Best Bachelor’s Degrees in History Online

| Genevieve Carlton, BCR Staff Writers

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Online History Degrees

History majors study topics such as the downfall of Roman emperors, the rise of empires, and the cultural changes that define eras. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in history may study medieval Europe, colonial America, and modern human rights movements. Learners build career-specific skills in research, persuasive reasoning, and writing.

Graduates of bachelor's in history programs can work in diverse fields. Many enroll in master's programs. Other graduates pursue entry-level roles.

The following list ranks the top online bachelor's in history programs. Prospective history majors can use the rankings to find an option that fits their schedule, budget, and career goals.

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Featured Online History Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get an Online Degree in History?

Bachelor's in history degree-seekers complete liberal arts coursework. Learners develop analytical, research, and writing skills while learning about the past. Students can pursue careers in growing fields such as public relations, business, and education.

Many students benefit from the convenience of an online bachelor's degree in history. Online learners complete coursework in a virtual classroom environment. The flexible format often appeals to busy professionals. Online programs can also be more affordable.

How Much Does a History Degree Cost?

The cost of a history degree varies by school. Public institutions typically charge the lowest tuition rates. In-state learners at public schools paid an average of $9,349 in tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Out-of-state students paid an average of $27,023. Private institutions charged an average of $32,769 in tuition and fees.

An online learning format can save students money. According to the Education Data Initiative, online bachelor's programs cost an average of $316 per credit in 2019-20. Students can save money by transferring credits toward their degree.

Additional Online Student Fees

In addition to tuition, students pursuing a bachelor's degree in history should budget for fees and expenses. For example, online learners may need to upgrade their technology or internet speed. History majors should also budget for textbooks. Students in programs with in-person requirements should consider travel costs.

Prospective online students should research programs' student fees, including graduation fees. Fees can add thousands of dollars to the cost of an online bachelor's degree in history.

How Much Do History Graduates Make?

History degree-holders can work in many fields. Some of the most common jobs include roles in education, management, and the legal field.

Earning potential for history majors varies widely. For example, high school teachers earn a median salary of $62,870, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Managers earn a median annual salary of $109,760, according to BLS data. Lawyers earn a median salary of $126,930 per year.

History graduates can choose high-earning career paths. People can also pursue a graduate degree to increase their earning potential.

Bachelors in History Courses

History majors can study topics like ancient cities and modern elections. Learners typically take courses that cover many eras and locations. Many bachelor's in history programs require pre-modern and non-Western coursework. Students often specialize in an area such as U.S. history, medieval history, or women's history.

In addition to history coursework, learners may take seminars in historical methods. Some programs require a capstone project and a research paper. These components help learners strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills. Many bachelor's in history programs feature the following classes. However, available courses vary by program.

  • Ancient History

    This class covers the rise of civilization and the development of empires in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Learners explore social, cultural, religious, and political life in ancient civilizations. Coursework focuses on analytical and critical thinking skills. Students may write research papers.
  • Modern U.S. History

    Learners explore American history from the Civil War through the 21st century. Key themes include the rise of the U.S. as a world power and the fight for civil rights. Students also discuss the role of technology in U.S. history, urban development, and political history. Coursework also covers the role of labor movements in modern America.
  • History of Science

    Students examine how explanations for natural phenomena change over time. Topics may include Aristotle's influence on medieval and early modern science. Other topics include the Scientific Revolution and the rise of modern science. Students explore historical debates about topics such as germ theory and evolution to understand scientific change.

Career and Salary Outlook for History Majors

Graduates of online bachelor's in history programs can work in various fields. Some positions, such as archivist and lawyer, require a graduate degree.

Earning potential varies significantly by field and position. However, many common careers for history majors offer high median salaries.

