Online Bachelor's Degree in History
History undergraduate courses explore historical events from many geographical locations and time periods. Learn about online degree requirements, areas of specialization, career options and salary data for related careers. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
How Can I Find a Bachelor's Degree in History Online?
There are a number of schools across the country where you can find programs leading to a bachelor's degree in history. The U.S. Department of Education has an online database of over 100 schools that have been accredited for distance learning post-secondary programs by the Distance Education and Training Council (www.ope.ed.gov). You may find this easier than using the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) database, since the DETC database also includes high school programs.
As an alternative, the National Center for Education Statistics has an online, searchable database that lists over 500 schools offering degree programs in history (www.nces.ed.gov). You can access a school's website to find out details about it, including whether or not the online program meets your specific requirements, accreditation information and how similar the curriculum is to on-campus programs.
|Degree Availability||Over 500 institutions offer an online degree|
|Common Courses||Philosophy, American history, humanities, political science, history|
|Possible Careers||Teacher, archivist, journalist, museum technician, curator|
|Possible Average Salary (2014)||$44,320 - $61,180|
What Are Some Program Specifics?
Generally, it takes four years to complete a program consisting of 120-180 credits, which generally culminates in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History. Schools may feature a degree program presented completely online with no on-campus requirements.
Other schools feature degree-completion programs, which are 2-year B.A. programs that consist entirely of upper-level courses. In order to qualify for admission, you may be required to either hold an associate's degree or have completed all lower-level courses. Hybrid or degree-completion programs at some schools may require you to attend a certain number of traditional, on-campus classes.
Typical courses you might find include American history, non-American history, political science, western civilization, philosophy and humanities. Usually you select a certain number of history electives, which allows you to emphasize or specialize in a time period, era or geographic area. Programs often include a foreign language requirement, as well as a capstone or research project.
Schools can present online programs in a variety of ways, including entirely online, hybrid or by way of interactive video conferencing. For any of these you'll need a computer with high-speed Internet access, sufficient operating system and Web browser. Programs use a course management system, such as Blackboard, by which you attend classes, communicate and submit assignments online. Hybrid programs require you to attend some courses in person, in addition to those you pursue online. Interactive video conferencing is generally course-specific and requires specific hardware and software.
What Are Some Career Possibilities?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most advanced positions in this field, including historian, require that you hold at least a master's degree (www.bls.gov). However, with a bachelor's degree in history, you might qualify for a position in areas such as assistant curator or archivist, market analysis, journalism, law, government, research, writing or museum technician.
The American Historical Association, a professional historical organization in the United States, provides career information for bachelor's degree holders and a job board for members (www.historians.org). Once you complete the appropriate teacher-training program and sit for a licensure examination, your bachelor's degree in history can help qualify you as a public elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher; however, teaching positions at private schools may not require licensure.
What Is the Occupational Outlook & Salary?
In 2015, the BLS projected that employment for historians would increase 2%, while that for teachers would increase 6% from 2014-2024. In May 2014, the BLS reported that the average annual salary for history teachers at the secondary level was $59,330. Museum technicians earned $44,320 and historians earned $61,180 in the same year.
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