20 Best Online Master’s Degrees in History in 2021

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Updated June 28, 2021

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Pursue your passion for preservation, research, and writing! The 20 Best Online Master's Degrees in History provide programs with a spectrum of concentrations and specialty topics.

A Master's degree in History is not just for teaching, although that is one of the most obvious career paths. Having a graduate degree in History can prepare you for roles in several sectors, both public and private. Historians can be found in many professional vocations outside of academia, such as library archives, historical associations, public administration, museums, and local history centers. 

In addition, a Master's Degree in History trains graduates on how to perform extensive research, manage archives, curate, collect and document materials, and even apply historical research for analysis for business and investment purposes. For virtually any sector, there is a unique role for a historian to fill.

The programs listed in the Best Online Master's Degrees in History for 2020 have two common attributes: they all offer a specific theme, concentration, or area of specialization. Prospective graduate students who have a clear idea of the particular geographical region or group of people that fascinates them will find a program that offers a pathway to delve deep into that passion. The other common attribute is that each program offers a thesis or non-thesis option. 

For students who wish to integrate their learning and research in a format other than the traditional thesis, some programs offer the option of additional coursework, an extensive project, a comprehensive examination, or a combination of all three. Some of the programs, while they don't offer a teaching certification, also have designed their curriculum to specifically meet the needs of graduate students who are preparing to teach history in elementary or secondary education. 

Further information to explore career options with a Master's degree in History can be found through the American Historical Association, the National Council for History Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Best Online Master's Degrees in History

  1. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Liberty University's Master of Arts in History is a 36 credit hour program that can be completed in under two years. Courses are eight weeks in length. The program emphasizes Christian history while also giving students a firm foundation in the methodologies of historical research. Students will take courses about the Protestant Reformation, the History of American Political Parties Since 1896, and the History of Slavery and Servitude in the Western World. 

    Veterans and members of the military receive discounted tuition at Liberty. Students who have accumulated previous graduate-level coursework in history may be able to transfer up to half of their credit to their Liberty graduate degree. Liberty's IT Help Desk is available during the week from 7 a.m. until midnight. Admission to the MA in History program requires a 3.0 GPA and at least 18 credit hours in undergraduate history or related classes. Liberty utilizes Blackboard for its online learning platform and has specific preparatory steps, advice, and tutorials for online students. 

  2. Norwich University

    Northfield, VT



    The Master of Arts in History at Norwich University offers graduate students concentrations in American, World, or Public History. The program can be completed in less than two years and has multiple start dates each academic year. It is a total of 36 credit hours and requires that students attend a week-long residency at the end of the program. Depending on the student's area of concentration, course topics cover 19th Century America, Hunter-Gatherer and Agrarian Eras to 1500, or Museum and Archival Studies. All students are required to submit a six-credit capstone project. Other elective course curriculum examples include Military Thought and Theory, Amphibious Warfare, and Race and Gender in Military History. Norwich University has the legacy of being the founding institution of the ROTC. 

    The GRE is not required as part of the admission application. A resume, transcripts, a sample of the candidate's scholarly writing, and a letter of recommendation should accompany the admissions application. Students may be able to transfer up to 12 credits to the program. Norwich offers several scholarships for graduate students. Norwich has developed online learning success strategies for its students. 

  3. Louisiana Tech University

    Ruston, LA



    At Louisiana Tech University, students have the option of choosing the program's thesis plan, or a non-thesis plan. Non-thesis students will complete a total of 33 credits, and thesis students will complete 30 credits. A written examination is required of all students in the program. Course offerings in the program cover a wide range of subjects such as Near East History, American Foreign Relations, and Current Problems in History. The program prepares students to continue to doctoral work or teach in a secondary education environment. 

    Qualified candidates to the program should have at least 21 credits in undergraduate history courses. GRE test scores and unofficial transcripts are also required. LA Tech offers several competitive scholarships to graduate students. The Career Center, Counseling Services, Student Health Center, Disability Services, and Multicultural Affairs are all available resources for LA Tech graduate students. History students may be particularly interested in the library's special collections, manuscripts, and archives

  4. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    Wilmington, NC



    The Master of Arts for History Educators at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a 30 credit program that can be completed in two years. Students are required to attend two one-week long summer institutes in June. A capstone experience is also needed to demonstrate the student's readiness for curriculum development and teaching in the classroom, plus a body of written work delving into an area of historical interest. This program is geared towards current North Carolina teachers. Applications are due in July to start in the fall term. The program has seven scholarships for first-year graduate students.

    Admission to the program requires that applicants submit three letters of recommendation, a sample of the student's research writing, GRE scores, transcripts from all previous institutions, and a statement explaining the student's interest in history and desire to teach. The faculty of the Department of History at UNCW is made up of over 20 full-time faculty members with research interests spanning many topics, including U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, Irish History, Global Trade, and the Modern United States Culture and Capitalism.

