Best Online Bachelor's in History Degree Programs

Explore the top schools that offer online bachelor's degree in history. Also, learn about the degree and coursework requirements for history programs as well as how to choose the right program and pursue a history-focused career. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Best Online Bachelor's Programs in History

When determining the best online bachelor's degrees in history, we based our decision on the program's format, cost, and flexibility. Below, you can discover the schools that offer the best online undergraduate degrees in history.

1. University of Idaho

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Moscow, ID $7,864 95%

The University of Idaho offers an online Bachelor of Arts in History or a Bachelor of Science in History degree, both of which allow students to concentrate in American or European history. Along with online classes, this program also offers optional internships in libraries or historical societies as well as study abroad and research opportunities. All online full-time students, no matter if they are in-state or out-of-state, pay the same tuition price. The University of Idaho also offers several exclusive scholarships for its history students based on need and merit.

2. University of Nebraska at Kearney

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Kearney, NE $7,512 93%

The University of Nebraska at Kearney's online Bachelor of Arts in History degree completion program features classes in the following areas:

  • American history
  • Western civilization
  • Latin America history
  • Non-western world history

This online program requires a total of 120 credits with 60 of those within the history major. The University of Nebraska at Kearney charges in-state undergraduate students $261 per credit and out-of-state students $396 per credit. Online classes are flexible and collaborative--students can complete assignments whenever and wherever they want but also get to interact with classmates and faculty through discussion forums and chat.

3. Westfield State University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Westfield, MA $10,429 86%

Westfield State University has an online Bachelor of Arts in History degree completion program for new and transfer students. This program allows students to apply 79 credits from 2-year colleges or up to 90 credits from a 4-year university towards their history degree. All required history courses can then be taken online in a regular 14-week semester format or an accelerated 7-week format, depending on the student's preference. On the accelerated pathway, students can complete their degree in about 1-3 years.

4. Oregon State University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Corvallis, OR $11,166 86%

Oregon State University offers both an online Bachelor of Arts in History degree and an online Bachelor of Science in History degree. This program is 100% online and has 4 start times each year. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the cost per credit for online undergraduate students was $309. Coursework in this online program centers on the following areas:

  • The American west
  • Middle Eastern history
  • Armed conflicts and society
  • Diaspora studies
  • Social studies education

Online students are also able to participate in the History Students Association (HSA) and in the optional Public History Internship Program.

5. The Baptist College of Florida

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Graceville, FL $11,400 90%

The Baptist College of Florida's online Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Studies program requires a total of 120 credits. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the price per credit was $360. This online program's curriculum features a Christian worldview context and includes classes on:

  • Biblical foundations
  • Roman history
  • Florida history
  • World religions
  • History of Christian Missions

General education and a student success course are also required. The online classes The Baptist College of Florida are mostly asynchronous, meaning students can complete assignments and watch lectures at a time convenient to them.

Rank School Name Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ $12,467 92%
7 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI $25,374 99%
8 Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield, MO $7,376 91%
9 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA $7,952 95%
10 Washington State University Pullman, WA $11,584 90%
11 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR $7,254 95%
12 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX $8,296 89%
13 University of Memphis Memphis, TN $9,317 98%
14 Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR $8,679 98%
15 Troy University Troy, AL $8,908 94%
16 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA $13,921 93%
17 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA $7,922 97%
18 University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, ME $8,035 93%
19 Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA $31,110 100%
20 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX $19,582 98%
21 University of Missouri-St Louis St Louis, MO $9,792 95%
22 Florida International University Miami, FL $6,546 89%
23 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL $6,368 90%
24 Valley City State University Valley City, ND $7,626 99%
25 McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA $7,860 93%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Bachelor's Programs in History

Online undergraduate degrees in history typically lead to either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The main difference between these two degree types is that BA degrees typically require more electives in the humanities, social sciences, and foreign languages fields, while BS degrees often require more electives in the natural sciences, engineering, computer science, and math fields.

