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Ancient History Degree Programs

Ancient history programs study cultures of the ancient world and are offered at the bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree level. Classes may cover mythology, religion and ancient languages. Continue reading for more information about what you can learn as well as job options for graduates of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

What Is An Ancient History Degree?

Ancient history degree programs take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the cultures of the ancient world, looking to various fields within the humanities to gain an understanding of these formative civilizations. You'll study the politics, art, languages, religions and philosophies of the earliest societies. These programs tend to focus primarily on the civilizations of the general Mediterranean region. A bachelor's degree program in ancient history is less commonly available than programs at the graduate level. The title of the undergraduate degree may vary slightly, often appearing as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Ancient Civilizations.

Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees available
Common Undergraduate Courses Ancient cities, classical mythology, ancient religions
Common Graduate Courses Archaeology, ancient Egypt, philology, ancient texts
Career Options Archaeologist, librarian, historian, professor
Median Salary (2018)$74,590 (for postsecondary history teachers)*
Job Outlook (2018-28)6% growth (for all postsecondary history teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

In a baccalaureate degree program, courses will include in-depth looks at various historical topics. Many schools will also require you to study Latin. You may be able to complete some of your ancient history courses online, depending on the program. Examples of some possible ancient history degree program course topics follow:

  • Women in the ancient world
  • Ancient cities and sanctuaries
  • Classical mythology
  • Near Eastern philosophy
  • Spirituality and religion in the ancient world

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ancient History degree program will generally provide you with the opportunity to further research whichever particular ancient cultures are of interest to you. Many of these programs also feature an emphasis on Latin and other languages significant to the degree. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs may look similar to master's-level programs in the field, while also requiring you to prepare, present and defend a relevant doctoral dissertation. You may research subject matter related to:

  • Archaeology
  • Ancient texts
  • Egypt in the ancient world
  • Historical research methodologies
  • Philology and ancient languages

What Kind of Jobs Are Available?

After completing a B.A. in Ancient History, you might wish to earn the credentials to teach at the secondary level. You may have more opportunities to work in other fields more directly related to ancient history if you further your education at the graduate level. You could work as an archaeologist, librarian or historian. As a recipient of an M.A. or Ph.D., you may also elect to teach as a professor.