  • History Teacher

    History teachers educate students about the past. High school teachers create lesson plans and assignments introducing historical analysis. They help students build analytical, research, and writing skills. They also assess student learning through tests, papers, and other assignments. Public school educators need a teaching license.
  • Historian

    These professionals conduct research using historical documents, objects, and artifacts. They analyze and interpret sources. Historians then interpret materials to construct arguments about the past. They can work in historical societies, archives, and museums. Others work at historic sites. Many historians hold a graduate degree.
  • Archivist

    Archivists preserve historical documents and objects. They authenticate materials, conduct appraisals, and create classification systems. Archivists also acquire materials and help users access collections. These professionals typically have an academic background in history, and most hold a master's degree.
CareerMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
History Teacher$62,8708%
Historian$63,1005%
Archivist$52,14019%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in History

#15 UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HISTORY

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Score: 81.86

The University of Idaho offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science program in History, both of which prepare students to work in business, education, law, and other fields. The BA has two emphasis options: American History and European History. Howevwhile the BS requires more science courses. The BS requires at least 121 credits while the BA requires at least 124. The curriculum has a specialized capstone experience in which students take special topic seminars. Additionally, the University of Idaho grants in-state tuition to Idaho state residents, even if they are completing the coursework online. 

Net Price: $14,997


#14 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA

BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HISTORY

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Score: 83.11

Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in History at the University of North Alabama can be finished in four years. Both programs also require 120 credit hours of coursework, which includes a senior thesis. The BA, however, includes classes in a foreign language while students in the BS program have to add a minor or second major. Students in this program can also attend the History Graduate Student Association annual conference, and they can also submit to the North Alabama Historical Review, which is housed at UNA. Additionally, if students are looking to continue their studies in this field at UNA, they can enroll in the Master of Arts in History program. 

Net Price: $12,103


#13 SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 83.74

Sam Houston State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History program that is entirely online. The degree requires 120 credits of coursework, and students can start in the spring and the fall. While in this program, students can take courses like the Black Civil Rights Movement, Russian History, and Contemporary Latin America. It can usually be completed over eight semesters. Additionally, online students are eligible for scholarships, and transfer students can bring in credits from prior coursework. SHSU is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Net Price: $11,742


#12 UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 84.15

Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. There, they learn not only about past events, but they also pick up skills in research and analysis. This program also requires a minor, giving students the chance to pick up knowledge in another area of interest. In total, 120 credits are required for graduation, and the program takes about four years to complete. Courses in this program include Louisiana History, Ancient Egyptian Religious Texts and Beliefs, and Contemporary History. Additionally, it is important to note that within 60 days of graduation, 90% of alumni of this program have jobs. 

Net Price: $10,787


#11 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 84.35

The University of Arizona has a Bachelor of Arts in History program. The program requires four semesters of a second language as part of the 120 credit hours needed for the degree. Other courses include the New American West, The Culture of Food and Health in Japan, and Economy and Society in Historical Discourse. Students can benefit from the expertise of faculty members at a Research I university. Publication opportunities are also available in Footnotes: A Journal of History and the Arizona Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. UA is also home to an accelerated Master of Arts program for undergraduate history students. 

Net Price: $15,758


#10 NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 84.66

For those looking to study modern American, Europe, and Asia, Nicholls State University has a Bachelor of Arts in History program. This program requires 120 credit hours of coursework, and students must complete a minor while in the program. Minor options include Business Administration, English, Political Science, Geography, and Spanish, among others. During this program, students also grow their skills in computer literacy and oral communication. Classes are eight weeks in length, and students work on them at their convenience. NSU is also affiliated with the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. 

Net Price: $11,896


#9 UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 84.70

The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in History that is one of 14 undergraduate degrees that can be completed entirely online. It requires 120 degree hours. Students must take a core of American and world history courses in addition to elective credits within the major and the liberal arts core curriculum. The classes are 14 weeks in length, and students pay a competitive eTuition rate. Students also have online access to student services, including the library and tutoring. Online students are also able to study abroad through the same programs offered to on-campus students. Additionally, they can benefit from the expertise of their faculty members, who, in particular, specialize in U.S. history, women, gender, and family, Asia, and medieval Europe. 

Net Price: $13,663


#8 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE

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Score: 85.45

Students at the University of North Dakota enjoy the flexibility of a curriculum tailored to their interests through the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science program. In this program, students can take courses in anthropology, economics, geography, political science, sociology, psychology in addition to their history classes. The many options in this program help students to grow their resume and experience in areas that they are interested in as preparation for full-time work or graduate school. They can also direct their study through focuses in Health and Human Services or Economic and Political Science Studies. There are also study abroad opportunities in Brazil, Belize, China, Chile, Spain, Ireland, and Mexico. The degree requires 120 credit hours for completion.