  5. University of Louisiana Monroe

    Monroe, LA



    Students in the University of Louisiana Monroe's Master of Arts in History program will complete a total of 30 semester hours to earn their degree. The ULM Online MA in History does not require a thesis. Course topics include The Holocaust, the History of the American Revolution, and African, European, and Native American magic and religion. All students are also required to take a research methods class that examines techniques for data analysis, bibliographical tools, and different techniques in research. Students residing outside of the state of Louisiana will pay the same tuition rate as in-state residents. 

    Applications to the program are accepted on a rolling basis. Admission to the program requires a 3.50 GPA, 18 credit hours in history, the social sciences, or the humanities. GRE test scores with strong verbal and quantitative scores are also required. Transfer credits may be accepted towards the M.A. in History degree. ULM offers several resources to its online students. Academic advising and The ULM Office of Career Connections assists graduates in preparing for their careers after completing their degree. 

  6. Sam Houston State University

    Huntsville, TX



    The Master of Arts in History online program at Sam Houston State University gives students a variety of options to focus on their area of interest. Students may opt to complete a traditional thesis, or they may submit a portfolio of written work demonstrating their research. The program is a total of 30-36 credit, depending on whether students select the thesis or non-thesis track. The program is organized by three historical themes of which students select one to concentrate on, including Rights and Identity, War and Violence, and Encounters and Exchanges. Examples of courses include The American West, Latin American History, and Cross-Cultural Interactions. The History Department faculty at SHSU has received many accolades, including a Pulitzer-prize winning book and the Carnegie Professor of the Year award. The department is also home to the Living History Podcast.

    The program offers start dates to new students in the fall, summer, and spring terms. Applications require transcripts from all previous institutions, GRE scores, an example of the student's academic work, a letter of intent, and two letters of recommendation. SHSU offers $1,000 scholarships specifically for new online students. The Department of History also offers scholarships, as does the Graduate School

  7. Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green, KY



    Western Kentucky University's Master of Arts in History program is 36 credit hours and can be completed in three years at part-time enrollment. Students complete courses such as Pre-Modern Europe, Modern Europe, and post Civil War U.S. History. A minimum of 21 elective credits is required for graduation. Elective course options include topics such as The Crusades, A Cultural History of Alcohol, and Colonial North America to 1763. Students may opt to write a six-credit thesis plus fulfill 24 credits, or they may fulfill their degree requirements without a thesis and take additional courses. WKU's History Department is made up of over three dozen members, all of whom rotate teaching online courses. 

    Candidates to the program must have taken at least 18 undergraduate credit hours in history with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Competitive scores on the verbal portion of the GRE, an example of the student's research writing, and a personal essay briefly stating the candidate's goals and interest in pursuing graduate study in history are also required. Western Kentucky University's History department periodically hosts the Ohio Valley History Conference

  8. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    Slippery Rock, PA



    The Master of Arts in History program at the Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is a 30 credit hour and can be completed in two years at full-time enrollment. All of the faculty in the history department at SRU hold doctorates. The program is organized around the geographic regions of the United States; Latin America or Europe. Examples of courses include Hispanic American History to 1815, The American West, and Pennsylvania History. Historiography is required for all students. The degree is finalized with a comprehensive examination and a thesis or research project. 

    Conditional admission may be granted to students who do not have at least a 2.75 in their undergraduate work. Applicants should submit Transcripts from previous institutions and a one page detailing the student's interest in the program at SRU and career goals. Up to 12 credit hours may be transferred and applied to the degree from another institution. SRU's student services and technical guidance are all available to online students. SRU also serves the needs of veterans and students currently on active duty

  9. University of North Alabama

    Florence, AL



    The Master of Arts in History at the University of North Alabama is a 33-credit hour program that prepares students for future careers as history teachers or doctorate coursework. Students will take 15 credits in seminar studies that will cover U.S. History since 1877 and World History since 1815. Students may elect to fulfill degree requirements with a thesis or with directed study and research, an additional 12 credit hours of elective credits and a comprehensive exam. Candidates to the MA in History at UNA must have at least 24 credit hours in an undergraduate history course and a total GPA of 2.75 or above.

    GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, an essay explaining the candidate's career goals, and a writing sample are also requirements. Up to 12 credit hours may be transferred from a previous institution. There are over three dozen faculty members of the History department at UNA. UNA's History department partners with the National Trail of Tears Association, as well as the National Park Service in a project to educate primary and secondary age children about the forced removal of Native Americans in 1830.

  10. Arizona State University – Tempe

    Tempe, AZ



    Arizona State University-Tempe's Master of Arts in History is a total of 30 credit hours and just ten classes. Each term is 7.5 weeks long. The course offerings in the program vary, but past courses have covered topics such as The Sixties, Global Environmental History, and Genealogy. Students may opt to write a traditional thesis or may complete a research project. There are over 40 faculty members in the History department at ASU, representing a broad range of interest and specialty areas. 

    The program admits new students in the fall, spring and summer terms. Applicants to the program should submit a statement of purpose, transcripts from all previous institutions, a CV or resume, three letters of recommendation, and a sample of the candidate's writing. Qualified candidates will have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and at least 18 credit hours in history or related humanities or social sciences discipline. Tuition in the online program is the same for in or out-of-state students. The Department of History at ASU has several scholarship opportunities for graduate students. 

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GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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