engage with instructors and peers through discussion forums, group chats, and email. WBU offers four 11-week terms, and students need to take at least nine credits to maintain full-time enrollment.

Students have access to online resources like career services, technical assistance, a writing center, and a digital library. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and official transcripts.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
24%
Percent Receiving Loans
75%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in History Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in History Degree?

Master's in history programs cover advanced history topics and typically include concentrations in areas such as ancient, American, military, art, and public history. Unlike undergraduate programs, master's curricula often focus exclusively on the student's concentration.

Regardless of concentration, most history master's students examine research methodologies and learn to differentiate among primary, secondary, and non-scholarly sources. Degree-seekers also learn to analyze and interpret sources for insights on past events. Most students also complete a final project or thesis on a topic relevant to their concentration.

Choosing an Online Program

With so many online master's in history degrees available, students may wonder how to narrow their choices down to just a few options. While the list of programs may feel overwhelming at first, many learners use a process of elimination to create a smaller pool of potential programs.

One of the most important things to consider is the focus of your potential program. Because history encompasses so many eras and subjects, each school offers different courses and research interests. For example, degree-seekers interested in American studies should seek out programs where faculty members are well versed in this subject. Students should also review available concentrations, since this can provide a better sense of the strengths of the department. Learners should also research electives and core curricula.

In addition to core and specialized coursework, most online master's in history degrees require a culminating thesis. These documents usually range from 20,000-40,000 words, exploring a time or topic in history using primary research and independent thought.

How To Choose Your Major

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in History Program?

Offerings vary by program, but the following sections highlight courses and concentrations commonly found in online master's in history programs.

History Concentrations

Modern History

This concentration focuses on history from 1750 to the present. Major events include the Industrial Revolution, both world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Civil Rights movement, decolonization, and the Cold War. Coursework may focus on any part of the world.

European History

This concentration examines the history of the European continent. Students examine the shifting borders of nations and empires across centuries. Topics include wars, pandemics, cultural and social shifts, and modernization. Learners also examine colonialism and foundations of modern governments.

Women's History

This concentration focuses on the role of women throughout history, with special emphasis on power shifts and social dynamics. Students examine how individuals and cultures have viewed a woman's place in society over time.

History Curriculum

Historiography

Usually taken during the first year, this course examines trends in historical research, helping students understand how historical theories and frameworks connect to professional practice as a historian.

History of Modern Medicine

This course assesses how the idea and practice of medicine developed over time, focusing on advancements made in the last two centuries.

American Post WWII

This course analyzes how the U.S. has developed since 1945. Topics include the nation's role as a global superpower, the Cold War (including Korea and Vietnam), and the ongoing struggle for equality for all citizens.

History Professional Organizations

History students and graduates can take advantage of professional organizations. Many organizations offer benefits like professional development, networking, and continuing education opportunities. Professional organizations may also offer funding for research, information on available careers, and student discounts.

American Historical Association

AHA is a nonprofit organization that hosts a yearly meeting with exhibitors and career development opportunities. The association awards fellowships, grants, and prizes for historical endeavors and publishes books, pamphlets, and journals. Members can search for careers through the AHA Career Center.

American Association for State and Local History

AASLH offers professional development webinars, workshops, and classes. The association also hosts a yearly meeting. The group's Career Center offers resume feedback and job listings for history professionals.

National Council on Public History

NCPH provides information on available careers and professional development workshops. The website also delivers resources for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate history education. NCPH publishes a journal, newsletter, and blog on historical topics and hosts a yearly meeting.

History Careers

Historians

Historians study past events, civilizations, and individuals. They may focus on particular eras or topics, such as Ancient Rome or art history. Historians may work in museums, write nonfiction books and articles, or present historical findings through educational lectures. These positions typically require at least a master's degree. Employers may also insist on field experience. Beneficial traits for historians include critical thinking, communication, and research skills.

Median Annual Salary

$63,680

Projected Growth Rate

6%

College Professors

College history professors instruct college students on historical topics. They design lessons, deliver lectures, and assess student learning through exams and projects. They may also advise departments on curriculum changes and publish scholarly articles. Some institutions may require a doctorate for these positions, while others hire master's graduates. Professors benefit from strong communication, public speaking, and research skills.

Median Annual Salary

$79,540

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Political Scientists

Political scientists examine the structures, trends, and impacts of political decisions. They may advise political figures, assist with creating new policies, and deliver presentations on political issues and concepts. More than half of political scientists work for the federal government. Employers usually insist on a graduate degree for these positions. These professionals need strong research, analytical, and communication skills.

Median Annual Salary

$122,220

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master's in History Program?

Most history master's programs take about two years of full-time study to complete.

What Can I Do With a Master's in History?

Graduates with a master's in history can work in roles like political scientist, college professor, and historian.

Can You Get a Master's in History Without a Bachelor's in History?

Many master's in history programs do not require a bachelor's in history for admission, though they usually do require a bachelor's degree of some kind.

Is a History Degree Hard?

History master's degrees are typically challenging yet rewarding, leading to a variety of high-level careers.

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