Net Price: $14,478


#7 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT SPRINGFIELD

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 85.74

The University of Illinois at Springfield has an online Bachelor of Arts in History. This program is structured so that students can experience an interactive, diverse, and flexible online community. Students can make progress toward their degrees at their own pace and on their time, allowing them to work while in school. In this program, students must finish three credit hours within the major, which includes courses like Topics in Warfare, Ancient Sport and Spectacle, and the Rise of Rome. Students also take courses to give them knowledge of religion, the Middle East, East Asia, the United States, and the world. 

Net Price: $12,054


#6 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT LOWELL

BACHELOR OF LIBERAL ARTS WITH A CONCENTRATION IN HISTORY

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Score: 87.49

Students can earn their Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a History concentration through the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. In this program, they can also add another concentration in Art History, English, Economics, Gender Studies, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology. Students who have completed prior college coursework can transfer up to 90 credits into this program, and students online receive the same degree as those who take the classes on campus. Students must finish at least 36 credit hours in their major, and these courses have titles lie Human Sexuality, World War II, African-American History, and European Economics & Social History. 

Net Price: $18,375


#5 OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HISTORY

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Score: 89.00

Students interested in researching the past to inform the future should consider the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor Science in History programs at Oregon State University. At OSU, students can take advantage of the research-based plans of study, which culminates in the Research Seminar, where the student puts together an original research project. Students can also get involved with the History Students Association and take part in the Public History Internship Program. The degrees both require 180 credits of study, and students can take courses like the Lesbian and Gay Movement in Modern America, Religion and Gender: A Global Perspective, and A Women’s History of Outer Space. 

Net Price: $19,205


Featured Online History Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

#4 EXCELSIOR COLLEGE

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HISTORY

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Score: 89.25

Excelsior College posits that students in its Bachelor of Science in History program look at change over time. This program seeks to help them grow their critical thinking, communication, and writing skills while also considering a wide variety of cultures and perspectives. The degree requires 120 credit hours of coursework, 117 of which can be transferred in, though the median number of credits accepted is 68. Students in this program take courses in American, European, and world history, as well as history through the lens of race and other social identities. The curriculum culminates in a capstone course in which students bring together material that they have learned throughout their time at Excelsior.

Net Price: N/A


#3 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 90.29

The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in History that requires 120 credit hours of coursework for completion. In this program, students can also choose to focus their studies on a geographic area that interests them, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and others. UCF is also home to an accelerated program in which students can graduate with both their BA and the Master of Arts in History. The University of Central Florida has also been lauded by U.S. News and World Report, which has ranked it as No. 10 on its Most Innovative Schools list, as No. 10 on its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans list, and as No. 14 on its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs lists. 

Net Price: $15,341


#2 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HISTORY

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Score: 93.10

Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in History at Arizona State University. The program requires 120 credit hours taken over the course of 39 classes, each of which is seven and a half weeks in length. The curriculum of this program ensures that students have a strong foundation in the humanities. They also learn to tell the stories of the past through digital media. ASU’s program is also transfer-friendly, meaning that students who have completed prior college coursework are easily able to transfer credits over to the university. U.S. News and World Report have ranked Arizona State as the No. 1 Most Innovative School in the U.S. 

Net Price: $12,947


#1 HARVARD UNIVERSITY

BACHELOR OF LIBERAL ARTS WITH A HISTORY FIELD OF STUDY

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Score: 100.00

At the top of this list is Harvard University’s Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a field of study in History program. This degree, completed online through the Harvard Extension School, is geared toward students who work full-time. Many students have also received college credit from another institution, and Harvard accepts a maximum of 64 credits from another institution. The university also offered a joint bachelor’s and master’s option in which students can earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees with an additional two semesters of study. The degree requires 128 credits of study, and students also diversify their experience with classes in the humanities, social sciences, and the hard sciences.

Net Price: $17,030

Frequently Asked Questions About History Degrees

What does a history degree involve?

During a history degree, majors study the past using historical methods. Students learn about ancient civilizations, medieval culture, and modern history. They strengthen critical thinking, research, and analytical skills.

What jobs can I get with a history degree?

A history degree prepares graduates for roles in business, education, and sales. History majors also work in public relations, publishing, and financial services.

What degree do I need to become a historian?

Most historians hold at least a master's degree. Some positions, including history professor jobs, require a doctorate. However, some employers may hire historians with a bachelor's degree.

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