Online History Degree

Online History Degree

History is more than just a study of the past; it’s a way to understand the present and shape the future. As technology advances, more and more students are turning to online education to pursue their academic goals. An online history degree offers flexibility, accessibility, and a comprehensive education that prepares students for a variety of careers. This detailed guide will explore everything you need to know about earning an online history degree, including program structure, benefits, career opportunities, and tips for success.

What is an online history degree?

An online history degree is an academic program offered via the internet that allows students to study historical events, periods, and figures from the comfort of their homes. These programs cover a broad range of topics, including ancient civilizations, modern history, cultural history, and more. They aim to provide a deep understanding of historical contexts, critical thinking skills, and the ability to analyze historical data.

Types of Online History Degrees

  1. Associate Degree in History: A two-year program that provides a foundational understanding of history and prepares students for further study or entry-level positions.
  2. Bachelor’s Degree in History: A four-year program that offers a comprehensive study of history, including specialized electives and research projects.
  3. Master’s Degree in History: An advanced degree that allows students to specialize in a particular area of history and often includes a thesis component.
  4. Doctorate in History (Ph.D.): The highest academic degree in history, focusing on original research, advanced methodologies, and academic scholarship.

Benefits of Earning an Online History Degree


One of the main advantages of an online history degree is flexibility. Online programs allow students to study at their own pace and schedule, making it easier to balance education with work, family, and other commitments.


Online programs provide access to high-quality education regardless of geographical location. This means that students who do not live near a university offering a history program can still pursue their degree without relocating.

Diverse Learning Resources

Online history programs often provide a wealth of digital resources, including online libraries, research databases, video lectures, and interactive forums. These resources can enhance the learning experience and provide various ways to engage with the material.


Online degrees can often be more affordable than traditional on-campus programs. Students can save on costs associated with commuting, housing, and campus fees. Additionally, many online programs offer financial aid and scholarships to help offset tuition costs.

Structure of an Online History Degree Program


The curriculum for an online history degree typically includes a mix of core courses, specialized electives, and general education classes. Here are some key areas of study:

  1. Core History Courses: These foundational courses cover essential topics such as world history, American history, European history, and historical research methods.
  2. Specialized Electives: Students can choose electives based on their interests and career goals. Options may include courses in ancient history, military history, cultural history, and more.
  3. General Education Courses: To ensure a well-rounded education, students also complete general education courses in subjects such as English, mathematics, and social sciences.

Research and Writing

A significant component of any history degree is research and writing. Students learn to analyze primary and secondary sources, construct historical arguments, and present their findings in well-written essays and research papers.

Capstone Projects and Theses

Many online history programs require students to complete a capstone project or thesis. These projects involve conducting original research on a historical topic and presenting the findings in a comprehensive paper. Capstone projects and theses provide valuable experience in historical research and can serve as a portfolio piece for job applications or further academic pursuits.

Interaction and Collaboration

Despite being delivered online, history programs often include opportunities for interaction and collaboration. This may be facilitated through:

  • Discussion Boards: Online forums where students can discuss course material, share insights, and engage in debates.
  • Group Projects: Collaborative assignments that allow students to work together on research projects and presentations.
  • Virtual Office Hours: Opportunities to meet with professors and classmates in real-time for discussions, questions, and feedback.

Choosing the Right Online History Program


Accreditation is a crucial factor to consider when choosing an online history program. Accredited programs meet established standards of quality and are recognized by employers and academic institutions. Look for programs accredited by reputable accrediting bodies, such as:

  • Regional Accrediting Agencies: Ensure the program meets high standards of quality and rigor.
  • Specialized Accrediting Bodies: For example, the American Historical Association (AHA) may provide additional recognition for history programs.

Faculty and Resources

The quality of faculty and resources can significantly impact the learning experience. Consider programs with experienced faculty who have strong academic backgrounds and expertise in various historical fields. Additionally, look for programs that provide access to robust online resources, including digital libraries, research databases, and academic support services.

Flexibility and Schedule

Evaluate the program’s flexibility and how it aligns with your personal and professional commitments. Some programs offer asynchronous courses, allowing students to complete coursework on their schedule, while others may require synchronous sessions with set meeting times.

