What Are the Best Colleges for History?

Find out what you should look for in a good history program. Read about three schools with nationally ranked history programs, and review the undergraduate and graduate degree programs each school offers. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top History College?

When looking for a history college, consider those that will allow you to hone your presentation skills at school-sponsored seminars and conferences. Many top schools also fund research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students or publish their own scholarly journals. If you're interested in pursuing an academic career, look at a school's placement rates for program graduates.

What Are Three Good History Colleges?

Columbia University in New York City, NY

U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia University seventh (tied with University of Michigan at Ann Arbor) for its graduate history programs in 2013. Several of its specialty programs in Asian, European, African-American and modern U.S. history also received rankings in the top ten. Whether you decide to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at this school, available resources include the Center for International History and the Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History, which sponsors conferences, lectures and seminars on topics including New York history and American political history. Degree offerings include the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in History and Literature
  • Master of Arts/Master of Science in International and Global History
  • Doctor of Philosophy in History

Stanford University in California

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2013 rankings, Stanford University is tied for fourth place (along with Harvard and the University of Chicago) for the top graduate history programs in the country. As an undergraduate student, you can pursue a general history track or an interdisciplinary program in such areas as world history and global affairs or literary history and the arts. Opportunities to participate in the publication of the undergraduate history journal, Herodotus, are also available. At the doctoral level, areas of focus range from European and Asian history to medical and scientific history. Here's a list of history degrees offered at Stanford:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science in History
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Doctor of Philosophy in History

The University of Chicago in Illinois

In 2013, the University of Chicago's graduate Asian, Latin American, European and cultural history programs were named among the top eight in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Of the 23 students who graduated from these and other specialty Ph.D. programs in 2011, 78% obtained teaching positions or fellowships. Additionally, the university's Department of History offers grant opportunities to undergraduates. If you'd like to conduct research at historical archives off campus, the school picks up travel expenses for qualified students. Available history degrees are listed below:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in the Social Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy in History

Top Colleges/Universities for History Majors

College/University Institution TypeLocation
Princeton University4-year, PrivatePrinceton,NJ
University of California--Berkeley 4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA
Yale University 4-year, PrivateNew Haven, CT
Harvard University 4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA
Stanford University 4-year, PrivateStanford, CA
University of Chicago 4-year, Private Chicago, IL
Columbia University 4-year, Private New York City, NY
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI
University of California--Los Angeles 4-year, Public Los Angeles, CA
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA

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:

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