PhD in History: Online and Campus-Based Programs

A Ph.D. in history will offer you research opportunities and qualify you to teach at a university. Learn where you can pursue your degree, what coursework will be included, if the degree is available online and what careers you can enter after graduation. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Pursue a Ph.D. In History?

You will find that many schools which offer doctoral-level degrees will include a Ph.D. in history. History is a very flexible subject and a Ph.D. program will allow you to concentrate your studies on the period or area you find most interesting, including American history, world history, history of gender, diplomatic history, African-American history and intellectual history.

Once you choose your area of interest, you will spend most of your time conducting research and working closely with a faculty adviser to complete a dissertation. The time you spend in a program will depend on whether or not you study full-time. Most schools allow up to seven or eight years to complete a Ph.D. Most schools require you to have a master's degree in history before enrolling in a doctoral program.

Program Specializations Options include American history, history of gender, world history, African-American history and diplomatic history
Program RequirementsRequires conducting research and completing a dissertation in focus area
Common Courses Literature of modern Europe, women in colonial America, history of medieval Europe
Online Study Graduate course options offered by some schools, but doctoral programs are typically held on campus
Average Salary (2015) $76,670* (for postsecondary history teachers)
Career Outlook (2014-2024) 10%* (for postsecondary history teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Type Of Courses Will I Take?

Despite spending most of your time doing research, you will also be required to take some advanced courses in your area of interest. History courses you are likely to find in a doctoral program may include:

  • Literature of modern Europe
  • Women in colonial America
  • History of medieval Europe
  • Latin American and Caribbean history
  • American cultural history

Can I Complete This Degree Online?

Most schools will require you to complete your research and coursework on campus; however, some schools do offer graduate-level history courses online. You will need to check with your program to see if any graduate credits you may earn from an online course will count towards your doctoral degree. If you do decide to take an online course, you will need a reliable Internet connection, updated browser and some media viewing software, such as Real Player or Windows Media Viewer.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

A Ph.D. in history will qualify you to teach college-level history courses at a university. According to a 2015 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for a history professor was around $76,670 ( The BLS also projected that job opportunities for college-level history teachers was expected to grow around 10% between 2014 and 2024.

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

  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Iowa State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Ames
  • Indiana University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Bloomington
  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • Washington University in St Louis

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Saint Louis
  • University of Toledo

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Toledo
  • University of Southern Mississippi

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Hattiesburg
  • University of Rochester

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Greensboro