Where Can I Find Free Online American History Courses?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides students with the opportunity to learn about American history on their own time. These free courses are available for download. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

American history can be studied online for free with the following courses. Course topics include immigration, war, and culture. These non-credit courses typically include a syllabus and lecture notes, as well as links to free online reading materials. In some cases, you may want to purchase one or more textbooks to get the most from a course, though this isn't required.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosts various American history courses through its OpenCourseWare (OCW) project. You can access course materials for free, without credit.

American History to 1865

What Topics Are Studied?

You'll study American social, economic and political history from the early 1600s through the Civil War. Topics include the first European settlements, Native Americans, the Revolutionary War and expansion beyond the 13 colonies.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could write reviews of two books - one on the history of soldiers in the Seven Years' War and another about the history of Lowell, Massachusetts. Completing assignments isn't required because you won't interact with an instructor.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course provides links to speeches, political documents and newspaper articles by influential writers, politicians and social leaders. You can also access music and poetry from the Civil War era and read syllabi from previous versions of this course.

Readings in American History Since 1877

What Will I Learn?

The course originally aimed to provide students with the knowledge necessary to teach American history. Readings cover a variety of historical topics, including immigration, urbanization, the Great Depression and World War II.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignments include one paper that reviews a course textbook and another that compares two textbooks. You could also write a 15-page historiographic paper on a topic of your choosing. Because you won't be working with an instructor, these assignments are optional.

What Materials Are Available?

There is a bibliography that cites dozens of textbooks, journal articles and other publications on American history since 1877. Guidelines for writing the three papers are also available.

The Places of Migration in United States History

What Topics Are Covered?

Topics focus on the migration of immigrants to the U.S. from the mid-1800s to the 2000s. You'll study migration to Florida, Texas and neighborhoods in San Francisco and New York City. The course also examines the influence of the media on the public's opinions of migration.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could write a 3- to 5-page paper on one of four topics provided and an 11- to 14-page research paper on any topic related to migration. A one-page memo on Mexican immigration to the U.S. may be written as well. These assignments are optional.

What Materials Are Provided?

There are lecture notes on topics such as the Great Migration, the new immigration and multiculturalism. Examples of student research papers, research paper abstracts and memos are also available.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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