Credits and Length

Generally, bachelor's degrees in history require about 120 credits. These credits are divided between general education coursework and history major requirements. Incoming college freshman can expect to spend 4 years earning their history degree. Those with previous college experience and transfer credits could earn their degree in fewer than 4 years.

Concentrations

Some online bachelor's programs in history allow students to choose a concentration area. However, not every program offers these specializations. Typically, students are required to complete a set amount of credits within their concentration by taking specific coursework. While some programs offer concentrations in global history, Middle Eastern history, and Latin American history, the two most common concentration areas in the United States are American history and European history, which you can explore in-depth below.

American History

A concentration in American history requires students to take a range of courses that center on United States history from colonial times to the present. Specific time periods and subjects include:

  • American Indian history
  • The American Civil War
  • Slavery
  • 19th-century history
  • American history, 1945 to present

European History

A concentration in European history usually includes courses that cover a broad range of human history from ancient Greece to World War II. Students could also take classes about the following topics and periods:

  • Ancient Roman Empire
  • The Middle Ages
  • The Enlightenment, Renaissance, and Reformation
  • The Tudor era
  • Colonialism
  • Eastern European history

What You'll Learn in an Online History Program

The exact coursework you will take in an online bachelor's program in history depends on your program's requirements and if you have chosen a concentration area. Generally, however, these programs aim to give you a wide understanding of history and thus require classes that center on most time periods and on several geographic regions.

Below, you can explore some common classes in bachelor's degree programs in history.

The Historian's Craft

This is an introductory course that covers the basics of historical study, including different schools of thoughts and philosophies. Students learn how to read, write, and research through a historian's lens.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

A course that explores the American Civil war from about 1830-1880. Students learn about the cause of the war, including slavery and abolition, as well as specific battles of the conflict. The Reconstruction period of rebuilding after the war, including the failures of it, is also covered.

American Indian History

This course focuses on the history of Native Americans from pre-Columbus times to now. Along with covering the effect of colonialism and wars on Native populations, this course also explores the social, political, and institutional evolution of Native Americans.

Women in US History

In this course, students learn about the many important ways that women affected the history of America. There is an emphasis on women's economic, social, and political impact on the country.

World War II

A course that usually examines all aspects of World War II, including specific events and battles as well as important figures. Some courses use a global context to help students understand how specific countries, such as the U.S., Britain, Germany, and Russia, contributed to and played a role in the war.

Ancient Greece

Students learn about the ancient Greek world with special focus on the politics and culture of the people. The wide range of topics that are covered include conquered city-states, Sparta, Greek religious beliefs, and ancient wars, such as the Peloponnesian Wars.

Modern Latin America

This is a course that focuses on the modern history of Latin America after the conquest era. There is a focus on the history of different Latin American countries and their indigenous cultures. Students also learn about the various political structures and social systems of the region.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor's Program in History

When deciding between online bachelor's degree programs in history, you should take into consideration the total cost of a program, flexibility, in-person requirements, and accreditation.

Cost

The tuition for an online bachelor's degree program in history can range from $250 to $510 per credit, which means the total tuition for a 120-credit hour program could be $30,000 to $61,200. However, universities usually also charge additional fees on top of the base tuition. These fees can range from $10 to $150 or more. Common types of fees include technology fees, distance education fees, book fees, and graduation fees. You should check with your program to inquire about the total cost of your degree including tuition and fees.

Flexibility

Many online bachelor's degree programs in history feature an asynchronous format. This means that students don't have to be online at a set time and can complete assignments or view lectures when they want. However, some online programs may require students to attend online classes at a specific time through live-streaming.

Internship Options

Some online history programs require or make an internship an optional part of the curriculum. Internships are designed to provide students real-world work experience in a museum, a historical society, or an archive center. Some programs allow you to complete an internship in your local area. If you want to gain this experience, choose a program that boasts a practical component.

Accreditation

It's also important that you make sure your university is accredited. Accreditation proves that a university has met independent, high standards. Accreditation is also important because only students at accredited schools can qualify for federal grants and loans. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is the leading organization that approves accrediting agencies.