Cost and Financial Aid

Compare the cost of different programs and explore available financial aid options. Many online programs offer scholarships, grants, and loans to help students finance their education. Be sure to consider the total cost, including tuition, fees, and any additional expenses for materials or residencies.

Student Support Services

Strong student support services can enhance the online learning experience. Look for programs that offer academic advising, career counseling, technical support, and opportunities for networking with peers and professionals.

Notable Online History Degree Programs

Several universities offer reputable online history degree programs. Here are a few notable examples:

Arizona State University (ASU) Online

ASU Online offers a Bachelor of Arts in History program that combines rigorous coursework with extensive online resources. The program covers a wide range of historical periods and regions and includes opportunities for research and collaboration.

University of Massachusetts (UMass) Online

UMass Online offers a Bachelor of Arts in History program designed for flexibility and convenience. The program includes core courses in historical methods and various electives that allow students to tailor their studies to their interests.

Liberty University Online

Liberty University offers an online Bachelor of Science in History program with a focus on critical thinking and research skills. The program provides a comprehensive education in history with a Christian perspective.

Career Opportunities with an Online History Degree

Earning an online history degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities in various fields. Here are some potential career paths:


  1. History Teacher: Teaching history at the middle school, high school, or post-secondary level. Teachers may also contribute to curriculum development and educational research.
  2. Educational Consultant: Working with schools, museums, and educational organizations to develop history-related programs and materials.

Research and Writing

  1. Historian: Conducting research, analyzing historical data, and publishing findings in books, articles, and reports. Historians may work for universities, research institutions, or government agencies.
  2. Archivist: Managing and preserving historical documents, records, and artifacts in museums, libraries, and archives.
  3. Writer or Editor: Creating and editing content related to history for books, magazines, websites, and other publications.

Public History

  1. Museum Curator: Developing and managing exhibits, educational programs, and collections in museums and historical sites.
  2. Cultural Resource Manager: Working with government agencies and private organizations to preserve and protect historical and cultural resources.
  3. Public Historian: Engaging with the public through historical interpretation, tours, and educational programs at historical sites and museums.

Government and Public Service

  1. Policy Analyst: Analyzing historical data to inform public policy and decision-making in government agencies and think tanks.
  2. Diplomat: Applying historical knowledge to international relations and diplomatic efforts.
  3. Legislative Assistant: Researching historical context for legislation and policy initiatives.

Business and Corporate Sector

  1. Corporate Historian: Researching and documenting the history of a corporation or industry for marketing, branding, and public relations purposes.
  2. Market Research Analyst: Using historical data and trends to inform business strategies and market analysis.

Advancement Opportunities

An online history degree can serve as a stepping stone for further education and career advancement. Graduates may choose to pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Ph.D. in History, to specialize in a particular area and enhance their career prospects. Additionally, obtaining certifications or training in related fields, such as archival management or museum studies, can open up new opportunities and demonstrate a high level of expertise and commitment to the field.

Tips for Success in an Online History Degree Program

Time Management

Effective time management is crucial for success in an online program. Create a study schedule that includes dedicated time for coursework, research, and writing. Use tools like calendars, planners, and productivity apps to stay organized and on track.

Active Participation

Engage actively in online discussions, forums, and group projects. Participation helps deepen your understanding of the material and fosters connections with peers and instructors.

Utilize Resources

Take full advantage of the resources provided by your program. Access digital libraries, research databases, and writing centers to support your studies and enhance your research skills.

Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to seek support when needed. Reach out to academic advisors, professors, and technical support services for assistance with coursework, research projects, and any technical issues.

Stay Motivated

Stay motivated by setting clear goals and tracking your progress. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and remind yourself of the long-term benefits of earning your degree.


An online history degree offers a flexible, accessible, and cost-effective pathway to a rewarding career in various fields. With careful consideration of factors such as accreditation, faculty quality, and student support services, prospective students can find a program that meets their needs and prepares them for success.

As our world continues to evolve, the demand for skilled historians and professionals with a deep understanding of historical contexts will remain strong. Online history programs provide a valuable opportunity for aspiring historians to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to the study and preservation of our past.

Whether you are just starting your educational journey or looking to advance your career, an online history degree can open doors to a wide range of exciting and impactful opportunities. By leveraging the flexibility and resources of online education, you can achieve your goals and make a meaningful contribution to the field of history.

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