You should make sure your university is regionally accredited by one of the following agencies:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

How to Get Financial Aid for Online Bachelor's Programs in History

To help pay for your online history degree, you can apply for federal loans and grants as well as scholarships.

Grants and Loans

To understand what kinds of federal financial aid is available to you, you first need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Typically, undergraduate students can qualify for a Stafford Subsidized Loan, a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, and Pell Grants. The amount of aid available to you is based on need and enrollment.

Scholarships

You can also apply for scholarships offered by your university and by outside organizations. There are several organizations that offer history majors scholarships, such as the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Below are some scholarship opportunities specifically for history majors.

  • Dr. William S. Greever & Dr. Janet Groff Greever History Scholarship - A scholarship for University of Idaho history students that is based on academic excellence.
  • Arthur E. Gravatt Scholarship - A $500 scholarship for a junior or senior Oregon State University history major.
  • Phi Alpha Theta Paper Prize Awards - Various prize amounts of $400 to $500 from the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society for essays written by honor society members.
  • Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship - A renewable $2,000 scholarship from the Daughters of the American Revolution for high school students who will pursue a history undergraduate degree at the college level.
  • Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship - A $5,000 scholarship from the Daughters of the American Revolution for juniors who are pursuing a history degree.

What You Can Do With a Bachelor's Degree in History

With a bachelor's degree in history, you will be able to pursue a career as a museum technician or a high school teacher.

Museum Technician

Museum technicians, sometimes called collection specialists or registrars, are responsible for the objects within a museum's collection. Along with caring for objects, museum technicians have the following job duties:

  • Facilitating logistics of loans and acquisitions
  • Tracking whether an object is in storage or on display
  • Interacting with the public and museum curators
  • Keeping records and documents

Generally, museum technicians need a bachelor's degree in history or archaeology and experience or knowledge of museums.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that museum technicians made a median salary of $43,020. The total number of museum technician jobs is expected to increase by 9% from 2018-2028.

High School Teacher

High school teachers teach students in 9th-12th grade. They must develop lesson plans in their content areas, such as history, must grade assignments, and must help students pass standardized tests. High school teachers also interact with parents and administrators.

To become a history teacher in a high school setting, you must hold a bachelor's degree, and most states require teachers to major in their teaching area. You must also usually complete a teacher education program that includes a student teaching element.

Additionally, you must be licensed by your state. Although exact licensure requirements vary, typically you must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree
  • Complete a student teaching program
  • Pass a general teaching and subject area exam
  • Pass a state background check

As per the BLS, high school teachers earned a median salary of $60,320, and the number of jobs is expected to increase by 4% from 2018-2028.

Some middle schools might also look for graduates with a bachelor's degree in history. Middle school teachers made a median annual salary of $58,600 in 2018 and are predicted to see a growth rate of 3% between 2018 and 2028.

Career Advancement for History Majors

To advance your career, you may consider attending a master's program in history or completing an internship. These two avenues can increase your job prospects.

Get a Master's and/or a Ph.D. in History

To become a historian within academia or the federal government, you need to hold at least a master's degree in history. Typically, with just a bachelor's degree, you will only be able to pursue lower-level jobs in historical societies or museums.

Additionally, if you want to pursue a career as a history professor at the college level, you will likely need a doctoral degree; however, some positions may only require a master's degree such as community colleges.

Complete an Internship

Internships can give you much-needed professional experience. For some positions, such as museum curators or archivists, it's highly recommended that you complete an internship in that field.

Professional History Associations & Organizations

There are several organizations within the field of history that support and advocate for historians, museums, and historical societies.

The American Historical Association (AHA)

AHA is the leading organization for the historian profession and was founded in 1884. This organization offers recommendations about history education, sets professional standards, and advocates for career diversity. As a paid member, you get access to publications and journals, networking opportunities, a career center, grants, and discounts to research materials.

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

AASLH is an organization that supports museums, historical societies, historians, archivists, and teachers. They offer programs, resources, and publications to the general public and those in the history field. By becoming a paid AASLH member, you receive discounts on books, workshops, JSTOR, and online courses. You also get access to the AASLH community.

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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